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Marketing Essay Example: Manchester United Football Club

7 pages
1817 words
University of Richmond
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Manchester United is one of the biggest and successfully football club currently generating the highest gross revenue competing with other major football clubs playing in different leagues around the world. From the 1990s the club has remained the most successful English football club where it has managed to win four of the six highly coveted titles. It has won a record twenty one FA Community Shields, a record twenty leagues titles, twelve FA Cups and five League Cups. Besides these domestic titles, the club has managed to win three UEFA Champions Leagues, one UEFA Super Cup, one UEFA Cup Winners Cup, one FIFA Club World Cup, one Intercontinental Cup and One UEFA Europa Leagues.

Its success is largely attributed to a strong marketing strategy that the club has managed to sustain over the years (Mitten 2015, p. 11). The club has enjoyed increased in income from television, merchandising and sponsorships. Manchester United marketing analysis in this paper incorporates a selection of appropriate different sources or articles to establish a comprehensive analysis of certain essential topics. A thorough analysis and examination are done to ascertain these topics against set metric standards. For the purposes of this marketing analysis, Manchester United football club would be analyzed against the following essential metrics; Marketing Segmentation, empowerment of employee, Gender Marketing, Marketing Mix, Branding Gap, Critical Thinking, Branding in Digital Age, Marketing Mix Building and Managing, From 4Ps-7Ps-4Cs and Pricing Strategies .These choice measurements analysis will be used to examine this club across a range of regular measurements and thus create a picture of how this franchise aligns itself against its outright competitors.

Marketing Segmentation

The team is able to generate gross revenue based on market, stadium and different demographic platforms. Manchester United Football club has adopted a highly effective business strategy that positions the team to raise its revenue and profits margin by elevating its growth and thus attain high growth (Franses and Paap 2001, p. 14). The market-based measurements aim to leverage the club marketing infrastructure and global community. It has been able to attain and maintain an expansive market by being able to address the marketing challenges through exploiting new market opportunities. The new market opportunities involved the growth of new media platforms as a result internet breakthrough in most parts of the world.

New content opportunities have been created using these platforms of social media and mobile applications. It has opened up multiple growth ventures that have resulted in new revenue opportunities. The club digital platforms such as the social media, applications and mobile sites have become new models with which to align its marketing plans (Yankelovich & Meer 2006, p. 8).

It is targeted to become the essential frontier with which the club will be able to derive primary transaction and engagement with the fans all over the world. The club also in January 2013 was able to claim ownership of one-third stake that was still remaining on Manchester United Television. Since the acquisition of this stake, the club has been able to leverage a greater amount of control with regard to the production and dissemination of content plans (Yankelovich & Meer 2006, p. 10). Besides that, the club has increased the mandate of maintaining quality content and has gained invaluable insights that assist to ascertain the best possible way to improve and adapt to mobile content strategy while ensuring implementation and establishment of new products and services are maintained.

Manchester United as a club relies on sponsorship and several investors to fund the clubs activities in addition to revenue collected from mobile and content, followers attending home matches, merchandising, broadcasting and product licensing. The club is owned by the chairman of the club with the highest number of shares. Currently, the club is owned by Glazers who took over as a larger shareholder of the club in the 2005 and became the clubs, chief executive officer.

Empowerment of Employee

Manchester United football club has a highly effective organizational structure which has ensured it remains competitive and productive. Empowerment of players is an integral component the club has made its top priority. Players are offered readily available training resources as well as motivation and encouragement to be able to perform at the optimum level. The club has upheld over the years comprehensive organizational structure and since then it has become an anchor that has ensured the club runs smoothly with a well-established internal structure that checks itself against impropriety and mismanagement (O'Neill 2015, p. 34). This has been a distinguishing factor from other clubs that are solely run by one person with absolute control.

During the reign of Sir Alex Ferguson, this organizational structure attained perhaps the highest level. As a manager of the club, he established a robust bond between the players and the management. They adopted a policy where all issues were discussed amicably, it created an atmosphere where they made fun with the players, a quality that elevated the club to win major trophies while remaining competitive in the English Premier League (Anaejionu 2017, p. 1). It is this enabling environment that cultivated a culture that motivates players to give their best in every match day.

