Is the sports sector prepared for the ‘post’ COVID?

In this article, Nuno Mena, Business Development – Portugal, Spain & LATAM at the Sports Alliance Ltd, asks whether the sports industry is placing enough focus on its post-Coronavirus readiness.


We are witnessing a unique and transforming moment in the Sports Industry, not only in Portugal but throughout the world, with cancelled or postponed events and the consequent economic, financial, social and sporting impact.


It’s also the time to adapt our activity to the circumstances, but mainly to prepare for “post” COVID-19. As soon as the current contingency situation passes – and it will pass – we will all have to be prepared to do more with less and faster, that is, we will have to be much more objective, assertive and change some of our behaviours and approaches. This means that, in more cases than would be desirable, the time for the we’ve always done it this way, what are we going to change for? approach is over.


To follow, I will share with you some suggestions and options of actions for this phase:


Sports Organisations (Clubs, Leagues, Federations, Athletes) 🏆

It is essential to have a Fan Relationship Management (FRM) tool to work based on data and information in an objective and integrated way. If you don’t have one already (something that is not new and has been used for more than 15 to 20 years in sports), it is time to look for it to be ready when this is all over.


Experience tells me that those who adopted this methodology in times of crisis (2008/9, 2012/13) achieved significantly better Marketing and Commercial performances. Don’t be afraid to invest now with a clear and medium-term strategy, not to mention quick wins, as the return will come. Think of it as insurance that minimises your impacts.


Invest in digital channels:

  • Social networks to create mass audience and share some content. I want to highlight that an important part of this is that the content should be shared in a personalised way, though data-driven communications (email, sms, push).
  • Web (s) 💻, APP (s) 📱 with Single Sign-ON to CUSTOMISE and PERSONALISE the relationship.


Stay commercially active (merchandising 🛍, renewal of annual seats, …) and use this time to create or improve the profiles of members and fans, people are more available to collaborate.


Right now, more than ever, your members, fans and customers need you, share with them positive content and objective messages that is going to support the relationship.


Work with local Sponsors and Brands to use your channels and also helping to keep your activity.


Never, but never drop this connection. If you do that, it will be reflected later.



Supporters / Members 🎉

Anyone who follows a club, as long he/she remembers, is a fan of the same club and shares the same rituals and traditions that, it is said, are unique. It is at this point that the connection will become stronger than ever.


Take advantage of this moment, especially those who have only a digital contact, to learn more about the offers and sponsors and to be active in the available channels of the club, league or athlete.


Share content and information (for example, sign up for the newsletter, participate in quizzes or surveys), say what you want to “consume” and take the opportunity to buy “that shirt” or become a member.


Create your community of fans and interact with the club, league or athlete. Prepare to support as soon as possible.



Brands & Sponsors: This is your moment! 📣

As relevant players in Sports, it is now that your role becomes more active. Sports organisations face several problems (financial, human, technological and information resources) and therefore need your intervention to be more assertive.


Use sports organisation’s channels to communicate digitally in a segmented, clear and objective way with fans, partners and customers. Pass your message associated with the bond that each one has with his club, league or athlete, and this will bring more notoriety.


Demand” that clubs work with data, information and have reports (even if minimal) of the impact of your campaigns, activations and presence. It is not difficult and becomes measurable and with this sports organisation becomes more valuable and, consequently, the sponsorship.


(NB: In the Barometro Patrocínio Deportivo 2019, in Spain, when the brands were asked what they most want to receive from the properties to which they associate, the answer was Data and Reporting.)


Extend or renew sponsorship deals! ⚠ Even with changes, for example to include “X” communications or ask for that organisation to have an FRM, do not leave them now because you are fundamental in the recovery and in the new paradigm that will be born.


I’ve seen in the past days examples of brands that said: “as there’s no matches in a stadium, it doesn’t make sense for us to be here. We’ll speak when the matches return.” This is a very big mistake. They are passing a very negative message to the fans and to the clubs. I won’t be surprised if their sales suffer a bit with this.


So, these are just some examples of the approach that each of the actors in this tripartite relationship should have and its main objective is to call attention that we must be prepared the best possible for these situations and, if that is not possible, use this time to prepare our exit and the upcoming times!




#football #stadiums #sports #sponsorship #SportsBiz


The next edition of ALSD International – Europe’s leading event for the Premium Seat & Hospitality sector being hosted at Liverpool Football Club’s Anfield stadium – will feature a high level conference focused on how to increase revenue through new builds, renovations & service expansions, in addition to venue tours, networking events and an exhibition showcasing the latest products, services & solutions. In light of the global crisis caused by COVID-19, the conference will include sessions on how clubs, stadiums, venues and event organisers can look to recoup lost revenue and put more stringent systems in place moving forward.



#ALSDInternational – Europe’s leading event for the Premium Seat & Hospitality sector


#ALSD – Leading the Premium Seat sector for the last 30 years




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