Marketing matters in football

Occasionally, you come across a lunatic with inflated confidence and blind fearlessness, believing that what is needed to fight a tiger is mere courage and a plastic teaspoon.

It makes you wonder, which motivational guru did this person see? I mean, you have to be a complete schmuck for giving people the impression that they are able to brawl a tiger. Let alone with nothing more than just a plastic teaspoon.

My wife has said on many occasions that she’d like to have Kim Kardashian’s body. And I agree. I’d very much like her to have Kim Kardashian’s body too. But it cannot happen because life is not fair. Some people win the lottery and some people don’t.

If you are born to a wealthy and intelligent family, then you go to Eton, get a brilliant education and end up, having expended almost no effort at all, in a hedge fund, wealthy and contented.

You would then boast of having the most celebrated football club in the region and have a neat private army of your own. If you are born ugly on the other hand, with ginger hair, to a half-witted poor family, things are likely to be a lot more difficult.

For starters, we all want to have a football club like Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) and the chance to spend twice more than the average spending of all the other clubs in the country. But the thing is, Terengganu Menteri Besar and Terengganu FA president Datuk Seri Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar can’t afford it.

You think I’m joking here?

Just because Ahmad Samsuri is swimming in a pool of black gold (oil), doesn’t mean that he should be meeting the kind of spending that JDT puts forth. And rightly so.

Ahmad Samsuri has a lot of important responsibilities that he needs to attend to – ensuring better roads, quality education, access to healthcare, and many more.

So far, Ahmad Samsuri has been very generous – spending an average RM20 million per season for one to play football.

Sadly, in modern football, having a huge salary pool and spending lavishly is the ultimate investment to winning in football. Anyone who is too cheap to spend everything for their football club is too far from being anywhere near the silverware, so there’s no point in having a football club at all.

Those penny-pinching Scrooges can go play in the amateur division instead, and not spend anything at all.

Therein lies the problem. If you lose a match, it doesn’t matter whether you’re rich or poor. You will be consumed with a sense that people aren’t just looking down on you as someone with physical disability, but mentally too. This will make you permanently angry, desperate and financially suicidal.

This is why people who work in football have got it into their heads that when given RM20 million, you have to spend it all (or more) entirely on the team. This is like putting all your money on the research and development of a mobile application and not putting aside any investment whatsoever towards its marketing.

This routine, inevitably makes the club shamefully dependent on the continuous monetary support from the likes of Ahmad Samsuri.

However, here’s the thing. It is well understood that the team is a top priority for almost every football club. But to achieve sustainability, clubs must put as much energy and investment into marketing as they do in developing the team.

The bigger the brand, the bigger the risk of failure. Marketing can reduce those risks and it matters as much as the team – perhaps even more.

So, if I were an owner of a football club and wanted a football manager or a CEO, I’d get someone who is good at managing a company and wouldn’t care whether he or she knows how to kick a ball or not.

If I wanted a footballer, I’d get someone who could kick a ball properly.

In fact, there’s only one type of person I wouldn’t employ under any circumstances. A person who goes mental over losing and starts “gambling” all the money I give.

This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.

Tagged with: