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PERSONAL PROJECT

Strategies for the Development and Promotion of Futsal


in Europe

MATTIAS KAESTNER

Lausanne

August, 2004
STRATEGIES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND
PROMOTION OF FUTSAL IN EUROPE
MATTIAS KAESTNER

ONE-PARAGRAPH SUMMARY

Futsal is a relatively young sport in Europe; it is already very popular in some countries such as Italy, Spain or
Portugal, but almost unknown in countries like Germany and Sweden. UEFA has launched the first European Futsal
Championship in 1996 and the first European Club competition in 2002, but realises that a lot still needs to be done
on the promotional side of the game to increase the sport’s attractiveness and popularity. The paper develops
strategies to further develop and promote Futsal and in particular the two UEFA Futsal competitions in all parts of
Europe. The strategic analysis involves a number of strategic tools such as strategic group mapping, SWOT analysis
and the Boston Consulting Matrix, and aims as a means of example to provide a methodology that can also be used
to assess other new emerging sports and find ways to develop the sports further.

SUPERVISOR(s): Daniel Oyon, Professor HEC Lausanne

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STRATEGIES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND
PROMOTION OF FUTSAL IN EUROPE
MATTIAS KAESTNER

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Futsal is a relatively young sport in Europe; it is already very popular in some countries such as Italy, Spain or
Portugal, but almost unknown in countries like Germany and Sweden. UEFA has launched the first European Futsal
Championship in 1996 and the first European Club Competition in 2002, but realises that a lot still needs to be done
on the promotional side of the game to increase the sport’s attractiveness and popularity. The objective of this paper
was to develop strategies to further develop and promote Futsal and in particular the two UEFA Futsal competitions
in all parts of Europe.

Both secondary and primary research was conducted. In the secondary research existing literature was revised,
covering literature specifically related to Futsal, literature regarding new emerging sports and professional sports as
well as theoretical literature including the areas of strategic management, marketing and product development. The
primary research consisted of personal interviews with Futsal experts from UEFA, FIFA and National Futsal
Associations.

A framework from Thompson and Strickland was adapted to the sport industry in order to a) conduct a strategic
analysis of the sport as a whole, b) to analyse the UEFA competitions and their competitive environment and c) to
develop strategies and recommend an organisational structure.

The strategic analysis of Futsal revealed that Futsal, although still a relative small sport compared to football in
terms of participants, spectators and TV audience, has a great growth potential and could rejuvenate football, which
is currently in the maturity phase, with a new ‘fun’ variation of the game. The life cycle analysis further revealed
that Futsal is currently in the ‘global spread’ phase, the fourth of six suggested growth phases, and that the next
logical step of development would be to make Futsal an Olympic sport.

The SWOT analysis showed that Futsal has all the right strength to become a successful, modern sport, but needs to
work more on the weaknesses, especially the lack of awareness and a weak image in some parts of Europe. The
main opportunities were believed to be the still high growth potential across the European continent and the
possibility of making Futsal an Olympic sport.

Looking at the trends and driving forces that influence the emergence of a new sport, on overriding theme or trend
in the success of new sports is that people are looking for a modern sport that is fast, exciting, fun and which has a
culture that appeals to the youth. Futsal fulfils these criteria but needs to do more to promote the cultural aspect of
the game to appeal to younger consumers.

The strategic group map showed that the industry seems to be divided into a smaller, but faster growing segment of
new fun sports and a bigger segment of competitive, but slower growing sports. Most federations participate now

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besides their traditional competitive sports with a ‘fun variation’ in the faster growing market segment. The
challenge was to position Futsal in a correct way to participate in this faster growing segment.

Analysing the UEFA competitions (UEFA Futsal Cup and UEFA European Futsal Championships) and their
competitive position, it was found that the main threats to Futsal were the strong competitions from other indoor
sports such as Volleyball, Basketball and Handball and other substitute entertainment offerings such as Reality TV,
cinema and Internet. The key was to differentiate Futsal from all its competitors and to provide added entertainment
value.

The Boston Consulting Group Matrix showed that Futsal competitions can be classified as ‘question marks’ and
now have two viable classic strategic options: To invest and build market share or to divest and stop supporting the
sport. To invest just enough to keep Futsal at its current position or to maximise short term cash flow by reducing
the investments do not seem to be meaningful strategic options.

In the next step, the major strategic options for UEFA were identified and discussed in detail, namely:
Divest Strategies:
• Strategic option 1A: Stop supporting Futsal and concentrate purely on promotion of Football
• Strategic option 1B: Stop supporting Futsal and promote Beach Soccer instead
Invest Strategies to build market share:
• Strategic option 2A: Support Futsal and apply the successful UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup
approaches to promote it
• Strategic option 2B: Support Futsal, but promote it in a distinct, differentiated way

Weighting advantages and disadvantages of each strategic option and considering the objectives to make Futsal
more popular and attractive with the ultimate goal to be included in the Olympics, it was found that strategic option
2B was the most suited strategy. It was recommended to actively invest in Futsal and differentiate the sport in a
unique, distinct way that was hard for competitors to copy. The suggestions was to use Futsal’s original Brazilian
culture in promoting the game by amongst others using Samba bands and dancers during Futsal matches, providing
a Latin atmosphere to the competitions and using Brazilian Football stars to promote the game.

Finally it was suggested that UEFA should consider setting up a separate business unit for Futsal within the UEFA
organisation to provide flexibility for the dynamic and fast growing market segment. As the organisation operates
with a mix of offerings and markets, some of which exhibit stability (Football) while others will be more dynamic
(Futsal), it needs to balance systems that are centralised and budget orientated to encourage cost-efficient
production of standard products and systems that are decentralised and result-orientated so as to enhance the
effectiveness with which new offerings can be adapted. In addition, a separate business unit can also better ‘live’
and implement the suggested Futsal culture.

As a final result of this paper, a general methodology was suggested, which can now be used for assessing any new
emerging sports and to find ways to develop the sport further.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page:

1. Introduction........................................................................................................................................... 8
2. Problematic & Issues .......................................................................................................................... 10
3. Goal and Scope ................................................................................................................................... 11
4. Research Methodology ....................................................................................................................... 12
5. Strategic Analysis of Futsal in Europe................................................................................................ 13
5.1. What are the sport’s dominant economic features?.................................................................... 13
5.2. SWOT Analysis for Futsal in Europe ........................................................................................ 25
5.3. What are the drivers of change/trends in the sport industry and what impact will they have? . 28
5.4. Which sports are in the strongest/weakest position?.................................................................. 31
6. Strategic Analysis of the UEFA Futsal Competitions and their competitive position ........................ 33
6.1. What is competition like and how strong are each of the competitive forces? .......................... 33
6.2. How strong is Futsal’s competitive position within UEFA’s portfolio? .................................... 37
6.3. What strategic issues need to be address? .................................................................................. 39
7. Discussion of UEFA’s Strategic Options .......................................................................................... 40
7.1. Objectives................................................................................................................................... 40
7.2. Discussion of strategic options................................................................................................... 42
7.3. Strategy Recommendation ......................................................................................................... 48
7.4. Organisational Structure Recommendation................................................................................ 49
8. Conclusions......................................................................................................................................... 53
9. Recommended Generic Methodology for Assessing New Sports ...................................................... 55
10. Lessons Learned ................................................................................................................................ 56
11. Literature............................................................................................................................................. 57
11.1. Literature related specifically to Futsal .................................................................................. 57
11.2. Literature related to other new sports and the promotion of new leagues.............................. 57
11.3. Literature related to management theory................................................................................ 58

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TABLE OF FIGURES

Page:
Tables

Table 1: Differences between Football and Futsal....................................................................................... 8


Table 2: Registered Players of Selected Sports in Europe ......................................................................... 13
Table 3: Countries participating in FIFA Futsal World Cups.................................................................... 14
Table 4: Spectators at UEFA and FIFA competitions ............................................................................... 16
Table 5: TV Audiences for UEFA Futsal European Championships 2003 in Italy on Eurosport ............ 17
Table 6: Number of Live Futsal Matches shown on Portuguese TV ......................................................... 19
Table 7: Advantages and Disadvantages of Strategic Option 1A .............................................................. 42
Table 8: Advantages and Disadvantages of Strategic Option 1B .............................................................. 43
Table 9: Advantages and Disadvantages of Strategic Option 2A .............................................................. 44
Table 10: Advantages and Disadvantages of Strategic Option 2B ............................................................ 47

Figures

Figure 1: Overview Participating Countries in the UEFA Futsal Cup ...................................................... 15


– Changes from 2001/02 to 2004/05
Figure 2: Registered Futsal Players in Portugal 1986-2004....................................................................... 18
Figure 3: The life cycle of tourism-related sports disciplines: .................................................................. 21
fewer conventional skiers, a growing number of snowboarders
Figure 4: The life cycle of football in Germany - DFB members since 1950............................................ 22
Figure 5: Life Cycle Phases of Sports at the Example of Futsal................................................................ 23
Figure 6: SWOT Analysis – Futsal in Europe ........................................................................................... 25
Figure 7: Strategic Group Map of Selected Major Sports.......................................................................... 32
Figure 8: Porter’s Industry Structure Analysis for UEFA Futsal Competitions in Europe........................ 34
Figure 9: Boston Consulting Group Matrix: Industry Attractiveness ....................................................... 37
Vs. Competitive Strength Matrix
Figure 10: Strategy-Structure Relationship................................................................................................ 49
Figure 11: Parties involved in the development of Futsal in Europe ......................................................... 50
Figure 12: Methodology for assessing new emerging sports and find ways to develop the sports further 55

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“Futsal guarantees spectacle and emotion and this sport
is the best kind of entertainment. Its development potential
is enormous. More and more people are discovering
Futsal and are completely captivated by it.”
Victor Beceiro, ex-FIFA Futsal Manager, in FIFA Magazine June 2000

“The future is very bright because Futsal has a lot of


things to offer to spectators, to the media and to sponsors.
It is a very attractive game, featuring lots of goals, skilful
and technical play and brilliant combinations.”
Petr Fousek, Chairman UEFA Futsal committee, 2003 on uefa.com

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1. Introduction
“Futsal??? What is Futsal???” This was the first reaction from many people when they heard about this research
project. Only when the sport was explained as “indoor football” or “five-a-side” football, people started to
understand the topic better. This was a first indication that those involved with Futsal still have a lot of work to do
to establish Futsal as one of the major sports and that there was a need for a promotional strategy for Futsal in
Europe.

So what exactly is “Futsal” then?


The term is an abbreviation of the Portuguese "futebol de salão" or the Spanish "fútbol sala", both of which mean
"indoor football". Futsal is basically a scaled down version of conventional football and is played by two teams of
five players each, including a goalkeeper on each side. It is played on basketball/handball-sized courts, on a variety
of surfaces both indoors and outdoors. The game does not require the use of expensive dasher boards, but has
instead the normal touchline boundaries with no walls. The ball is a smaller size (size 3 or 4), heavier and has a
dampened bounce (Burns 2003). The following table shows the main differences in the rules between Futsal and
Football:

Table 1: Differences between Football and Futsal


Football Futsal
Ball circumference 68-70 cm Ball circumference 62-68 cm
11 players 5 players
3 substitutions Unlimited “flying” substitutions
Throw-in Kick-in
Main referee & 2 assistants (linesmen) Main referee & assistant referee
Running clock operated by referee Stopped clock operated by timekeeper
45-minute halves 20-minute halves
No time-outs 1 time-out per half
Goal kicks Goalkeeper throws ball into play
No absolute time limit to restart game 4-second rule on restarts
Offside rule No offside rule
(Goalkeeper) 6 second rule on restarts 4-second rule to put ball back into play
Unlimited fouling 5 foul limit, no wall after 5 fouls
No substitution for player sent off Player sent off can be substituted after 2 minutes or after
opponent scores
Corner kick in area Corner kick on corner
Unlimited playback to goalkeeper’s feet One play back to goalkeeper’s feet
Some contact, side tackling allowed No shoulder charge or side tackle. Non contact slides
allowed
Source: holisticsoccer.com

History of Futsal
Futsal was invented in 1930 by the Argentinean coach Juan Carlos Ceriani. Fed up by rain interrupting the practice
sessions, he developed a game which, although it had lots in common with football, also drew on aspects of
basketball (the number of players, tactics, and positions), handball (the pitch size) and even water polo
(goalkeeper’s rule). As ‘futebol de salao’, the game soon spread throughout South America, with Brazil giving
futebol de salao its first local league, a new set of rules and a governing body (UEFA 2003).

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According to Burns (2003), in 1954, all the States of Brazil agreed to common rules and in 1974, the international
body FIFUSA (Federação Internationale de Futbebol de Salão) was established in São Paolo with its first president
being João Havelange, later president of FIFA. The first Futbebol de Salão international competition was held in
1965 when Paraguay won the first South American cup. Up to 1979, six more South American cups were held with
Brazil winning all of them. The first World Championship conducted under the auspices of FIFUSA was held in
São Paolo, Brazil, in 1982 with Brazil finishing yet again first. The Brazilians were champions again in the 2nd
World Championship in 1985 in Spain, but lost to Paraguay in 1988 in Australia.

