The purpose of this report is discuss the sustainability of the field sport Football and the new technological products, football’s governing body, with the intent of addressing the international global market With the introduction of products such as flag sensors and goal-line technology that will help to improve the integrity of the sport that has been lost due FIFA’s recent bribing scandals. Football has become an international business that has grown even in times of financial downtimes and increasing fan base. This report summarizes literature, research, and case studies that help to support the findings of the sustainability of Football, products for the sport of Football introduce into the global market environment. This report will try to gain an understanding of the global marketing management and the views of globalization.
Table of Contents
Global Market Environment 4
Football and FIFA 7
Technology in Football 8
Football is one of the world’s most popular sports. It is a part of every culture, country, and neighborhood. Football is the rated number one national sport in more than 175 countries across the world. During the 2010 World Cup, more than 3.2 billion people from around the world tuned in, that is almost half of the world’s population. Football mostly operates on the other half of the globe, while audiences in United States view the games as soccer it is still viewed by countless millions who view and play the sport. The purpose of the report is to discuss Football and the nature of its sustainability in today’s international marketing environment. While the goals sat out in this report, are to give an analysis of the global market environment, and to introduce ideas to the governing body of Football, FIFA, in order to improve honesty, fairness, and integrity of the sport. This report is supported by the research from sports articles, case studies, and technology reviews.
Global Market Environment
All the nations of the world are linked by a multifaceted network of social, cultural, economic, and political connections. As ties become complex, countries will be richer, and others open to foreign corruption and greed. Technological advances and rapidly changing political and economic conditions are making it easier for more companies to market products overseas as well as domestically. (Csutan.edu, n.d) International marketing is the development and performance of marketing activities across national boundaries. Marketing is defined as “The process of building lasting relationships through planning, executing and controlling the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods and services to create mutual exchange that satisfy individual and organizational needs and objectives(FAO, n.d) Many countries offer practical assistance and valuable research to help their domestic businesses compete globally. “International marketing is the development and performance of marketing activities across national boundaries.”(Cstuan.edu, n.d)
They are several factors that influence the global market environment. Businesses entering international markets must adjust to the market forces by making vital adjustments to their marketing strategies. A successful international marketing strategy requires a careful environmental analysis to understand the needs and desires of foreign customers. Differences in sociocultural, economic, political, legal, and technological forces can profoundly affect marketing strategies. (Cstuan.edu, n.d) The following SLEPT _ PESTEL illustrates the different factors that influence UK’s marketing strategy. UK is heavily into football, and the lost in the 2010 World Cup left the country angry over the botch up call that the referees did not see.
Social Forces: Understanding the different sociocultural differences within the global market can have significant effects on marketing approach. In the UK, most of the football leagues have a strong fan base within the communities. The fans of football vary from ages, from the dedicated older generation to the more versatile of the youth that take much pride in their football fandom. Marketers must identify key sociocultural differences among countries to adapt their marketing strategy. Businesses must take account the preferences, idioms, and taste of the local market. Knowledge of barriers such as language, symbols, trademarks, logos and even promotion of products to international markets. Differences in culture may affect marketing negotiations and decision-making behavior. Consumer’s attitude of other countries buying behaviors can influence product adoption and use. When products are introduced from one nation into another, acceptance is far more likely if similarities exist between the two cultures. (Csutan.edu, n.d)
Economic Forces: The economy is recovering from a financial downturn as consumer attitudes have changed for more affordable, quality options. In the global market products introduce would have to understand the current economy, and the demographics of the country, Global marketers need to understand the international trade system, particularly the economic stability of individual nations as well as trade barriers which may stifle marketing efforts.(Csutan.edu, n.d) Political Forces: The UK government is stable and does not influence the market. In political parties of the UK, much focus is placed on new jobs, the economic crisis, and giving more opportunities for new businesses.