No other manager in the history of Manchester United has embodied the concept of player empowerment like Sir Alex Ferguson. His managerial career was focused on equipping, valuing and developing players. He understood that when players are valued they become inspired and always will seek to find unique ways to add value and improve their performance on the pitch. Part of Sir Alex a strategy to achieve this was coaching the players to make quick decisions that help the team become tactically superior to counter their opponents. This is one of the central philosophies used by the club anchored on the understanding that players, who are well-trained, listened to, respected, supported and valued within an organization exhibits loyalty. When an opportunity is presented to them they are more than likely to work hard and add value to the organization (Anaejionu 2017, p. 2). Equally important is the fact that empowered players are less likely to leave their current club and they are more than likely to recommend the club to other potential players.

Thus, currently, this feature is lacking significantly in the new managers that have done little to maintain the successful stint that Ferguson left. The manner in which Ferguson maintained effective corporate and organizational structure is still a puzzle to be unraveled by the new management (Anaejionu 2017, p. 2). It implies that the current Manchester United is way below the metric standards set by other successful clubs such as Bayern Munich Football Club and Barcelona Football club.

In terms of players acquisition and subsequent development strategies, the club has not attained the expected metric standards. Currently, the acquisition of good players has disappointed in the long run. According to the recent case example, a player bought expensively from Real Madrid became a flop and was later sold to Paris Saint Germain Club from France. Few players have been developed from the Clubs youth academy and make part of the senior team. This makes the club falls below the established set metric standards of clubs acquisition of players and their ultimate development.

Manchester United club boasts a big stadium with a capacity of seventy-five thousand six hundred and thirty-five. This stadium, however, is smaller compared the Wembley stadium and Camp Nou stadium with a capacity of ninety thousand and ninety-nine thousand respectively. Tickets are always available for every fan willing to attend home matches, not unless the stadium is already packed to capacity (O'Neill 2015, p. 41). In addition to normal tickets, there are VIP tickets that are reserved for special guest and important persons attending home matches. It has well-furnished amenities that can be used by players, clubs officials, special guests, and fans. Therefore, this facility meets the metric standards put in place in other stadiums.

Gender Marketing

Manchester United embraces a gender-based marketing strategy. The club has larger men followers than female followers around the world. Due to this difference, the club mostly conducts increased marketing campaigns to attract the male audience (Canzler & Drees 2010, p. 4). The club uses their favorite players in ads to market their brand across the globe. They usually sell their associated products such as jerseys at affordable prices in different retail outlets. The club incorporates designs of all genders in their products. For instance, jerseys are custom made to suit the specific needs of both genders.

Usually, the adverts and products targeting men are portrayed as dynamic and sporty with a popular player of the club appearing in the commercials. The sale environment including the design of websites is made in such a way that it suits the needs of male fans. On the other hand, products and marketing campaigns targeting women used by the club often adopt a strategy that is attractive and favorable to the female audience (Canzler & Drees 2010, p. 8). For instance, the club designs its products in a more luxurious way depicting feminine interests. As part of enhancing gender equality and further bolster its brand, the club has employed both men and women in different capacities to act as directors and run the clubs television programs.

Marketing Mix

Manchester United marketing prowess is based on the clubs marketing strategy comprising of segmentation, targeting, and positioning. Over the years this approach has worked well with products and services for which the club offers to both players and fans. They have adopted this marketing mix in its advertising agencies such as television and social media platforms. This strategy has facilitated the clubs attempt to target a specific group of audience and thus open up concerted measures to position its brand with an appropriate advertisement in both print and electronic media.

The clubs have employed to a great extent the marketing mix which involves six elements: advertising, sales force efforts, pricing, promotion, product or service offering and customer service. To induce more sales and support of the club, Manchester United has stepped up a comprehensive advertising investment to increase the awareness of the clubs products and services. This has made it possible to establish a sale force that has gone a long way to generate further awareness about the value of the club.

With promotions and products discounts, the club has successfully marketed its brand in different countries around the world. The advertisements have reinforced significantly the clubs fortune of convincing new customers to buy and support the club. Its targeting strategies emphasize the same message about the club values and its framework of operations.

Branding Gap

Manchester United as a football club has a distinct brand that distinguishes it from other clubs. This brand is protected by the Brand Protection Department and it is registered throughout the world (Nager 2013, p. 3). Sell and use of unapproved products and services associated with Manchester United is considered counterfeit. Its official Manchester United logo has established a mark at the global level where fans and non-supporters alike can physically recognize the club. It has...

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