In 1989 most of the countries were integrated into FIFA, agreeing to combine all the variations of the small-sided
football. FIFA split with FIFUSA, introduced a new set of rules and came up with a version of indoor football
superior to the FIFUSA one.

The 1st FIFA World Championship took place in Holland in 1989 and the 2nd in 1992 in Hong Kong, Brazil
winning both times. The 3rd FIFA World Championship was played 1996 in Spain and was won again by Brazil.
The 4th FIFA World Championship took place in 2000 in Guatemala with the Spaniards being the winners for the
first time. The 5th FIFA World Championship will be held in Taiwan in November 2004.

Today, Futsal is considered the most rapid growing indoor sport in the world. Around 30 million people of both
sexes play Futsal in over 100 countries. (Burns 2003)

Futsal in Europe
In Europe, the sport is still relatively young. The first European Futsal Championship was held in January 1996 and
won by the hosts, Spain. In 2002, the first European club competition, the UEFA Futsal Cup, was won by the
Spanish club Playa’s de Castillion with 27 clubs entering this event (UEFA 2003). So far, there are professional
leagues in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Belgium and Russia. The strongest league is in Spain with 16 teams in the first
league and players earning up to EUR 10 000 per months. However, Futsal is almost unknown in some countries,
the most important of which being the UK, France and Germany.

This paper will explore strategies in order to make Futsal attractive throughout Europe and further its development
and growth. The first part of this paper will analyse the current situation of Futsal as a sport in Europe, using some
of the major strategic analysis tools such as SWOT analysis and strategic group mapping. In the second part, the
actual UEFA Futsal competitions and their competitive position will be analysed. The third part of this paper will
then explore possible strategies and select and propose the most suited strategy. Finally, internal and external
organisational structures will be discussed to implement the selected strategy.

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2. Problematic and Issues

“Futsal is a relatively young sport in Europe, but millions across the continent enjoy playing and watching
the five-a-side game: This European Futsal Championship [2003 in Italy] attracted a record entry, and the
qualifying matches showed the game is getting more competitive than ever. And in the past year, new
leagues have been set up in Finland, Moldavia, Switzerland and Greece. Other countries such as Germany
and England are discussing how to promote the game, and UEFA will keep working with national
associations to help the game grow.”
Lennart Johannsson, UEFA President, in UEFA Futsal Championships 2003 Official Programme

This quote from Lennart Johansson, UEFA President, shows best the issue of Futsal in Europe today. It has been
hugely popular in some countries like Spain and Italy, but is widely underdeveloped in other important football
countries like the UK and Germany.
This paper therefore aims to:
• analyse the current situation of Futsal in Europe
• construct a strategy to help develop Futsal in all parts of Europe
• position Futsal in a complimentary way to Football and to differentiate it from other indoor sports such as
basketball and volleyball.
• discuss UEFA’s role and suggest an organizational structure for the promotion of Futsal
• help establish Futsal as a major indoor sport

“The European Futsal Championship promises to be a great competition but we realise a lot still needs to
be done to increase the popularity of the game – such as some hard work on the promotional side of
Futsal”
Petr Fousek, Chairman UEFA Futsal Committee, 2004 on uefa.com

In addition, Petr Fousek highlights here the need for a promotional strategy to market the game in a way that will
attract new spectators and participants to the game. Therefore a positioning strategy will also be proposed to build
an even more attractive image of the sport.

Based on the analysis done at the example of Futsal, a methodology will be developed, which can be used to assess
an emerging new sport and find ways to develop the sport further. The goal is to provide a framework which can be
used by other new emerging sports as well.

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3. Goals and Scope
The aim of this paper is to help promote Futsal in Europe and to establish Futsal as one of the major indoor sports
by going through a systematic analytical approach. In that way it aims to provide a methodology for conducting a
sound strategic situation analysis, for making strategy recommendation, and for suggesting a suitable organisational
structure, which then can be used for other new emerging sports.

However, the specific results of this study (the conclusion to be drawn and the recommendation to be made) and
strategies analysed are not generic and have to be seen in the European Futsal context. Equally, the strategy
recommendation is specifically made for UEFA and takes the European view. The strategies are not aimed for
individual countries, as specific country issues might apply.

Limitations

Financial constraints
The research budget is not sufficiently large enough to hire interviewers and researchers. Therefore the study is
limited to the efforts of one researcher and a limited number of interviews.

Time
The study has been conducted over a period of three months (June, July, and August 2004). This time period
unfortunately did not include any major Futsal events like the FIFA Futsal World Cup (November 2004) or the
UEFA European Futsal Championships (February 2005), which could have provided excellent occasions for further
research. Additionally, political and financial conditions analysed in the period might change due to some
unpredictable events and might have a significant effect on the validity of the results of the study.

Geographic boundaries
The study focuses on Futsal in Europe. It does not include Futsal outside Europe and does not specifically explore
situations in individual countries.

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4. Research Methodology

Research has been conducted in the form of:

Literature review
The literature that has been reviewed can be roughly divided into three groups:
1. Literature related specifically to Futsal
As Futsal is a relatively new sport in Europe, this type of literature was the most difficult to find. The literature
was mainly sourced from UEFA and FIFA in forms of articles in their respective magazines or publications in
relation to their respective Futsal competitions. Also website articles from Futsal specific website such as
futsalplanet.com have proved to be useful.
2. Literature related to other new sports and the promotion of new leagues
A special emphasis was put on the new trend sports Beach Volleyball and Snowboarding. However, also
articles related to the promotion of professional North American sport leagues have been consulted.
3. Literature related to management theory
A range of literature related to strategic management, new product development, strategic marketing and
organizational structure has been reviewed.

Experience Surveys:
Individuals who have specific knowledge and experience in the study field have been interviewed informally to gain
knowledge of the specific issues related to Futsal and to gain a better understanding of the current situation of
Futsal. In particular interviews have been conducted with the following experts, either in person, by telephone or by
email:

• Laurent Morel, Futsal Manager, UEFA Football Development Division

• Victor Beceiro, Ex-FIFA Futsal Manager (1999 - April 2004)

• Pedro Dias, Specialist of Futsal in Portugal, Assessor FISU (International Federation of University Sports)

• Alberto Pastor, Promoter and Director of Sports, Swiss Futsal Association

• Sabrina Ben Salah, Director of Youth-related Organisation, Swiss Futsal Association

• Thomas Gerstner, Editor www.futsal.de and one of the Pioneers of Futsal in Germany

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5. Strategic Analysis of Futsal in Europe

“Analysis is the critical starting point of strategic thinking”


Kenichi Ohmae

The first main part of this paper focuses on the sport Futsal and tries to understand where the sport stands in Europe
as a whole. It will explore its market size in terms of active participation, spectators, sponsorship and TV audience;
where Futsal and Football are in the life cycle; what the strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of Futsal
are; what the trends in the sport industry with regards to new emerging sports are; and what the positioning of Futsal
is compared to other sports.

5.1 What are the sport’s dominant economic features?

5.1.1 Market Size in Europe


In order to give a reasonable overview over the market for Futsal in Europe, the following variables have been
examined: active participation, spectators, sponsorships and TV audience.

Active Participation
It is extremely difficult to find reliable figures for active Futsal participation in Europe. According to UEFA’s
publication “First division clubs 2003/04”, there are about 500 000 registered Futsal players in Europe, the biggest
countries being Netherlands (75 000), Italy (70 000), Croatia (60 000), Spain (50 000), Russia (40 000) and Czech
Republic (30 000). In contrast, other sources (Italian Olympic Committee, UEFA 2003) speak of around 4 million
Futsal players in Italy alone which also includes all social Futsal players. Although these figures are only estimates,
they give nevertheless a good indication of the popularity of Futsal. The following table puts the number of
registered Futsal players into perspective by comparing them to other sports.

Table 2: Registered Players of Selected Sports in Europe


Sport Registered Participants in Europe Estimated Total Participants World
(rounded figures) Wide (rounded figures)
Futsal 500 000 (Source: UEFA 2003) 30 000 000 (Burns 2004)
Football 8 800 000 (Source: FIFA, 05/2001) 250 000 000 (FIFA 05/2001)
Ice Hockey 400 000 (Source: IIHF, 2002) 1 600 000 (registered, IIHF 2002)
Beach Volleyball not available 3 000 000 (registered, CEV 2004)

As can be seen from the table, the Futsal number represents only 1/20 of registered Football players, but is already
on a similar level to registered Ice Hockey players in Europe, which is a significant size and shows that the sport
should be taken seriously as an emerging major sport.

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On a world-wide basis, the growth in Futsal, measured by countries participating in the FIFA Futsal World Cup, has
been spectacular. The following table shows the increase in participation from original 16 countries to 96 countries
in 2004.

Table 3: Countries Participating in FIFA Futsal World Cups


Year World Cup Hosts Participating Countries

1989 Holland 16
1992 Hong Kong 27
1996 Spain 46
2000 Guatemala 64
2004 Taiwan 96
Source: FIFA

For Europe, the following maps show the countries that have participated in the UEFA Futsal Cup in 2001/02
compared to those that participate in the 2004/2005 season. There has been an increase of 6 participating countries
from originally 27 to now 33 countries (out of 52 UEFA member associations). Most notably England, which is
one of the major football nations in Europe, has been able to send its national champion since 2003. However,
major football countries like Germany and France were still not able to hold a national championship and participate
at the UEFA Futsal Cup.

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Figure 1: Overview participating countries in the UEFA Futsal Cup – Changes from 2001/02 to 2004/05

Map of the
participants to the
qualifying rounds ISL

- 1st Futsal Cup FIN


2001/2002 (27)
FAR

Green = Associations NOR


registered SWE
SCO
Red = Associations not EST

NIR
registered DEN
LAT
IRL
LIT
KZK
WAL ENG
BLS
NL RUS
POL
BEL GER
LUX
CZE UKR

FRA
FRA SVK
LIE
SUI AUT MOL
HUN
SLO
CRO ROM
ITA
AND BHZ GEO
POR AND
ESP SMR SMN
ARM
BUL
AZE
MKD
ALB TUR
GRE

MLT CYP

ISR

Map of the
participants to the
qualifying rounds
– 4th Futsal Cup
2004/2005 (33)
ISL

FIN

Green = Associations
registered FAR

Red = Associations not NOR


registered SWE
SCO
EST

NIR
LAT
DEN
IRL
LIT
KZK
WAL ENG
BLS
NL RUS
POL
BEL GER
LUX
CZE UKR

FRA
FRA SVK
LIE
SUI AUT MOL
HUN
SLO
CRO ROM
ITA
AND
POR AND BHZ GEO
ESP SMR SMN
ARM
BUL
AZE
MKD
ALB TUR
GRE

MLT CYP

ISR

Source: UEFA

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Spectators
At the top Futsal competitions, namely FIFA Futsal World Cup, UEFA European Futsal Championships and UEFA
Futsal Cup, attendances vary generally between several hundreds to a few thousand spectators. The total and
average spectator figures are shown in the following table. On average, the entrance prices for these top
competitions vary between EUR 2 and EUR 10.

Table 4: Spectators at UEFA and FIFA competitions


Competition Total spectators Matches Average/Match % of Capacity
(incl. qualification)
UEFA Futsal Cup 36 500 48 629 11.87
2001/02
UEFA Futsal Cup 52 500 47 1 117 58.72
2002/03
UEFA Futsal Cup 37 820 48 788 15.19
2003/04

UEFA European Futsal 72 970 44 1 658 30.65


Championships 1998/99
UEFA European Futsal 71 170 48 1 483 33.75
Championships 2000/01
UEFA European Futsal 60 095 57 1 054 37.58
Championships 2002/03

FIFA Futsal World 65 400 39 1 677 26.10


Championships 1996
FIFA Futsal World 94 179 39 2 415 72.44
Championships 2000
Source: UEFA 2004

Sponsors
The estimated total sponsorship spending in the sport industry in Europe in 2002 amounted to about 7bn US$.
(Source: IEG Sponsorship report, vol. 20, no 24 24.12.2001).
In the European Futsal competition, there are currently three sponsors involved: Ford, Eurosport and Adidas.
However, the sponsorship contracts are part of a package deal including other competitions like the football U21
and U19 European Championships and women competitions. Therefore it is not possible to attribute a certain
amount or value from these sponsorships specifically to Futsal.
In many national leagues like Switzerland, the main sponsors are the Futsal ball producers, namely the Brazilian
brand Dalponte® and Futsal®. (Interestingly, the latter brand has registered the name Futsal as a protected brand
name in the early 80’s. So far, this has not been an issue, but it will need to be resolved at some stage in the future.)

TV Audience
In Europe the sport market, measured by revenues from television rights is worth about US$ 5bn, 72% of which are
accounted for by conventional Football, including the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions League and the national
leagues. (Source: McKinsey Quarterly June 2004)
For the UEFA Futsal European Championships competition, there is an exclusive contract agreement with
Eurosport. Again this is part of a package deal including youth and women competitions, so it is impossible to
attribute a certain figure to the value of TV rights for UEFA Futsal competitions. However, under the contract,
Eurosport was obliged to show all 15 games of the UEFA European Championships 2003 in full length, which was

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excellent promotion for the sport. During the UEFA European Futsal Championships 2003 in Italy, about 10 million
TV spectators watched the 15 matches live on Eurosport.