Legal Forces: Competition laws have specifically put into place so that the market share is not overtaken by large businesses. Also, there is a law that restricts businesses to agreeing to stick at the same price for their products. Business launches products have to be wary of the Sales of Goods Act, says that all goods should be: to a satisfactory quality, fit for the purpose as described, whether that is on the packaging or on the sale description, with adequate skills and care within a reasonable time scale, and reasonably priced. (Sheffield City Council, n.d) Technological Forces: Advances in sports technology that is helping to regulate matches in order to increase the integrity of the game. In the UK market, much opportunity is available for technological growth in the share of the market for product innovations.
Globalization has a significant impact of the mobility of firms’ entry into international markets. Learning which country has the greatest benefits to offer when entering their market is essential to be successful. There are relatively four stages that must be taken into consideration. As highlighted by, FAO, Stage One: Focus on the domestic market, with all activity concentrated in the home market. Stage Two: Ethnocentric approach but still carries the domestic market strategies. Stage Three: Businesses must adapt and promote their marketing mixes to overseas operations. The view is of a multinational (polycentric) focus. Stage Four: global organizations have to take on a geocentric view of the global market in creating their value by extending products and programs while focusing on emerging global markets. These four stage requires recognizing that global markets have similar and different attributes that firms must implement in their global strategy to obtain scale economies. (FAO, n.d)
Football and FIFA
FIFA has been football’s international governing body since 1904. Headquartered in Switzerland, with 209 national member associations. It oversees football, beach football, and Futsal. (FIFA, 2013) FIFA abides by certain rules and regulations that have help to delegate rules and punishment to teams. According to FIFA there are more than 2 million players registered football organizations, and over 275,000, clubs play in official leagues and tournaments. (FIFA, 2013)\Through innovations in the technology FIFA are embarking on a new frontier of play calling and rulings in their games. FIFA’s SWOT analysis analyzes the external and internal threats from other companies and organizations. Strengths include their long history, and governance over the international sport that many fans have come to rely on. They hold the popular World Cup tournaments which are viewed by almost half the world. Soccer is an increasingly popular sport will need the leadership of FIFA to properly manage it. The weaknesses however, are the play calling, lack of accuracy, and the scandals of corruption that have taken away the credibility of the game. The opportunities presented by FIFA are for more poorly infrastructure countries to gain world-wide exposure in order to get more development in their country. Other opportunities include adding sustainable solutions to play calling and changing the way fouls, penalties are made. The threats include nations leaving the organization due to scandals, fans decreasing from lack of honesty in game winnings, and frustration from inaccurate referee calls.
The product ideas introduced to be launched in the UK Football market, that will help solve the problems that have posed to be a threat to FIFA, are to create a sensor device connected to the referees and flag sticks. The players, the soccer ball and the goal line would also have sensors connected to them. The sensors will monitor the offside line, to make sure the ball and players are or offside. The second idea is developing a technology to make sure of the whether or not the entry of the soccer ball pass the goal line, by providing a high quality camera aimed and targeted to the goal line. These innovative ideas will help to make play calling easier for referees, and more flexible and accurate as well to track. The second reason is to reduce bribes, corruptions, compliance, and complains from teams and managements within the sport soccer field. The intended target market is primarily for FIFA to be used for their referees, but will be delegated to the 208 nation associations in their primary games including, high-level qualifications, and tournaments. The medium of advertisement through the UK Market will be to first target their over 10,000 sports clubs, which take in a revenue of £9 billion. (Yahoo News, 2012) When the sports clubs are behind the product it will accordingly become a standard in football games. “The top English Premier League clubs receive a great deal of funding from sponsors and other sources.” (Yahoo News, 2012)
Technology in Football
