FA shifts marketing strategy to engage fans following World Cup woes
The Football Association (FA) has shifted its marketing strategy to better drum up support for England as it moves to engage fans in the run up to the UEFA Euro 2016 Finals, following a disappointing performance at the World Cup.
Speaking to the Drum at the England versus Norway game at Wembley last night, FA head of marketing, Russell James said the new Together for England campaign will run for a full two years, marking a different tack for the governing body, which has previously campaigned around individual matches.
“Historically most of our campaigns have been game-to-game match promotion but what we’re doing differently here is looking to engage the fans throughout the course of the season. We want to make them part of the story we want to sell around England as opposed to promoting a single game.
“This will be our campaign for at least the next two years, which will lead us up to, hopefully, the championships. Its gives us some freshness and flexibility as the story changes and unfolds. The campaign can go with that so this is here to stay.”
The campaign, which launched this week, will aim to inspire football fans to show their support for the England team, and will be rolled out across marketing materials including advertising, matchday programmes and tickets, eCRM and stadium digital media. PR elements of the campaign will be executed by The FA’s retained agency, Mischief PR.
The campaign will also see The FA create a Club Wembley Private Box with a bespoke England theme that will be used for fan competitions for home fixtures.
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James said that despite a difficult period for the England team following the World Cup he is confident that the fans will get behind the national team.
“The fans' loyalty is always there once you get under the skin. Naturally with any disappointment within life there’s a period of reflection but what we’re hoping this campaign will do is start to tap back into that emotion, and the pride and passion that the fans have, and make them want to visibly support the England team again in the very near future.
“As you can see with a half empty stadium tonight you can see what that challenge is. That challenge is to start making sport in England matter again. We wanted to find a way to demonstrate to the fans that they are integral to the England journey.”
The campaign visuals (pictured above) focus on the St George’s cross with fans and players images fused together to represent a sense of unity between the team and its supporters.
Matt Campbell, co-founder and executive creative director of Futureproof, which created the campaign, said it will “hero” the St George’s cross both at Wembley and abroad.
James also hinted that a series of activities are set to play out through the campaign over the coming months, that will involve the players and fans uniting.
“Essentially it will be in the spirit of the campaign. If you read our symbol of unity, bringing together fans and players, and imagine that as the core of what we’ll be doing across all of those other activities. It will be about bringing those fans and players together in different ways.”
Prior to the World Cup the FA, which invests £100m each year from ticket sales into a variety of programmes, launched the England Supporters Club platform online to further drive fan engagement.