Table 5: TV audiences for UEFA Futsal European Championships 2003 in Italy on Eurosport
Match Live/Delayed Date Time Audience

BEL-UKR Live 17/02/2003 16:30 682 000


CZE – RUS Live 17/02/2003 18:00 758 000
ESP – POR Live 17/02/2003 19:30 582 000
ITA - SLO Live 17/02/2003 21:00 762 000
ESP – BEL Live 18/02/2003 16:30 1 031 000
SLO – RUS Live 18/02/2003 18:00 753 000
POR – UKR Live 18/02/2003 19:30 693 000
ITA – CZE Live 18/02/2003 21:00 542 000
UKR – ESP Live 20/02/2003 18:30 605 000
RUS – ITA Live 20/02/2003 21:00 414 000
SLO – CZE Delayed 20/02/2003 0:15 354 000
SF: ITA - ESP Live 22/02/2003 19:45 943 000
SF: UKR – CZE Live 22/02/2003 21:45 695 000
Final: ITA – UKR Live 24/02/2003 20:15 714 000
Total Audience 9 528 000
Average Audience 680 000
Source: UEFA

On a national basis, there is not yet a market for Futsal TV rights. The organisers are still more than happy about
any Futsal TV coverage to promote the sport and the sponsors.

The above gives a general overview of where Futsal is today in Europe as a whole. However, there are significant
regional differences. As a means of example and to highlight regional differences, a brief overview over the Futsal
markets of three countries will be given: A country that has a strong Futsal tradition (Portugal), a country that is
about to start a National Futsal League (Switzerland) and a country where Futsal is still in the early phases of
development (Germany).

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Portugal
Active participation
In Portugal, Futsal has shown an explosive growth in the last few years. The following figure shows the growth
curve of the officially with the Portuguese Football Association registered players. The officially registered players
only represent the ‘tip of the iceberg’ in terms of mass participation, however, the development gives a good
indication of the growth of Futsal in Portugal.

Figure 2: Registered Futsal Players in Portugal 1986-2004

30000

25000

20000

15000

10000

5000

0
86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04

Source: Portuguese Football Association

Futsal has also been implemented in schools and universities as part of the curriculum. Since 2000/2001, Futsal was
officially included in the program of the secondary and high school curriculum and at University level, there are
currently three higher education institutions (UTAD University, Maia Higher Institute-ISMAI, Lusófona
University) with a specialization in Futsal within the Physical Education (PE) degree.

Spectators
Although there are no official spectators statistics from the Portuguese Football Association it is estimated that there
are on average around 450 spectators for the first division matches. For some big matches there can be occasionally
more than 5 000 spectators. The average ticket prices vary form EUR 3 to EUR 10.

Sponsors
The Portuguese Football Association has no specific sponsors for Futsal. However, each club has its own season
sponsors and normally arranges some additional sponsors for live broadcasted matches.

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TV Audience
Although the interest of TV stations has increased significantly since 1998, the stations do not have to pay for
broadcasting rights yet.

Table 6: Number of Live Futsal Matches shown on Portuguese TV


TV Channel 99/00 00/01 01/02 02/03 03/04

Sport TV (cable) 26 18 9 13
RTP1 (public) 5 4
RTP2 (public) 7 8 16
NTV (cable) 9
TVI (private)
TOTAL 26 25 22 42 30-35(*)
(*) estimate
Source: Portuguese Football Association

Marketing rights belong to the Portuguese FA but currently the rights are passed on to the clubs free of charge.
Sometimes, clubs manage to enter into special agreements with TV stations to broadcast matches, where clubs take
the responsibility for production costs (around EUR 6 000 per match). In return, clubs will generate higher income
through sponsorship revenues.

Switzerland
Active Participation
There are currently 48 Futsal teams and roughly 1000 players in Switzerland. Some of the major teams, such as FC
Basel, Grasshoppers Zürich and FC Zürich will participate in the new Swiss Football League. The first national
league will start November 2004, with four teams playing in four regional groups. Each group shares one venue, an
indoor sport centre hired by Swiss Futsal League, where all matches will be played.

Spectators
The venues have capacities from normally 50 to 200. For the big matches towards the end of the seasons, some
arenas with capacities of up to 2000 will be used. However, no entrance fees will be charged for the games.

Sponsors
Dalponte, the Brazilian Futsal ball producer is currently the only major sponsor. The budget for the first season is
around CHF 350 000, which is aimed to be covered by sponsors but will probably make a deficit in the first years.
As it was still not clear if Swiss Futsal will be integrated into the Swiss Football Association, further sponsorship
talks have been put on hold to avoid conflicts with SFA’s own sponsors.

TV Audience
There have been some talks with Swiss television about the broadcast of Swiss Futsal matches. TSI, the Italian arm
of Swiss TV, has expressed some interest in live broadcast of the big matches and the national cup final. However,
there is currently no commercial market for TV rights in Switzerland.

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Germany
Active participation
Futsal is still are very young sport in Germany. The game has only been introduced in 2000 on a private basis. The
number of Futsal players in Germany is therefore difficult to estimate as there are no officially registered players
and the league system is not established on a country-wide basis. Although Futsal is played in most parts of the
country, it is done mostly in terms of a social leisure activity without official leagues. Futsal is not yet officially
backed by the German Football Association (DFB).

Spectators
Spectators of matches are normally limited to friends and family of players, sometimes some local press
representatives. No entrance fees are charged.

TV Audiences
FIFA World Cups and UEFA European Championships can be watched on Eurosport or DSF, however, no national
or regional matches are currently shown on German TV.

Sponsors
There are currently no major sponsors involved in Futsal in Germany.

As can be seen from the above, the regional differences in the phases of development of Futsal in Europe are large.
However, the large differences also show that there is still a huge growth potential in some European countries.

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5.1.2 Market growth rate and where the industry is in the growth cycle
It has been argued that all sports are going through a life cycle type of development (Keller 1998). Life cycle curves
are usually portrayed to be S-shaped, and break down into four segments: introduction, growth, maturity and
decline. In the introduction phase, both the growth rate and the size of the market are low, thus making it
unattractive for most prospective participants who would rather wait on the sidelines for a period of time. When
markets grow, they become more attractive. At the maturity phase, the assessment is unclear – while the growth rate
is low, the market size could be at its peak. Finally, the decline phase usually is so unattractive that most parties
involved flee the category (Lehman et al 1994). Professor Keller (1998) argues that there has been a life cycle type
of development in snow sports. While skiing has been growing strongly in the 1960`s, it has reached its maturity in
the 80`s and started a decline in the 90`s. It was then that snowboarding grew strongly and rejuvenated the
popularity of snow sports. Keller argues that if you want to retain the popularity of a sport, you have to rejuvenate it
to attract new customers.

“Sports disciplines, like tourism products, have an ever shorter life cycle. Appropriate innovation
management is therefore necessary for adapting the supply to new market requirements.”
Professor Peter Keller, HEC Lausanne

The following graph shows the life cycle of snow sports according to Keller.

Figure 3: The life cycle of tourism-related sports disciplines: fewer conventional skiers, a growing number of
snowboarders
Sports requiring ski slopes

Participants in
millions

70 Snowboarders
“Carving”
Skiers

35

Time

1960 1990 2000

Source: P. Keller, WTO, 1st Congress on Snow and Winter Sports, Andorra 1998

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So assuming the above holds true, the question is, does Football go through a life cycle type of development? And
could Futsal rejuvenate the football related sports?

As there is no available data for European membership developments since 1950, the following figure shows the
development of members in the German Football Association (DFB), Europe’s largest football association, since
1950.

Figure 4: The life cycle of football in Germany - DFB Members since 1950

? Futsal
7000000

Football
6000000

?
5000000
Football
without
4000000
East
Germany
3000000

2000000

1000000

0
1950 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2004

Source of data: DFB

As can be seen in this graph, there has been strong growth of memberships in the 70’s from just over 2 million to
just over 4 million, however, this growth has slowed considerably in the 80’s. In the 90’s there was a slight recovery
of the growth due to the inclusion of Eastern German players in the statistic. From the year 2000, the curve has
flattened again. Overall a life cycle type of development can indeed be observed in Football, where Football seems
to be in the maturity phase, which becomes even more apparent when looking at a possible development without the
Eastern part of Germany, as shown by the lower dotted line.

Considering the strong growth that Futsal has shown in the last 10-20 years, even if no exact quantitative figures are
available, it can be assumed that Futsal indeed has the potential to rejuvenate the football related sports in terms of
memberships.

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However, Futsal and all other new sports themselves are going through a life cycle type of development as well. It
will here be suggested that the life cycle of a sport could be roughly divided into 6 growth phases: ‘Introduction’,
‘Local Spread’, ‘Regional Spread’, ‘Global Spread’, ‘Olympic Sport’ and ‘Major Established Sport’ phase. Each of
these phases could be the final growth phase depending on the sport and could already be followed by the decline of
the sport.

Figure 5: Life Cycle Phases of Sports at the Example of Futsal

Participation

1989 - ????
FIFA takes on
Futsal; growth
from 16 to 96
countries
1996 First
UEFA
Championships
1974 - 1989
First
International
Futsal
Association
(FIFUSA)
16 Countries
mainly from
South America
1954 – 1974
First Futsal
1930 – 1954 Association in
Futsal Brazil
introduced in
Brazil

Time
Introduction Local Spread Regional Global Olympic Major
Spread Spread Sport Established
Sport

Introduction Phase
In the ‘Introduction’ phase, the sport is invented and introduced on a local basis. In the case of Futsal, the Argentine
football coach Juan Carlos Ceriani devised the first rules for an indoor five-a-side game in 1930. However the game
then spread to Brazil, where it gained real popularity. Examples of sports that are currently in the ‘Introduction’
phase are beach tennis and retro-running.

Local Spread Phase


In this phase, the sport gets a formal structure and a local governing body and becomes a popular sport in the home
country. In 1954, all the States of Brazil agreed to common rules and introduced its first local leagues. Examples of
sports that are currently in a ‘Local Spread’ phase are Gallic sports or Suomi wrestling.

Regional Spread Phase


In the ‘Regional Spread’ phase, the sport establishes its first international regulatory body and spreads to some other
countries, often on the same continent.

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In 1974, the international body FIFUSA (Federação Internationale de Futbebol de Salão) was established in São
Paolo. The first Futbebol de Salão international competition was held in 1965 when Paraguay won the first South
American cup. Up to 1979, six more South American cups were held with Brazil winning all of them. The first
World Championship conducted under the auspices of FIFUSA was held in São Paolo, Brazil, in 1982. Examples
of sports that are currently in the ‘Regional Spread’ phase are American Football and Cricket.

Global Spread Phase


In the ‘Global Spread’ phase the sport is often taken over by one of the major regulatory bodies and accelerates the
spread on a truly global basis, due to the professional world-wide structures and resources.
In 1989 most of the countries were integrated into FIFA, agreeing to combine all the variations of the small-sided
football. FIFA split with FIFUSA and introduced a new set of rules in order to make the game more attractive. The
first FIFA World Cup was held in 1989 with 16 countries participating. This number grew over the years to 96
participating countries at the FIFA World Cup 2004. In 1996 the first European Championships were held and in
2002, the first European Club Championships, with 33 countries out of 52 UEFA member associations
participating. The game also grows popular in other part of the world such as in the US and Japan. Futsal is
currently in the ‘Global Spread’ phase and should be aiming to take the next step of becoming an Olympic sport.
Other sports that are in this phase of spreading globally but are not yet in the Olympics are for example Rugby and
Waterskiing.

Olympic Sport
Here, the sport passes all criteria of the IOC and is voted to become an Olympic sport. The inclusion of a sport into
the Olympics usually gives a sport a major boost as the sport is followed by a world-wide audience. Beach
Volleyball and Snowboarding are both examples of sports that have recently joined the Olympics and have
experienced a major boost through being exposed to a world audience.

Major Established Sport


Finally, after the sport has participated in a number of Olympics, it might achieve the status of a major established
sport. Examples of major sports that have participated already at a number of Olympics are football, tennis,
volleyball and basketball. However, it can be argued that some of the major established sports are already entering
into the decline phase, skiing being a possible example.

In summary, Futsal is currently in the fourth of six possible growth phases and should focus strategically on taking
the next step of becoming an Olympic sport.

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5.2 SWOT Analysis – Futsal in Europe
The SWOT analysis explores the strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of Futsal in Europe today. It will
provide further insight where the sport stands at the moment.