Introducing technology into Football field has been met with varying opinions, there has been much opposition that it would take away from the game. This was noted by the President, “Let it be as it is and let’s leave with errors. The television companies will have the right to say the referee was right or wrong, but still the referee makes the decision – a man, not a machine.”(CBS Sports, 2008) Flag and goal-line technology are a proposed technology that is able to determine when players and the ball or either offside or has crossed the goal line. These small implications will help to term scores and if a penalty are needed. The past decade there has been an ongoing debate about whether this type of technology should be introduced into the game, the concept was rejected by FIFA, however from the outcry of the fans, officials, players, and leagues FIFA has changed its tune. FIFA had previously believed the human element of the game should remain the critical element of it, and if we start using technology all over the pitch than it will change the way the game has been played for hundreds of years, therefore technology should be used to assist and not replace referees. Goal-line incidents are the only decision which is totally definitive, and if a decision can be provided to the referee instantly then the flow of the game will hardly be affected. FIFA has therefore indicated that if technology is ever introduced, it would only be used for goal-line incidents (FIFA, 2012). The Huffington Post indicated that there are other technology systems that being used in games such as the Hawk-Eye technology and Goal-Ref technology. “HawkEye involves the use of cameras whereas GoalRef is a more scientific system which involves an electronic circuit in the ball, with goal confirmation being transmitted to a watch worn by the referee almost immediately.” (Huffington Post UK, 2013)
Over the years the move for technology and methods to accurately curb the vast number of referee errors of high profiled games has considerably intensified. FIFpro, published a survey in 2010 of 48 captains from the Europa League by international players union, 90% of respondents said they wanted goal-line technology introduced (CNN, 2010). In times where the question of Football, and especially FIFA’s integrity is being called out, it is vital that FIFA does whatever it can to help restore the respect to the game by promoting honesty, fairness, and accuracy. The inclusion of the technology products will be prove to not only be beneficial to the sport but to the stakeholders as well. According to Deloitte, the Football industry generates billions in revenue through sponsorship and marketing deals with the largest clubs in the world raking in over £300m in revenue (Deloitte, 2010). When there is a substantial amount of money at stake minimizing error and supporting the fans in change are crucial to the business. There are numerous examples which show that wrong decisions have a financial impact on football industry. The most notable example was at the 2010 FIFA World Cup where England’s shot against Germany had crossed the line however was not counted as a goal costing them the prize. As it was England exited the World Cup in the second round winning around £6m in prize money and missing out on potential prize money in excess of £19m.
The last few years have seen an increase in the abuse of referees as a result of poor decisions. Introduction of technology in Football could help to solve incidents of crowd trouble would also be likely to fall as everyone would be able to see the exact position of the ball and there would be no reason for fans to feel hard done by. It should also be recognized that video technology is currently used in football and has been successful. National governing bodies use video technology to cite players after a game for dangerous or foul play that may have been missed by the referee, the necessary punishments are then handed out – a similar system is also used in rugby union. The introduction of this process has helped to stamp out serious foul play in the game and in some countries has been further developed to punish players for simulation, or diving. This shows an example where technology has been introduced to the game and is helping to improve and maintain the games ethics. Goal-line technology would simply be another method of adding value to football through the use of technology.
In conclusion, in the global marketing environment, factors vary among country and entity. When business enter these markets they must take into account the political, legal, economic, social, environment, and technological factors that affect their products/services and business success. FIFA and other governing bodies will see plenty of benefits, both tangible and intangible, as a result of the implementation of goal-line technology. Currently, FIFA has a poor reputation amongst the majority of the public throughout the world. Goal-line technology is wanted by the vast majority involved with football, including referees (BBC, 2010), and if FIFA approve its introduction it would be the first step in re-building its reputation across the world. It would be seen as a positive decision and would move football forward in line with other sports that have embraced available technologies.
Introducing the technology would substantially assist referees and this would help to reduce referee abuse by players and fans. Eventually, the technology could help to encourage more people to take up refereeing. Today, it is estimated that 7000 referees in England are leaving the game each season (Mole, 2009) Football has developed from a recreational game into a multi-billion pound industry and in the modern world the original laws of the game need to move with the times. Football is generally a low scoring game, and every goal is vital, it is therefore essential that a definitive decision is given on whether a goal has been scored, especially if we have such technology widely available. For technology companies to launch products such as these ideas in helping to benefit the sport of Soccer, they must first take into the different markets in the global environment and adjust their marketing strategy in order to reap the scale of economies. Recognize how their products can be sustainable in the vast global markets and their flexibility to adapt to the different international environments.
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