All eyes were on the England women’s football team last week as they took to the pitch for the World Cup 2019 semi-final. Unfortunately it wasn’t a happy ending as the team lost out to their USA opponents 2-1 in a nail biting 90 minutes. What’s interesting is the tactics used in their Marketing and management styles which apply to everyday business life.
Although they might not have picked up the trophy this time, the England women’s team has so many more reasons to celebrate. The marketing behind the team is to be admired, they’ve changed the face of female football bringing it to the forefront of mainstream sport, a huge change from just a few years ago.
Did you know that Preston (where our offices are based #claimtofame) is hailed as ‘the stronghold in early women’s football’ as the famous ‘Dick Kerr’s Ladies’ paved the way for future generations? It’s believed their 1920 Boxing Day match attracted a crowd of 53,000 spectators. Over the following years though, attitudes towards women’s football changed and it never received the high level of publicity and glamour associated with the men’s version.
Thanks to some clever marketing, things are changing around here. The Women’s World Cup has been broadcast on Terrestrial TV, it’s achieving the recognition it deserves, it’s taking front and centre in the news, it’s trending on Social Media, it’s the topic of office conversations, it’s shown in pubs across the country.
But how? Aha, so the announcement of the 2019 squad was done in style. Each member of the team was announced by a celebrity, a famous face or even a member of the royal family and each received a message of good luck, talk about utilising influencer marketing! The social hashtag #BeReady was used by 30,000 people alone on announcement day.
Fifa also announced their 5 year marketing campaign back in May using the hashtag #TimeforAction which pledged to support women’s football and change the perception of it across Europe, we can certainly expect to see an increased awareness over the coming months.
Now this is an interesting aspect. The English women’s team is managed by former Man Utd and Everton player Phil Neville. Now, Phil doesn’t have a whole load of management experience but what he does have is ground level experience. He’s worked his way up, he knows the struggles of the players he now manages, and he connects with that. Is this an important management tool to take note of? Does someone with management experience over hands-on experience qualify better for the role? It seems not, Phil’s ability to understand the team is clearly paying off with the results- a semi final finish and a third place play off.
We’re looking forward to seeing even more of a drastic change over the next 5 years now the marketing campaign ball is rolling (sorry, not sorry for that one)….
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