Figure 6: SWOT Analysis – Futsal in Europe

Strengths Weaknesses

• Faster and more goals than football • Relatively young competition


• Very technical and tactical • Rules are not well established on amateur
• Uses existing infrastructure level
• Needs less space than 11-a-side football • Not yet established in some major
• Can be played in all climates European countries
• Produced well known football stars • Futsal stars and top teams are not well
• Ideal youth development tool known
• Regional strongholds in Europe • Image problems in some countries
• High growth rate across Europe

Opportunities Threats

• Still large growth potential in Europe • Some national football association not
• Inclusion in Olympic Games supporting Futsal
• Interest national broadcasters • Best players change to football for
• Make Futsal indoor fan spectacle similar to financial reasons
NHL or NBA • Perception in public of ‘too much football’
• High competition for indoor venues
• High competition from other indoor team
sports for spectators

Strengths
Futsal is generally considered to be a much faster game, in which a lot more goals are scored than football. At the
last UEFA European Futsal Championships 2003, 77 goals were scored in 15 games (average 5.13), compared to 76
goals in 31 games of the EURO 2004 in Portugal (average: 2.45). It is also considered to be a very technical game,
as there is a lot less space to dribble, pass and shoot than on the normal field and thus requires greater skills.

Futsal uses existing infrastructure and can be played in most indoor centres on the handball or basketball fields.
Most cities in Europe have already the required facilities in place. Also, it has been described as ideal for big
overcrowded cities as it requires less space to play a Futsal match. This at least partly explains why it grew so
popular in Brazil in the overcrowded cities of Rio and Sao Paolo. (UEFA 2003). Also, as it is also played indoors, it
can be played in countries with harsh, cold climates, which partly explains the popularity of the sport in Russia and
Ukraine (Swiss Futsal League Magazine 1/2003).

Futsal has over the years produced some of the greatest talent of Brazilian football: Pelè, Zico, Romario and
Ronaldo to name a few, have all played Futsal in their youth. Some experts see Futsal as an ideal youth
development tool. Technique and ball skills improve through repetition and in the five-a-side game; children get to
touch the ball much more often. Also, the speed of making decision is greatly improved, as ten players constantly
change position on the smaller field, which requires to make decisions even before getting the ball (Swiss Futsal
League Magazine 1/2003).

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Another strength of Futsal is that the sport already has regional strongholds in Europe. In Spain, more people play
Futsal than the outdoor game, Russia (European Champions 1999) and Ukraine (European Finalist 2003) achieved
remarkable results in the past and in Italy, Futsal players now outnumber footballers by a ratio four to one (UEFA
2003). These regional strongholds should help to develop the Futsal competitions in other European countries as
they can be used as reference points, where valuable experience can be transferred.

Weaknesses
Futsal in Europe is a relatively young sport. UEFA has taken Futsal in its programme only in 1996, but it was
played in some countries (Spain, Italy and others) in the 1960’s. However, it is not very well known in some regions
of Europe (Germany, UK and others) and is still at an early phase of development. As one of the consequences, the
rules of the games are not consistent and not fully understood on the amateur level. There are hundreds of small
variations as all kind of forms of indoor and five-a-side football are played.

Finally, most sports live from heroes and stars. In Futsal, the main players and main clubs are not very well known,
which makes it more difficult to promote them. Futsal would be much further today if stars such as Romario, Pele,
Ronaldo and others would still be playing the game. Also, it has been mentioned that the image of the sport could be
better in some countries:

“In some parts of Europe, Futsal does not have the best image: It is often played in dark, cold, run-down
sport halls.”
Laurent Morel, UEFA Football Development Division

The image aspects will be discussed in more detail in a later chapter.

Opportunities
Certainly the main opportunity is the further growth potential throughout Europe, as some countries are still
undeveloped Futsal terrain. The largest football association in the world, the German DFB has not yet officially
included Futsal in its program. Given that in both Italy and Spain Futsal players outnumber football players, one can
only image the vast potential in this country alone.

Another opportunity is the inclusion of Futsal in the Olympic program as discussed earlier. Olympic Games are an
ideal vehicle for the promotion of smaller sport and their competitions, as this is often the only time that they are
shown on National TV. Including Futsal in the Olympic Games alongside Basketball and Volleyball would be the
logically next step and would certainly give Futsal a further big boost.

Currently the major UEFA Futsal competitions are transmitted on Eurosport. Although this is already a good trans-
European coverage, Eurosport does not reach all the consumers in Europe. A higher penetration could be reached
by winning over the national broadcasters via the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). This is certainly a major
challenge and will take some time to achieve.

Finally, there is a great opportunity to make Futsal competitions a similar indoor fan spectacle to the NBA or the
NHL. Indoor arenas usually have a very good acoustic due to the closed roof. Also, fans tend to be closer to the
field and can provide a special atmosphere. One major challenge is to fill up the Futsal arenas and make the sport a

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spectator experience similar to Ice Hockey, where many fans attend less because they really love the sport but
because they enjoy the special stadium atmosphere. This point will be discussed further in a later chapter.

Threats
A major threat to Futsal is the non-acceptance of Futsal from some of the national football federations. More and
more national football federations have supported Futsal in the last few years, however, there are still a few country
(for example Germany), where the national football association hesitate to embrace the new sport and develop it.
Although Futsal can develop without the support of the national federation, it is certainly a lot more difficult if
football associations perceive Futsal as a threat.

Sooner or later Futsal also need to keep their greatest stars. In the past, numerous players like Ronaldo, Zico and
Romario have changed to football, as it is financially more interesting. If Futsal continues to loose their best stars, it
will be difficult to bring Futsal to the next step of professionalism, as major sports need big names as spectator
magnets.

In the last decade there has been a certain perception in the public that there is already too much football on TV.
Most games from FIFA World Cup, UEFA EURO, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup and all the national
leagues and cups are transmitted live on TV. As a consequence other minor sports have suffered and are shown less.
Futsal, as a form of football has to fight against this perception when entering the TV market. As a consequence and
if not positioned in a differentiated way, an increase in the amount of Futsal being shown on TV might lead to a
decrease of other football shown on TV.

On a more local level, one of the major threats to Futsal is the competition for indoor venues from other indoor
sports. Handball, Basketball, Volleyball and others all compete for the same indoor facilities, which are very often
already fully booked. An increase of Futsal time in these venues would lead often to a decrease in venue usage of
other sports.

“The key to Futsal’s progress are competition from other sports and the availability of sport halls”
Petr Fousek, Chairman UEFA Futsal Committee, uefa.com

In addition, as discussed earlier, these other indoor team sports are also direct competitors when it comes to
attracting spectators to the arenas. Going forward, one can expect a fierce competitive battle between these sports.

Finally, a threat is the overlap between Football and Futsal schedules. Futsal currently is played in most countries
between November and March in every year. However, football is played from August to May of each year, with
only a short winter break in December and January. If the schedule is not adapted to make the two sports more
complimentary, Football and Futsal will at some stage have to compete directly for venue spectators, TV rights and
sponsors.

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5.3 What are the drivers of change/trends in the sport industry and what impact will they
have?

So what are the drivers of change or the trends that influence the emergence of a new sport? In the recent decades
there have been two fast growing new sports that have become enormously popular: Snowboarding and Beach
Volleyball. What made these sports so popular and what was different to the existing main stream sports Skiing and
Volleyball?

Snowboarding
Looking at the case of snowboarding, the fastest growing alpine sport, Rebecca Heino (2000) claims that
snowboarding was born in youthful resistance to the popular sport of skiing and the values of sport it represents.
The difference between skiing and snowboarding being not so much that of technique but that of culture: the
resistance to the dominant ski culture. Snowboarding began for different reason than did skiing. It was not
developed for practical or competitive reasons.

“There is an incredible feeling that you get when you ride your snowboard when you learn and when you
excel. Everybody gets this feeling, whatever level you are at. Then there is this feeling of being in the
mountains – every time I strap that board to my feet, the same buzz is there, even after all these years.”
Nick Perata, one of the pioneers of snowboarding 1996

It seems that snowboarding addressed a need for excitement, fun and freedom. In addition, snowboarding was new
and different, a way for youth to differentiate themselves from their parents’ practice. Instead of aligning
themselves with the dominant ski culture, they presented their cultural roots in surfing, skateboarding and the
“gangsta” (Anderson 1999). Snowboarders clashed with skiers in style of dress and body presentation, equipment
and language.

However, the rebellious image of snowboarding has been more and more eroded over time due to the increasing
maturity and commercialisation of the sport. Nick Perata predicted in the book “Snowboarding” (Gibbins 1996) that
the baggy clothes and the ‘grunge’ appearance that have become an image statement for snowboarding will fade
away as the sports matures and that the conflicts with skiing, which are already diminishing, will disappear as it
gains respect. Heino (2000) notes that the fairly non-competitive sport of snowboarding, with just the rider, his
board and the mountain, was transformed into high drama entertainment in the Winter X Games. The media affects
and controls the development of the new sport but in a more subtle way for different purposes. For media, the
purpose of control is for consumerism, to drive the market. Therefore, decisions about snowboarding are made to
make its mediated presentation more entertaining.

Beach Volleyball
Another example of a successful emerging sport is beach volleyball. Again, it seems that the culture around the
sport had a big influence on the development and growth of the sport.

Beach Volleyball had its origin in the 1920’s in Santa Monica in South California. Over the time, the players were
reduced from 6 to 2 players. The early stars of the game were motivated not by money but by status. As O’Hara, an

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early star of the game, puts it: “Even though there were no major crowds or money, being ‘king of the hill’ had real
status. Woman would die to date you, men fought to be your friend.” (Smith 1996)
Krohn (1994) argues that by the end of the 60’s, Beach Volleyball had (together with surfing) gained an image of
being the preferred leisure activity of “well-build life artists”. Krohn (1994) further notes that beach volleyball also
played with erotic: while in athletics and ice skating the dresses and jerseys become shorter and shorter, in beach
volleyball the bikini has always been part of the game. Beach Volleyball seems to symbolise a certain life style and
culture that one could describe with the popular slogan “life is a beach”.

“There is nothing better than being on the beach getting exercise and having fun. There is a certain
amount of freedom you experience while playing Beach Volleyball that is very hard to explain but once you
have played you will understand”
Sinjin Smith, President, FIVB Beach Volleyball Council, in “Beach Volleyball - Get involved”(1997)

The FIVB (1997) explains the success factors of Beach Volleyball as follows: “Beach Volleyball has all the virtues
of modern sports: fast game, permanent incertitude, high physical requirements, easy TV broadcasting, attraction for
promoters and sponsors. In a few words, a spectacular sport.”

In conclusion, an overriding theme or trend that seems to be evident in the success of both sports is that people are
looking for a fast, exciting, fun sport and which had a culture that appealed to younger people.

Futsal
The question now is whether Futsal also has these virtues and whether there is a specific culture in Futsal that is
different from that of football. And what role does this culture play in the popularity and development of the sport?
As there is no existing literature on the culture of Futsal, interviews with Futsal experts had to shed some light into
what exactly the ‘Futsal culture’ was.

A common theme when describing the Futsal virtues was expressed through adjectives such as “fast, exciting, very
technical” (Morel), “very attractive, skilful and technical” (Fousek), “highly technical, exciting action” (Gerstner),
“very dynamic, never static” (Pastor). So similar to FIVB’s description of beach volleyball, one could also speak in
the case of Futsal of a ‘spectacular sport with all the virtues of modern sport’.

However, there is also an interesting notion, which goes back to the origin of Futsal, that Futsal has taken over
certain elements of the Brazilian culture.

“Futsal has definitely a ‘Latin flavour’ to it. Its roots are in Brazil and the game is still associated with
Brazilian flags, Samba music and Caipirina”
Sabrina Ben Salah, Director of Youth-related organization, Swiss Futsal Association

In Switzerland for example, the game is enormously popular amongst Switzerland’s large Latin American
community. This ‘Latin flavour’ is congruent with an emerging trend of “Latino style popularity” in the youth
culture. All over Europe, Salsa and Latin dance schools are mushrooming, the latest fashion accessories are Brazil
T-shirts and Caipirina is a popular cocktail in most bars. This is also underlined by Bacardi’s hugely successful
advertising campaign with the slogan “There is Latin spirit in every one” (www.bacardibreezer.co.uk). This Latin

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culture appeal could partly explain why the game grew so popular in Spain, Portugal and Italy. It is possible that
some of the other European countries have missed this aspect of Futsal in promoting the game, which could have a
potentially huge appeal to the youth.

In summary, it can be said that like Snowboarding and Beach Volleyball, Futsal is a fast, exciting, fun sport and that
its culture has the potential to appeal to young people. How this culture can be used in the right way to promote the
sport will be explored in a later chapter.

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5.4 Which sports are in the strongest/weakest position?
One technique for revealing the competitive positions of industry participants is strategic group mapping. This
analytical tool is a bridge between looking at the industry as a whole and considering the standing of each sport
separately. The author has identified the following characteristics that are considered to differentiate sports best:
o Expensive/Elite Sport vs. Inexpensive/Mass Sport
o Fun Sport vs. Competitive Sport
These differentiating characteristics have been used to construct a two-variable strategic group map with selected
sports as follows:

Figure 7: Strategic Group Map of Selected Major Sports

Elite/Expensive
Golf

Kite Surfing Ice Hockey


Snowboarding Skiing
Windsurfing Tennis

Mountain Road Cycling


Inline Hockey

F C
u o
n m
p
S e
p t
o i
r t
t i
s v
e
Climbing
Athletics

Beach Volley Volleyball


Basketball
?
Beach Soccer Futsal Football

Hiking Mass/Inexpensive

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First of all, to avoid misunderstandings, it has to be noted that on the highest level, all of the above sports can be
considered competitive. However, the positioning above rather reflects the general image of the sport in the mass
market. For example, although there is a very competitive windsurfing world tour, in terms of mass participation,
windsurfing is very much considered to be a fun sport, ‘a play with wind and waves’.

Looking at the above strategic map, the following points can be observed:

1. Sports on the left side are generally growing stronger than sports on the right side
There has been a real explosion in fun sports in the last few decades. Windsurfing was created out of nothing in the
60’s and counts now several million participants worldwide. As discussed earlier, snowboarding and beach
volleyball have been growing much faster than skiing and volleyball and outdoor fun sports such as mountain
biking and climbing have also recently experienced strong growth. One could argue that the sport industry is split
into two distinct markets:
• The market of traditional competitive sports, which is large in volume but has matured and shows slow
growth;
• and the market of new emerging fun sports, which is smaller in size but is growing strongly

2. From most major sports, “new” sports that emphasise the ‘fun’ aspect more, have emerged
Volleyball has produced beach volleyball, skiing has produced snowboarding, ice hockey has produced inline
hockey and cycling has produced mountain biking. It seems that most of the major sports need a “fun” variation of
the sport to cater for the changing consumer preference especially amongst the youth towards more fun and
excitement. It seems that most major sport federation are now in some way participating in this faster growing
segment of the sport market.

3. Basketball, volleyball and football are the closest competitors of Futsal


As discussed earlier, basketball, volleyball and football are also on this strategic group map visibly the closest
competitors. All of these sports are fairly inexpensive, as the players only need some sport shoes and clothes, a ball
and goals/nets. Usually players do not have to rent the fields by the hour (as in tennis) but can join sport clubs for a
small annual fee and so gain free access to the fields. In addition, all these sports emphasise more the
winning/loosing aspects and are competitive in nature. Having said that, there seem to be an opportunity to
differentiate Futsal from these sports by positioning it as a more ‘fun’ variation of football on a mass participation
level. This will be discussed in more detail in chapter 7.

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6. Strategic Analysis of the UEFA Futsal competitions
After having looked at Futsal as a sport, the next important step is to look at the UEFA Futsal competitions and
what the competitive situation of the UEFA Futsal Cup and the UEFA European Futsal Championships are. This
chapter will firstly look at what the competition is like and how strong each of the competitive forces (according to
Porter) are. In a second step, the Futsal competitions will be analysed within the UEFA portfolio, using the Boston
Consulting Group Matrix.

6.1 What is competition like and how strong are each of the competitive forces?

6.1.1 Number of competitors


Competitors are here defined as all other sports leagues and events that might compete for the sport interested
spectator. To get a better understanding of which sports these might be, it is essential to look at the time period in
which Futsal is normally played. Usually the leagues in Europe begin in November and end the following March.
This would suggest that the main competitors of the UEFA Futsal competitions are other indoor sport competitions
such as Basketball, Volleyball, Ice Hockey, Handball leagues as well as winter sports such as skiing and bob sleigh.
To narrow this range of sports further down, one could look at only the team sports, as they can be considered close
substitutes; this would eliminate winter sports. This definition seems meaningful, as Futsal does not only compete in
terms of spectators with these sports but also in terms of venues (indoor sport centres) and inclusion in the physical
education curriculum. The biggest competitors in Europe are therefore Basketball, Volleyball, Handball and Ice
Hockey.

“Football is the number 1 amongst outdoor sports. Futsal could become the number 1 amongst indoor
sports. Football is not the competitor of Futsal - these are Handball, Basketball and Volleyball”
Petr Fousek, Chairman UEFA Futsal committee, in an interview with Futsal5

This statement of Mr Fousek confirms that UEFA perceives Handball, Basketball and Volleyball as their main
competitors. However, an important point of debate is whether to consider traditional football competitions as close
substitutes and thus as possible competition. On the one hand, a close relationship is underlined by the fact that
many well-known football stars such as Ronaldo and Zico have left Futsal to play the financially more attractive
conventional Football. Furthermore Football is by far the most popular sport in Europe and the amount of Football
shown on TV has reached a certain saturation (World Cup, EURO, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup, and
National Football Leagues). The time periods of UEFA Football competitions (usually August – May,
December/January break) and Futsal competitions (November – March) currently overlap significantly. It therefore
can be assumed that for example an increase in TV coverage of Futsal would lead to a decrease in other Football
shown. Following this line of argumentation would mean that a certain cannibalisation could hardly be avoided.
However, the challenge lies in positioning Futsal in a way to develop as far as possible a complimentary offering to
Football and not a competitive offering. How this could be achieved will be discussed in a later chapter.

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6.1.2 Porter’s Industry Structure Analysis
One of the key analyses to assess the attractiveness of the industry is to analyze the competition and the competitive
forces within the industry. The most popular tool to conduct this analysis has been for some time the “five forces”
model introduced by Porter in 1979. The model argues that there are in essence five forces that determine an
industry’s overall attractiveness: Competitive rivalry between close competitors, the threat of new entrants, the
availability of substitutes and the bargaining power of both suppliers and buyers. In the following this model is
applied from the perspective of UEFA Futsal competitions within the European context.

Figure 8: Porter’s Industry Structure Analysis for UEFA Futsal Competitions in Europe

New entrants -

• New European Futsal


League from rival
Futsal Association

Suppliers - - Competitive Rivalry - - Customers +/-

• Players • Currently no other • Fans (individual,


• Agents European Futsal corporate)
• Futsal Clubs Competitions • Sponsors

Substitutes +++
• Other Indoor sports
• UEFA Champions
League
• National Football
Leagues
• New variations of
football (beach soccer)
• Other new sports
• Concerts
• Cinema/movies
• TV
• Reality TV
• Etc.

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Competitive Rivalry
UEFA is currently the sole provider of European Futsal competitions; therefore there is no competitive rivalry on
the European level. In contrast, on a worldwide basis there is a Futsal Association (AMF) that organises its own
competitions and tries to compete with FIFA, however with only very limited success so far. The competitive
rivalry in Europe can be considered as low.

Threats of new entrants


It is thinkable that another organisation such as an European Futsal Association could introduce its own European
Futsal competition or league. A significant threat in the case of football is the potential establishment of an
European Super League driven by the G14 Clubs. The threat of new entrance in Futsal can however be considered
as low as there is currently no European Futsal organisation to rival UEFA.

Availability of substitutes
There are a wide number of substitute offerings: Other sports, football related sports and all other entertainment
offerings.

The increase in number of TV channels and in Internet uses means that more sports can be watched and followed
from home and have also lead to an increase of competition. Many new sports have entered the market and compete
for TV exposure. In terms of TV coverage, many sports nowadays produce the content at own expense and pay the
TV station to broadcast their sport, which can be seen as the equivalent of `price dumping` – normally a clear
indication for a very competitive environment.

Football related products such as Beach Soccer, Soccer 5 or Volleyfootball could be considered substitutes. All of
these sports have reached a certain popularity on a more leisure sport basis, meaning that many people enjoy
playing the sports on holidays or while being on the beach. However, so far, none of these sports have introduced
serious leagues or competitions, also because these sports can only be played during the summer months; therefore
the competition is not very strong for the moment.

As sport and Futsal are very much entertainment offerings, all other kind of entertainments must be considered as
possible substitutes. These could include cinemas, movies, television, reading, and computer/Internet. According to
M.K. Mauws et al (2003), what has changed over the years is not the fact that there are other entertainment
offerings but the variety of offerings: More movies are being released every year, constantly increase of TV
channels, explosion in the number of Internet sites, etc. In addition, the recent phenomenon of Reality TV, which
offers unscripted drama with uncertain outcome in a way similar to sports, poses a serious threat to sports. The
likelihood that somebody would watch Futsal just because there is nothing else on offer is fast approaching zero.
This means that it’s no longer enough just to be present as an offering to get a certain amount of spectators but it is
nowadays vital to provide consumers with better entertainment value than other offerings. Thus competition has
clearly increased with regards to the availability of other substitutes.

Thus, over the years one could observe that there are more and more groups competing for the sport spectator’s time
and money therefore reducing the overall attractiveness of the industry. This conclusion has also been reached by
M.K. Mauws et al (2003).

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Supplier Power
In sports, there are normally two main suppliers: The players and the clubs. In Futsal, there are a large number of
players wanting to play professionally, but still only few jobs for them to fill. Currently, there are only five
professional leagues in Europe namely in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Belgium and Russia. In contrast, there are millions
of players on the supply side. This decreases supplier power, as management can easily replace a player making
unreasonable demands. (Cruise and Grifiths 1991). In other professional sports such as football, the emergence and
strength of player’s associations as well as more knowledgeable player agents has increased the supplier’s power
(M.K. Mauwes et al 2003). However, Futsal is still a long way from developing in a similar way.

Clubs in the Futsal context are also not very powerful, as they have neither great financial strength nor a long term
loyalty from their fan base, as many clubs are still relatively young. This is in sharp contrast to the situation in
conventional football, where the major European clubs have formed the G14 and are able to exercise a high degree
of bargaining power towards UEFA, based on their financial strength but also based on their large loyal fan base.
Again Futsal clubs are still far from finding themselves in such a powerful position. In the contrary, Futsal and the
Futsal clubs are very much dependent on UEFA in terms of financial support and know-how which has been
generated through their football competitions. Therefore the overall supplier power can be considered as weak.

Buyer Power
Buyer power is mainly determined by the number of potential buyers and their switching or opportunity costs.
(Porter 1979). An individual fan has generally little bargaining power as there are a large number of potential
buyers and the fan is one of many. However in Futsal, loyalty to clubs is still in the process of being developed,
therefore there are relatively (compared to conventional football) low switching costs for the fans. With regards to
corporate buyers, who have been an increasing source of revenue, and the sale of VIP boxes, the situation is
different. There are fewer potential buyers and corporations tend to be less loyal than individual fans. This would be
especially true for Futsal games, where there is still not a high demand from the corporate side. It is however
doubtful that most Futsal clubs would rely on the revenues generated from the VIP boxes.

Overall, the bargaining power of buyers in Futsal can be classified as low to moderate.

Summary
The industry appears to be highly competitive from the perspective of UEFA Futsal competitions with regards to the
competition from substitute offerings such as other sports or other entertainment offerings. It seems key to find
ways to differentiate Futsal from other sports and provide added entertainment value compared to other
entertainment offerings.

On a more positive note, Futsal is still a young sport and has not to battle yet with very powerful suppliers and
buyers or competitive rivalry with close substitutes as is the case in more established sports such as conventional
football. However, without doubt, these factors will come into play at later stages of the Futsal development.

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6.2 How strong is Futsal’s competitive position within UEFA’s portfolio?
Organisations that are large enough to be organised into strategic business units (SBU) face the challenge of
allocating resources amongst those units. An SBU is a unit of the company that has separate missions and objectives
and that can be planned independently from the other businesses. An SBU can be a company division, a product
line or even individual brands, it depends how the organisation is organised (QuickMBA 2004). The author
proposes to use the different UEFA Football and Futsal brands as SBUs:
- UEFA EURO Championships
- UEFA Champions League
- UEFA Cup
- UEFA European Futsal Championships
- UEFA Futsal Cup

In the early 1970’s the Boston Consulting Group developed a model for managing a portfolio of different business
units. The BCG growth-share matrix displays the various business units on a graph in terms of relative market share
and the expected future growth rate and provides a good basis to assess the competitive position of Futsal. Revenues
from TV rights and sponsors have been taken as a basis for market growth and market share. As argued before,
traditional sports are seen to form a market that is big in size while growing slowly and new fun sports form a
market that is growing stronger but is still smaller in size.

Figure 9: Boston Consulting Group Matrix: Industry Attractiveness (estimated future market growth) vs.
Competitive Strength Matrix (relative market share)

Competitive Position
Stars Question Marks
I
n UEFA Futsal Champ.
d H
u i
s g
UEFA Futsal Cup h
t
r
y

A
t
t
r Cash Cows Dogs
a
c
t UEFA Champions League
i
v L
e o
n w
e
s UEFA EURO UEFA Cup
s

Strong Weak

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Resources are allocated to business units according to where they are situated on the grid as follows (Tutor2u
2004):

Cash Cows: Cash Cows are low-growth businesses or products with a relatively high market share. These are
mature, successful businesses with relatively little need for investment. They need to be managed for continued
profit – so that they continue to generate the strong cash flows that the company needs for stars and question marks.
UEFA’s top brands, the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA EURO and to a slightly lesser degree the UEFA Cup
have a very high market share in terms of TV and sponsorship revenue, but have now matured and operate in
markets which are growing slower. Therefore they are classified as cash cows.

Question marks: Question marks are businesses with low market share but which operate in higher growth
markets. This suggests that they have potential, but may require substantial investment in order to grow market
share at the expense of the more powerful competitors. The UEFA Futsal European Championships and to a lesser
degree the UEFA Futsal Cup still have only a marginal market share in terms of TV and sponsorship revenues,
however, the potential for growth is enormous. Therefore these competitions have been classified as ‘Question
Marks’.

Stars: Stars are high growth businesses or products competing in markets where they are relatively strong
compared with the competition. Often they need heavy investment to sustain their growth. Eventually their growth
will slow and assuming they maintain their relative market share become cash cows. UEFA currently has not stars,
however, the UEFA European Futsal Championship could move in the future to a high growth business unit with a
significant market share.

Dogs: Unsurprisingly, the term “dogs” refer to businesses or products that have low relative share in unattractive
low-growth markets. Dogs may generate enough cash to break even, but they are rarely, if ever, worth investing in.
UEFA is currently in the fortunate position not to have a ‘dog’ in its portfolio, however, the UEFA Cup of Cup
Winners competition, which has been stopped a few years ago, could have been classified as a “dog”.

Conventional strategic thinking suggests there are four possible strategies for each SBU:

(1) Build Share: here the company can invest to increase market share (for example turning “question mark” into a
star)
(2) Hold: here the company invests just enough to keep the SBU in its present position
(3) Harvest: here the company reduces the amount of investment in order to maximise the short term cash flows
and profits from the SBU. This may have the effect of turning stars into cash cows.
(4) Divest: the company can divest the SBU by phasing it out or selling it – in order to use resources elsewhere (e.g.
investing in the more promising “question marks”).

As Futsal competitions have been classified as question marks, only strategies (1) and (4) are viable options and will
be discussed in a later chapter.

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6.3 What strategic issues need to be address?
The final analytical task is to zero in on the issues management needs to address in forming an effective strategic
action plan. The task is to draw upon all the prior analysis, put the sports overall situation in perspective and get a
lock on exactly where the strategic attention should be (Thomson & Strickland 1998). This really means
summarising the situation analysis and drawing conclusions and priorities from it:

1. The analysis of the industry’s key economic features has shown that although Futsal is still a relatively small
sport, in terms of participants, spectators and TV audience, it has a great growth potential and can rejuvenate
football with a new fun variation of the game. Also, the life cycle analysis has shown that Futsal is currently in the
‘global spread’ phase of development and the next logical step to develop the sport is to focus on making Futsal an
Olympic sport.

2. From the SWOT analysis, the top priorities seem to be to build on the strength of Futsal and communicate these
to consumers and as well as improve the image of the sport to outsiders. This need for a promotional strategy to
market the game is also emphasised by the following quote from UEFA Chairman Petr Fousek:

“The European Futsal Championship promises to be a great competition but we realise a lot still needs to
be done to increase the popularity of the game – such as some hard work on the promotional side of
Futsal”
Petr Fousek, Chairman UEFA Futsal Committee, 2004 on uefa.com

3. Looking at the trends and driving forces that influence the emergence of a new sport, an overriding theme or
trend in the success of successfully emerging new sports is that people are looking for a modern sport that is fast,
exciting, fun and which has a culture that appeals to younger people. Futsal fulfils these criteria but will need to
work more to promote the cultural aspect of the game to appeal to younger consumers.

4. The strategic group map showed that the industry seems to be divided into a smaller, but faster growing segment
of new fun sports and a bigger segment of traditional but slower growing sports. Most federation participate now
besides their traditional sport with a fun variation in the faster growing market segment. Futsal need to be correctly
positioned to participate in this faster growing segment.

5. From the analysis of Porter’s five forces we learned that the main threats to Futsal is the strong competition from
substitute offerings: From other indoor sports such as volleyball, basketball, handball, conventional football, new
sports such as beach soccer and other entertainment offerings such as reality TV and cinema. The key strategic issue
seems to be to differentiate Futsal from all of its competitors and to provide added entertainment value to
consumers.

6. The Boston Consulting Group Matrix showed that Futsal competitions can be classified as ‘question marks’ and
now have two viable classic strategic options: To invest and build market share or to divest and stop supporting the
sport. To invest just enough to keep Futsal at its current position or to maximise short term cash flow by reducing
the investments do not seem to be meaningful strategic options.

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7. Discussion of UEFA’s Strategic Options
The final analytical task is to identify and discuss UEFA’s realistic strategic options considering certain criteria and
objectives. The author has identified the following strategic options which will be discussed in the following in
more detail:

1A: Focus on Football only

1: Divest Futsal
1B: Promote Beach Soccer instead

2A: Promote Futsal applying Champions League Model

2: Invest in Futsal
2B: Promote Futsal in distinct, differentiated way

Divest Strategies:
• Strategic option 1A: Stop supporting Futsal and concentrate purely on promotion of Football
• Strategic option 1B: Stop supporting Futsal and promote Beach Soccer instead

Invest Strategies to build market share:


• Strategic option 2A: Support Futsal and apply the successful UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup
approaches to promote it
• Strategic option 2B: Support Futsal, but promote it in a distinct, differentiated way

However, before the strategic option can be discussed, objectives for the strategic choices need to be established.

7.1 Objectives
In the first step, before making a generic decision between an Invest and a Divest strategy, the objective is to ensure
that football and all football related sports remain popular in terms of active participation and audience, as well as
profitable in the long term. UEFA’s core mission is to safeguard the development of European football at every
level of the game.

In the second step, if a decision has been made to invest into the future of Futsal, more specific objectives can be
set. These objectives should focus on achieving the next step in the development of a new sport as shown in the life
cycle analysis: To make Futsal an Olympic sport.

The criteria set by the IOC for a sport to be included into the Olympic program according to the Olympic charter are
the following:
Article 52
1.1.1 Only sports widely practised by men in at least 75 countries and four continents and by women in at least
40 countries and on three continents, may be included in the programme of the Games of the Olympiad.
1.1.3 Only sports that adopt and implement the World Anti-Doping Code can be included and remain in the
programme of the Olympic Games

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1.1.4 Sports are admitted to the programme of the Olympic Games at least seven years before specific Olympic
Games in respect of which no change shall thereafter be permitted
The standards for the admission of disciplines are the same as those required for the admission of Olympic sports.
Futsal would qualify as a discipline of football, which certainly is an advantage, as the Olympic Games are limited
to 28 sports. Therefore it is much easier to add a discipline than a new sport. Furthermore, Futsal certainly fulfils the
criteria with respect to men’s Futsal (as it is played by 96 countries in all continents) and with respect to the World
Anti-Doping Code, as UEFA and FIFA have now accepted it. However, a growth strategy should focus more on
promoting Futsal amongst women.

The IOC has recently also put more emphasis on image and popularity of the sport when voting for a sport to be
included in the Olympics. Therefore the objectives for the next step of development of Futsal are suggested to be as
follows (Objectives should be SMART: Significant, Measurable, Action orientated, Realistic, Time related):
Main Objective:
1. To make Futsal an Olympic sport by 2016

To achieve this goal, the following sub-objectives should be met in Europe to show the IOC in time (i.e. 2009,
when the new sports for 2016 are chosen) that the popularity and image criteria have been fulfilled as well:
a) To achieve an average of more than 2000 stadium spectators for the UEFA Futsal European Competitions
and the UEFA Futsal Cup in 2009
b) To achieve an average of more than 1 million TV spectators per match for the UEFA European
Competitions in 2009
c) To have more than 1 million registered Futsal players in Europe by 2009
d) To achieve participation of more than 2/3 of European countries (37/55 associations) in the UEFA Futsal
Cup by 2009
e) To launch a UEFA Futsal European Championships for women by 2009 with at least 20 European
countries participating

Fulfilling these objectives should put Futsal in a very strong position to be included in the Olympics by latest 2016.

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7.2 Discussion of Strategic Options
Strategic Option 1A: Stop supporting Futsal and concentrate purely on promotion of Football
This strategy could be considered as the classic “Divest Strategy”. Following this strategy would mean that UEFA
frees up resources to focus on and increase the promotion of Football. This would also mean leaving the
development of Futsal to others such as the specialised Futsal associations.

Advantages
The main advantage of this strategy is that UEFA could focus all its resources on its core business, the Football
competitions (UEFA EURO, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup). All of these competitions are very popular
and profitable at the moment, while the Futsal competitions are still running a deficit. UEFA would probably
maximise its profits in the short to medium term.

Leaving the development to Futsal associations could mean that these associations, as they are smaller and more
specialised, become in some respect more dynamic and adapt the sport quicker to consumer’s preferences.
However, as they are very often in an embryonic stage, they often lack the professional resources.

Disadvantages
The main disadvantage of stopping to support Futsal is that it would mean to ignore a potentially strong growth
market. Focusing only on football might be risky as the market is saturated and does not allow for much further
growth, both in terms of active participation and in terms of financial revenues. Also, as shown before, there is a
trend of young people to look for fast exciting fun sports. These changing consumer’s preferences could mean a
delusion of the current market leadership of football in the long term. It can only be seen as prudent “not to put all
eggs in one basket” and develop another strong footing for the future of football. In the world of business, each
company has to invest for the future to remain competitive, even if this decreases profits in the short term.

Another effect of stopping to support Futsal would be a step back for the sport. Without the European competitions,
the know-how transfer and the financial support, Futsal would need some time to re-group and continue with the
development and growth. It would almost certainly have a damaging effect on the sport in the short term.

Table 7: Advantages and Disadvantages of Strategic Option 1A


Advantages Disadvantages

• UEFA can focus all resources on football • Ignorance of strong growth in Futsal
• UEFA would increase profitability in short • Does not cater for changing consumer’s
term preferences
• Futsal Association might be more dynamic in • “All eggs in one basket”
developing Futsal • Futsal as a sport would suffer in short term due
to lack of professional structures and financial
support

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Strategic Option 1B: Stop supporting Futsal and promote Beach Soccer instead
Again this strategy would be classified as a classical “Divest Strategy”. However, the benefactor of the freed
resources would not be football but another ‘question mark’: Beach Soccer. This strategic option would only make
sense if beach soccer had a higher potential for growth, development and profitability than Futsal.

Advantages
Beach Soccer currently probably has a friendlier image than Futsal and could therefore easier be commercialised for
sponsors and TV rights in the short term. The image is similar to Beach Volleyball and events could be similarly
promoted as ‘beach parties’.

Disadvantages
Beach Soccer can only be played in summer, usually between June and August, and is very weather dependant. It
has had great success in Brazil, where the weather is more reliably sunny and where there is unlimited supply of
great beaches. Introducing beach soccer in Central Europe would be a lot more challenging, as summer is often
unpredictable and suitable beaches are rare. To build a suitable beach soccer field would cost around CHF 30 000
per field (Pastor). This is considerably more expensive than Futsal where most of the infrastructure in form of
indoor sport centres is already available. Beach Soccer is more suitable as a show case or promotional events for
elite players, but is difficult to implement in terms of mass participation. A proper league system would most likely
need more than three months of playing time a year and could not cope with a large number of match cancellations
due to bad weather. In terms of growth potential for mass participation and mass audience, Futsal should have a
clear advantage in the long term. Supporting beach soccer as fun events for commercial reasons seems to be
reasonable in the short term. But to ensure growth of football related sports in the long term, Futsal should be given
preferences, as Beach Soccer has clear limitations.

Table 8: Advantages and Disadvantages of Strategic Option 1B


Advantages Disadvantages

• UEFA can use resources on beach soccer • Ignorance of strong growth in Futsal
• UEFA would increase profitability in short • Beach soccer too weather dependant and only
term, as beach soccer is currently more playable in summer
marketable/ has a good image • Limited growth prospects as not enough
• Futsal Association might be more dynamic in suitable beaches in Europe
developing Futsal • Futsal as a sport would suffer in short term due
to lack of professional structures and financial
support

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Strategic Option 2A: Support Futsal and apply the successful UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup
approaches to promote it
This strategic option is an investment strategy to build market share. Applying the successful UEFA Champions
League and UEFA Cup approaches to promote it would mean to position Futsal in a similar way, hoping for an
image transfer from these hugely popular competitions to the Futsal events. This would further apply using the same
marketing agencies to create a similar UEFA offering and hoping that the market for these products is not saturated
yet.

Advantages
This approach certainly deserves some merits as it would first of all recognise Futsal as an additional product
offering with a potential for strong growth and would therefore diversify the future of football accordingly. The
UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup have been proven to be attractive, successful and profitable product
offerings and therefore Futsal could benefit from image transfers and the developed know-how in organising and
promoting the competitions. It could potentially fill some gaps in the football calendar to ensure a round the year
coverage of football on TV.

Disadvantages
The main problem with this strategy is that it does not differentiate Futsal enough from existing football
competitions. It could create a “me too” perception in the mind of the consumers who might already be overloaded
with conventional football shown on TV. This approach risks a “football fatigue” with yet another similar UEFA
product on the market. Even if Futsal could fill some gaps in the football calendar, there are also significant
overlaps in the schedules so that Futsal had to compete directly with football for TV audiences, spectators and
sponsors, as they don’t necessary see the image difference or added entertainment value. It seems to be crucial to
differentiate the offerings sufficiently to avoid any cannibalism and position Futsal in a unique and differentiated
way.

Table 9: Advantages and Disadvantages of Strategic Option 2A


Advantages Disadvantages

• UEFA can participate in strong Futsal growth • Not sufficiently differentiated offering
• Diversification of risk for future of UEFA • Could create competitive situation between
• Image transfer from existing UEFA football Football and Futsal competitions in terms of
competitions to Futsal competition possible TV audiences, spectators and sponsors
• Know-how transfer from Football to Futsal • Risk of football fatigue amongst consumers
competition maximised

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Strategic Option 2B: Support Futsal, but promote it in a distinct, differentiated way
Differentiation strategies seek to produce a competitive edge by incorporating attributes and features into the service
offering that rivals don’t have (Thompson & Strickland 1998). McKinsey (2004) notes that “in an increasingly
fickle media marketplace, a sport needs to consider innovative approaches, to both its contests and its marketing,
that will emphasise its distinctiveness as well as generate excitement.

One possibility to achieve this differentiation could be to use the original culture of Futsal in all promotional efforts.
This ‘Brazilian culture’ could have additional appeal to attract more spectators in general and specifically more
women and young people to the game as discussed earlier.

The influence of the Brazilian culture could be incorporated in marketing efforts in many ways, for example:
- Brazilian samba bands and samba dancers could perform before, during and after the matches
- The sport halls could be decorated using as much bright colours (Yellow, Green, Blue) as possible. This
would give the game a friendlier image, as opposed to the dark cold halls, in which Futsal is often played.
- Refreshment stands could serve Latin American cocktails (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) during breaks
- Promotional video clips, using samba music and Brazilian ex-Futsal celebrities (Pele, Ronaldo and others)
endorsing the game should be recorded and televised during breaks of other UEFA competitions (EURO,
Champions League).
- During summer there should be some outdoor show matches in underdeveloped Futsal countries, and these
events should be marketed in a “summer party” kind of way to improve Futsal’s image in consumer’s
perceptions.

It is important to create a coherent branding, positioning Futsal clearly as “Fun” or “Samba” Football, which should
create associations such as “exciting, very technical, skilful, Latin flair” in the mind of the sport consumers.
Creating this coherent branding will build brand equity, which Gladden et al (2001) emphasises should be the
prevailing focus of sport managers today.

“The strategy of choice for most organisations is brand marketing”


AT Kearney, The New Sports Consumer

As this distinct image should be able to attract slightly different kind of spectators, probably younger and with a
higher female proportion than traditional football, the competition in terms of spectators and TV audience with
conventional football could be minimised. Another side effect of this distinct positioning of Futsal would be to
attract new sponsors that can identify with the communicated image. In addition, this ‘Brazilian image’ would also
be hard to copy from other sports like Basketball, Handball, Volleyball and Ice Hockey, as the connection would
not be very obvious.

Finally, McKinsey (2004) has identified 7 success factors for the sports industry, which also should be considered
as part of the strategy to develop Futsal:

1. Changing the sport


There needs to be a balance between tradition of the sport and changing the rules slightly to improve its
attractiveness. Futsal has seen many changes and improvement in its rules, the most significant in 1989 when FIFA

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took over the game. The newest FIFA rules with some minor additional changes have been released in 2002. With
respect to rule changes, there is very little that can be done further to improve the attractiveness of Futsal.

2. Calendaring and scheduling


In the future it will be crucial to adapt Football and Futsal schedules to minimise overlaps. As most Futsal leagues
run logically in the winter months between November and March, the football calendar should be adapted to keep
these months as free as possible. There is not really a good argument for a long summer break in Europe for outdoor
Football; however, the change will be difficult to implement as there are long running traditions in European
football to have a summer break in June and July. This change has probably only a chance of being accepted, when
Futsal has grown and gained a much stronger position. In addition, it should be ensured that European Futsal
matches are played at regular times during the week like the UEFA Champions League, to increase attractiveness to
TV stations.

3. Developing stars
Stars are critical in promoting the game as they are an inspiration to the youth and spectator magnets. Each sport
organisation needs to ensure that it has the mandate and the structure to promote its most talented and popular
players in ways that guarantee them maximum exposure and benefit the sport overall. Futsal legends like Manoel
Tobias (voted 5 times Best Player in the World; 13 years as captain of the Brazilian Team), should be promoted
stronger and made ambassadors of the sport. Also famous ex-Futsal players such as Ronaldo, Zico, Romario and
Pele should be used in promoting the game.

4. Coherent branding
A coordinated, consistent brand identity is the key to the sale of licensed sport gear and services. This coherent
branding has already been discussed in the Futsal context above. Another example of coherent branding is the
music, logo and flag used at all Champions League matches. Using these elements consistently has successfully
increased the brand equity of the Champions League brand.

5. Marketing Partnerships
Futsal should have a coordinated public-relations strategy to ensure that its players participate in promotional
appearances and media events. Marketing partnerships should be seeked with those companies that most closely
match the sport in terms of culture and image. For Futsal these could be for example new sponsors such as Bacardi
Breezer (because of its Latin culture) or specialised Futsal equipment producers (Futsal, Dalponte).

6. Bundling rights
When the broadcast and sponsorship rights are packaged together, those rights are usually far more valuable since
the whole is usually worth more than the sum of its parts. A good example is the approach taken by the UEFA
Champions League. This bundling of rights should be contractually agreed for all UEFA Futsal competitions from
the beginning.

7. Professionalizing the organisation


Many Futsal clubs and associations are essentially small start-up businesses that need to adapt to a big business
environment over the coming years. Some smaller Football associations have no dedicated Futsal staff and others
have staff, but are unable to communicate internationally as they lack the necessary language skills. A special effort

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should be made to put professional structures in place in all national associations and leagues. This will require
some financial investment.

Advantages
According to Thompson and Strickland (1998), differentiation offers a buffer against the strategies of rivals when it
results in enhanced buyer loyalty to a brand. In addition, (1) successful differentiation erects barriers in the form of
customer loyalty and uniqueness that newcomers find hard to hurdle, (2) lessons buyers’ bargaining power since the
offerings of alternative entertainment providers are less attractive to them, and (3) helps a sport to fend off threats
from substitutes not having comparable features or attributes.

Positioning Futsal in a clear distinctive way will differentiate the sport from other indoor sports and will minimise
competition to the conventional football offerings. The new image could attract new fans (i.e. women and the
youth) to the sport as well as new sponsors whose branding is compatible to the new Futsal image. And last but not
least, show elements like Brazilian samba bands and dancers should be attractive for TV stations when broadcasting
the matches.

Disadvantages
There are, of course, no guarantees that differentiation will produce a meaningful competitive advantage. If
consumers see little value in the unique service feature that is emphasised, then the differentiation strategy will get a
less excited reception in the market place. (Thompson & Strikland 1998). It is therefore advisable to test this
strategy on a smaller scale first and to get some consumer feedback, before implementing this strategy on a
European scale.

Further disadvantages are of course the cost involved. To create a coherent branding, a certain financial investment
is necessary to build brand awareness and loyalty. A financial analysis needs to be conducted to explore whether the
initial investment can be recovered by increasing revenues from spectators, sponsors and TV rights.

Table 10: Advantages and Disadvantages of Strategic Option 2B


Advantages Disadvantages

• UEFA can participate in strong Futsal growth • Requires financial investment


• Diversification of risk for future of UEFA • No guarantee that market place will respond
• Minimises competition between Football and positive on branding; might not produce
Futsal meaningful competitive advantage
• Can enhance brand value and customer loyalty • Financial return not guaranteed, business risk
• Helps fend off threats from substitute
entertainment offerings
• Can attract new consumer groups (women and
youth) and sponsors

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7.3 Strategy Recommendation

In summary, the best strategy is believed to be the fourth strategic option: Support Futsal, but promote it in a
distinct, differentiated way. This strategy is recommended due to the following reasons:

1. The differentiation strategy has a good fit with the sport’s situation.
As the sport is believed to have a strong growth potential and can become the largest indoor sport in Europe, only
an investment strategy to build market share seems meaningful. Also, the suggested strategy differentiates the sport
from traditional football and from other indoor sports by providing added entertainment value not only through a
fun, fast and exciting game but also by providing a unique fan experience by emphasising the Brazilian culture of
the game.

2. The differentiation strategy will build competitive advantage.


The cornerstone of a successful differentiation strategy is creating buyer value in ways unmatched by rivals. One of
the approaches to creating buyers value is to incorporate features that enhance buyer satisfaction in non-economic
or intangible ways (Thompson & Strickland 1998). The Samba music and dancers as an added entertainment value
might increase customer’s satisfaction even if they might be otherwise unsatisfied with for example the outcome of
the game. In addition, this competitive advantage would be hard to copy by other indoor sport as the connection to
the Brazilian culture is missing – they would have to come up with their unique way of adding entertainment value.

3. The differentiation strategy will attract more spectators to the sport.


Giving the sport a unique “Latin flavour” would not only attract the traditional Football fans to watch the game, but
might also attract consumers who are less interested in the game but can identify with the Latin lifestyle or simply
enjoy the spectator atmosphere. New customer segments such as for example more women might be won in this
way. A side effect of attracting new market segments of the market and creating a unique fan experience will be that
new sponsors might be interested in getting involved with the game.

4. The differentiation strategy will attract more participants in the sport.


Participation might increase less because of the Samba music and dancers, but might increase by the use of
Brazilian football celebrities and heroes to promote the game. Some of the world greatest football idols are Brazilian
and have the power to make more young people curious in the emerging sport. However, to increase participation,
putting the correct infrastructure (coach seminars, availability of sport halls, youth development programs, etc.) in
place will be at least as important as increasing promotional efforts of the game.

For all of the above reasons, an investment strategy in the form of a differentiation strategy to build market share is
recommended. As a result, the chances of being included in the Olympics 2016 should have been maximised.

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7.4 Organisational structure recommendation

The choice of the appropriate strategy was based on a detailed situation analysis of Futsal and its competitions in
Europe using strategic management tools such as SWOT analysis, BCG Matrix or strategic group mapping and than
an in-depth evaluation of each of the strategic options. The next step, as a result of the strategy, is to institute the
appropriate organisational structure. This sequence is shown graphically in the following figure (Slack 1997).

Figure 10: Strategy-Structure Relationship

Assessment of
environmental
threats and opportunities

Strategy Organisational
Structure

Internal strength and


weaknesses

Source: Slack, T. (1997), Understanding Sport Organizations, The Application of Organisational Theory, Human
Kinetics

In the following both the internal structure of UEFA and the external structure in terms of all parties involved in the
development of Futsal will be examined.

7.4.1 Internal Structure


The best known of the more recent work on strategy and structure is Miles and Snow’s four part classification of
organisations as Defenders, Prospectors, Analysers, and Reactors (Slack 1997):
Defenders are organisations that limit themselves to a narrow range of products and services offered to only a
limited segment of the total potential market. The type of structure associated with a Defender Strategy is
centralised, with a high level of task specialisation and a relatively high level of formalization. The centralised
structure means control is in the hands of senior managers; integration is achieved through formal policies and
procedures.
Prospectors actively seek new products and new market opportunities. Because their success depends on
innovation, prospectors must scan their environment constantly for new trends and opportunities. The need for
prospectors to respond rapidly to environmental changes means they must adopt a flexible structure. Consequently,
task specialisation is low, as is formalisation, decision making is decentralised.
Analysers lie somewhere between Defenders and Prospectors. The organisation minimizes risk while maximising
opportunity for profit. The Analysers operates with a mix of products and markets, some of which exhibit stability
while others will be more dynamic. The sport organisation adopting an Analyser strategy will have to develop a
structure that allows them to exercise tight controls over the stable product and market areas and looser controls

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over the areas in which new products are being developed. Control involves a delicate balance between systems that
are centralised and budget orientated to encourage cost-efficient production of standard products and systems that
are decentralised and result-orientated so as to enhance the effectiveness with which new products can be adapted.
Reactors are organisations that do not respond appropriately to their environment. Because a reactor strategy is an
inappropriate strategy, there are no clear linkages between this type of strategy and structure.

Following the suggested strategy of on the one hand managing the stable businesses (cash cows) UEFA Champions
League, UEFA EURO and UEFA Cup for profit, but on the other hand investing in Futsal competitions to grow
their market share and develop the service offering, UEFA would fall into the Analyser category. Therefore a mixed
structure seems to be most meaningful. In praxis, this means running the Football products in the established way,
while creating a separate business unit within UEFA for all Futsal competitions and provide this business unit with
maximal flexibility and result orientated, decentralised control. The business unit must be able to respond rapidly to
change and thus be more dynamic. The business unit should be awarded its own budget, and consist of specialist
from each area of UEFA’s activities such as football development, event management and marketing.

A second argument for a specialised Futsal business unit within UEFA is based on the suggested differentiation
strategy. The culture of Futsal is and should be different from the Football culture, to make Futsal a complimentary
offering to Football and not a competitive offering. Therefore, a separate business unit needs to “live” and
implement this differentiated culture. It would be much more difficult for one specialist to cater for both Football
and Futsal competitions and think “with two different hats on”.

7.4.2 External Structure


The following figure shows the interrelationship between the three main parties involved in the development of
Futsal: The International Football Bodies, the National Football Associations and the National Futsal Associations.

Figure 11: Parties involved in the development of Futsal in Europe

International
Football
Bodies
UEFA, FIFA

National National
Football Futsal
Associations Associations

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A problem in the current external structure is that the responsibilities and roles of each of the parties involved in
developing Futsal are not clearly defined. There is some uncertainty and disagreement of the role that each party
should play in the development of Futsal.

Slack (1997) differentiates between two approaches to understanding organisations: “In the rational model,
organisations are seen as entities in which members share common goals, make decisions in an orderly and logical
manner, and see conflict as dysfunctional to their central purpose. In the political model it is accepted that people
and groups within the organisations have different goals, make decisions in their own best interests, and engage in
conflictual behaviour.”

Following the rational model, it seems obvious that a close cooperation between the parties is key to the
development of the sport and that all parties have something to contribute:
- The International Football Bodies have the financial resources as well as the know-how in event
management, youth development and marketing on an international level.
- The National Football Associations have also financial resources as well as event management experience
and youth development know-how on a national level
- The National Futsal Associations are familiar with the sport, its culture and its particularities and should be
consulted as specialists with important Futsal know-how.

It seems less critical whether the Futsal Associations are independent bodies or business units of the Football
Association as described above, as long as all parties realise that they have something to contribute and can also
benefit from a development of Futsal and thus have to cooperate closely.

However, following the political model it seems that some Football Associations feel somewhat threatened by a
strong emergence of Futsal and Futsal Associations fear the take-over by Football Association of their sport. This
issue is not new and as the quote of Gibbens shows also exists in other sports.

“When something ‘different’ comes along and challenges the existence of a major sport such as skiing,
there is bound to be a conflict.”
Jonno Gibbens in his book “Snowboarding” 1996

According to Heino (2000), “a real outcry, as well as a lawsuit, came when the International Olympic Committee
(IOC) appointed the Federation Internationale du Ski (FIS), skiing’s regulatory body, as the governing organisation
over snowboarding rather than the International Snowboarding Federation. This was an obvious exercise of power
over snowboarding. There was considerable concern that the FIS was only interested in the network money and that
it did not understand the practice and culture of snowboarding”.

In the political model, there are some behaviours that cannot be completely explained rationally and could have an
important impact on the development of Futsal. Examples of politically motivated behaviour related to Futsal are:
- National Associations discourage their nations’s Futsal teams to participate at international competitions
with the reasoning to save accommodation and flight costs
- Training courses for Futsal coaches are reduced significantly from one year to the next

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- A national TV station is pressurised by the Football Association not to show Futsal if it wants to have a
chance to bid for the national football competitions
Whether these examples are hypothetical or real, they highlight the potential impact that political behaviour can
have on the development on Futsal.

Some people see politics as involving coercion, dishonesty, and manipulative behaviour by individuals seeking to
further their own self interests. Others see politics as an integral feature of organizations and a way in which
differences among interest groups are resolved and tasks are accomplished (Slack 1997). Whichever way one looks
at it, from the perspective of developing the sport Futsal, the rational approach seems to be clearly the preferable
way. Parties involved in the development of Futsal should put the interest of the sport first and rationally find
solutions as to how best develop the sport in the future.

In some countries the cooperation between National Football Association and National Futsal Association seems to
work very well. In Switzerland for example, the National Football Association wrote in a letter to all clubs in
Switzerland:

“In cooperation with “Swiss Futsal”, the Swiss Football Association would like to make an effort to unify
all existing indoor football competitions under the official Futsal rules and to launch official
championships. We do not see Futsal as a competitor, but as complementary to our sport. This is especially
true, since the Futsal championships will take place between November and March, which is the dead
season of football.”
Association Suisse de Football, 08/2003

The Futsal Association on its part sees it as a natural next step to be integrated in the Swiss FA, as it sees Futsal as
part of the overall “football family”. It sees thus no problems with sharing responsibility and welcomes any support
of the Football Association.

It can only be hoped that more and more Football and Futsal Association see the potential of this sport and Futsal as
a way to rejuvenate interest in football related sports and thus work closely together to establish Futsal as a major
sport in Europe.

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8. Conclusions
Based on the strategic analysis of Futsal in Europe, the following conclusions can be drawn:

1. Futsal is not just a fade but growing strongly and here to stay
Futsal has been growing very strongly over the past 10-20 years and is now played in about 100 countries by over
30 million people.

2. Futsal can be used to rejuvenate the growth in football related sports


The growth of traditional football is now in the mature phase of the product life cycle, as shown in the example of
Germany. Therefore, Futsal could be needed to rejuvenate growth in football related sports.

3. Futsal is currently in the ‘Global Spread’ phase of development. The logical next phase of development
would be to become an Olympic sport.
Futsal has been growing in the last 15 years from 16 to 96 countries participating at the FIFA World Cup. The sport,
which originated in South America, is now truly played on a global scale. However, the sport has not yet met the
criteria of becoming an Olympic sport.

4. Futsal is an attractive modern sport that appeals also to the youth


Comparing the sport to successful new emerging sports such as snowboarding and beach volleyball, Futsal seems to
have all the virtue of a modern sport (exciting, fun, fast) as well as a special appeal to young people (‘Latin style’
appeal).

5. Futsal has the potential for further strong growth throughout Europe
If Futsal is positioned correctly to participate in the growth of the fun sport segment of the sport industry, Futsal has
the potential for further strong growth in Europe.

6. Futsal’s main competitors are other indoor sports as well as other entertainment offerings
In terms of scheduling (November to March), type of sport (team sport), competitive nature of the sport
(competitive sport), and mass participation (inexpensive/mass sport), and use of venues (indoor centres), Volleyball,
Basketball and Handball are the closest rivals of Futsal. However, one of the main challenges is to position Futsal in
a complementary and not competitive way to traditional football and to provide added entertainment value to fend
off competition from substitute entertainment offerings.

7. An ‘Invest’ strategy is needed to make Futsal competitions an attractive and profitable offering
Futsal can currently be classified as a ‘question mark’ according to the BCG Matrix. This means that the potential
for growth is there, but investment is needed to build the market share of Futsal. The future of Futsal competitions
can either be ‘stars’ if the appropriate strategy is followed, or ‘dogs’, if the governing bodies decide on a ‘divest’
strategy.

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8. Futsal needs a distinct differentiation strategy for further development and growth
The differentiation strategy was shown to be the best suited strategy to further the development and growth of
Futsal and its competitions and to make the sport an Olympic sport. It has been recommended to use the original
Brazilian culture to differentiate the sport.

9. UEFA should consider restructuring the Futsal function in its organisation


UEFA should consider setting up a separate business unit for Futsal within the UEFA organisation to provide
flexibility for the dynamic and fast growing market segment.

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9. Recommended Generic Methodology for Assessing New Sports
The study has shown the specific results for the strategic analysis of Futsal and has come up with recommendations
for the strategy and organisational structure for Futsal in Europe. In analysing the specific example of Futsal, the
author has followed a certain methodology, which can now be used for assessing any new emerging sports and to
find ways to develop a sport further:

Figure 12: Methodology for assessing new emerging sports and find ways to develop the sport further

Step 1: Strategic Analysis of the sport and its competitive position compared to other sports
1. What are the sport’s dominant economic features?
a) Analysis of market size (participants, spectators, TV audience, sponsors) of the sport
b) Life cycle and growth analysis
2. What are the sports’ strengths and weaknesses and its opportunities and threats?
a) SWOT Analysis
3. What are the trends/drivers of change in the sport industry and what impact will they have?
a) Trend analysis
4. Which sports are in the strongest/weakest competitive positions?
a) Strategic Group Mapping

Step 2: Strategic Analysis of the sport’s competitions/events


1. What is competition like and how strong are each of the competitive forces?
a) Competitor analysis
b) Porter’s industry structure analysis
2. How strong is the competition’s competitive position?
a) Boston Consulting Group Matrix
3. What strategic issues need to be addressed?
a) Identification of main strategic issues

Step 3: What strategic options does the governing body realistically heave?
a) Setting of SMART objectives
b) Identification of all possible strategic option
c) Discussion of all strategic option with main advantages/disadvantages

Step 4: What are the best strategy and the appropriate structure?
a) Selection of the best strategy
b) Matching strategy with the appropriate structure
Source: Model adapted from Thompson & Strickland (1998) for new emerging sports

The methodology has its origin in a framework developed by Thompson and Strickland (1998), which has the
purpose to conduct an industry and competitive analysis for private corporation. It has been modified and adapted in
this paper to the world of sport and Futsal in particular.

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10. Lessons Learned
There are a number of lessons that could be learned from conducting this analysis. Firstly, it is essential to follow a
rigid, systematic structure to assess a new emerging sport, as an evaluation requires following an objective approach
without relying too much on subjective views (which will always be present to a certain degree). Each sport
executive who has to conduct such an analysis will struggle to approach “his” or “her” sport with an objective,
neutral approach, without seeing the sport in a biased way. This requires to base as much of the strategic analysis on
collected facts and data.

Which brings us to the second lesson to be learned: Finding the relevant data and facts in a new sports is extremely
difficult, as the organisations involved are often new start-ups and not yet working in a professional way. It is key
for each new association to collect the data and statistics right from the beginning. In the case of Futsal, UEFA as a
professional association was able to provide a large amount of data and figures, but this might not always be true for
all sports.

The third lesson learned is that no matter how objective and rational a strategic analysis has been done and
recommendations have been made, the implementation of the strategies will always depend on the political will of
senior executives. With the right support from senior decision makers, the strategy can go a long way in achieving
the stated objectives, while a lack of support can in fact be hindering to the development of the sport.

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11. Literature
1. Literature related specifically to Futsal

Ashby, B. (2002), “Driving Futsal forward”, 5 November 2002, uefa.com


Burns, T. (2003), Holistic Futsal, ISBN: 1-4116-0453-9
FIFA (June 2000)“Attractive and spectacular: the future belongs to Futsal”, FIFA Magazine June 2000
FIFA (February 2000) “Guatemala: Futsal against drugs and violence”, FIFA Magazine February 2000
FIFA (December 2001) “Futsal is growing up”, FIFA Magazine December 2001
FIFA (May 2001) “Approximately 250 million footballers worldwide”, FIFA News May 2001
futsal5.de, UEFA Futsal Chef Petr Fousek „Nur eine Frage der Zeit...“, futsal5.de news
Murphy, P. (2003),”Transplanting the Beautiful Game”, Soccer Review 2002
Sanderson, P. (2004), “Fousek on the rise of Futsal”,12 January 2004, uefa.com
SFL (2003) „Die Stärken des Futsal“, Swiss Futsal League Magazine August/November 2003
UEFA (2003/04), “First Division Clubs in Europe, Address List 2003/04”, UEFA publication
UEFA (2003) “The rise of Futsal”, UEFA European Futsal Championship 2003, Official Programme
UEFA (2003) “Futsal Fever”, UEFA European Futsal Championship 2003, Official Programme
UEFA (August 2002) “Futsal in the spotlight”, 6 August 2002, uefa.com
UEFA (November 2001) “Futsal set for Olympics”, 28 November 2001, uefa.com

2. Literature related to other new sports and the promotion of new leagues

Abbott, P.D. (2001), Antitrust and Sport – Why Major League Soccer succeeds where other sport leagues have
failed
Anderson, K.L. (1999), “Snowboarding: The construction of gender in an emerging sport”, Journal of Sport and
Social Issues 1999, 23, 55-57
Gladden, J.M., Irwin, R.L., Sutton, W.A. (2001), Managing North American Major Professional Sport Teams in
the New Millennium: A focus on building brand equity, Journal of Sport Management, 2001, 15, 297-317
Gibbins, J. (1996) “Snowboarding”, Parragon Books Ltd
Heino, R. (2000), New Sports: What is so punk about snowboarding?, Journal of Sport & Social Issues, Volume 24,
No 2, May 2000, pp. 176-191
FIVB (1997), „Beach Volleyball – Get involved“, published by FIVB
Fournier, S., Greyser, S., Schulman, S. (2002), Introducing…The XFL, Harvard Business School Press, July 15,
2002
Keller (1998), WTO, 1st Congress on Snow and Winter Sports, Andorra 1998
Krohn, O. (1994), “Adventure Sports – Beach Volleyball”, Meyer & Meyer Verlag
McKinsey (2004), Playing to win in the business of sport, The McKinsey Quarterly June 2004
Smith, S., Feineman, N. (1988), “Kings of the Beach - The Story of Beach Volleyball”, Power Books Division of
Computh!nk. Inc

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3. Literature related to relevant management theory
Cravens, D.W. (1997), Strategic Marketing, Irwin McGraw-Hill
Lehmann, D.R., Winter, R.S. (1994), Product Management, Category Attractiveness Analysis,
Mauws, M.K., Mason, D.S., Foster, W.M. (2003), Thinking Strategically about Professional Sports, European
Sport Management Quarterly 2003, 3, 145-164
Minzberg, H. (1994), The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning. New York: Prentice Hall
Porter, M.E. (1980), Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors, New York: Free
Press.
Porter, M.E. (1995), What is strategy, Harvard Business Review, 74 (6), pp. 61-78
QuickMBA (2004), BCG Growth-Share Matrix, www.quickmba.com/strategy/matrix/bcg/
Slack, T. (1997), Understanding Sport Organizations, The Application of Organisational Theory, Human Kinetics
Thompson & Strickland (1998), Strategic Management, 10th edition
Tutor2u (2004), Product Portfolio Strategy, www.tutor2u.net/business/strategy/bcg_box.htm

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