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Dissertation Proposal

MSc International Marketing Management

Marketing Plans for popularising

Women’s Football in England.

Abel Mathew Jacob

April 2010
Student Number: 200300522

Index Page

1.0 Abstract 03

2.0 Introduction 04

3.0 Overview of Women’s Football In England


4.0 Literature Review 06

5.0 Vision

6.0 Mission 10

7.0 Goals 10

8.0 Research Methodology


9.0 Implications and Conclusions


10.0 Reference and Appendices


10.1 Simplified Model of Supplier - Consumer Relationship in the Sports

Industry 13

10.2 The Sports Product map


10.3 Model of Sports Marketing exchange Process


10.4 Strategic Sports Marketing Process


10.5 Malcolm McDonald Model of Market Plan


10.6 A Brief History of Women’s Football in England


10.7 Gantt Chart 18

11.0 Fig and Tables

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Fig 4.1 Perceived benefit of implementation of the new marketing plan


Table 4.1 Marketing variables and its Implications


Table 4.2 Activities Associated with Implementation


Table 4.3 Measuring Results



An emerging phenomenon in sport is the rise of women involvement in the sport

market place. Male sport has a well documented history whereas their female
counterparts have often been less appreciated. This proposal is a marketing plan for
increasing the popularity of Women’s Football in England. A concise and pertinent
secondary study will be undertaken to understand the strategic marketing plans
implemented by Football Association. The study aims at understanding the present

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marketing plan followed by Football Association and attempts to suggest a plan to

eliminate the gaps in the existing model. This proposal will follow the Malcolm
McDonald’s marketing model and Strategic Sports Marketing Model. This
dissertation would rely heavily on secondary research to understand the market
served and will implement marketing concepts like Ansoff’s Matrix to form the
marketing objectives. Following this a new marketing strategy will be
conceptualised centring on Positioning/Branding, Product/Price/Promotional/Place
elements. Further ahead, Forecasting and Budgeting will be executed. The entire
marketing plan shall be shown by a detailed plan of action. Subsequently,
implementation and controlling the marketing mix shall be addressed. For
addressing the plan it is imperative that the strategic sports framework be
evaluated. This plan proposes goals, executable ideas and time bound milestones.

2.0 Introduction:

Mullin et al states that “Sport Marketing consists of all activities designed to

meet the needs and wants of sport consumers thorough the exchange
process” (2000, pg 9). Further to that “Sport Marketing has developed two
major thrusts: the marketing of sports products and services directly to the

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consumers of sports and marketing of other consumer and industrial products

or services through the use of sports promotions” (Mullin et al,2000, pg 9).
Marketing concept has been the corner stone of marketing discipline; I wish
to implement the marketing concepts to endorse a rise in spectatorship and
participation in Women’s Football (Kholi and Jawaroski, 1990). This marketing
plan aims to match the capability of Women’s Football run by the FA and
customer wants which is fundamental to the commercial success of this
sport. The plan revolves around understanding the consumer requirements
and tweaking the marketing strategy to pull hordes into the stadiums. This
plan will be based on secondary studies and will be instrumental in
formulation of new marketing mix strategies. The strategic marketing
framework would be explained to give a better understanding of the strategic
sports marketing process. This framework provides the base for action for
most sports industry and allows exploring the complex relationships that
exists between elements of sports marketing. The marketing concepts, when
applied to sports, take a complete new dimension. This proposal shall draw
its data from research papers, news papers and published articles to
showcase a new marketing plan for implementation. As this is a result of
exploratory research (Malhotra, 2007) this proposal aims at presenting a
marketing plan within professional sports i.e. Women’s Football, with an aim
to improvise the tangible and intangible benefits associated with women’s
football concentrating specifically on building and leveraging the brand
equity of professional sports clubs, to further enhance the Brand image,
Revenue and daily attendance.

This marketing plan is a vision, implementable by the authorities to enhance

the reputation of the women’s football, and a guide to an improvised
execution of the marketing principles and sports marketing framework.

3.0 Overview of the Women’s football in England

“‘The future is feminine’ declared Joseph Blatter, general sec of Federation

International de Football Association (Fifa), the international governing body
of football in 1995” (Hong and Mangan, 2004, pg 7).

Football which supported patriarchal view accepted women’s view by pre-

1960's (Thompson 1992). A greater variety of team sport was available to
women during the 1960's and 70’s (Burton Nelson 1991). The power of
spending of women has risen considerably added to their positive attitude
towards sports (Kane 1999) and which has opened up a new perspective for

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the liberated women who began to be involved in greater numbers than


Women’s football has been a part of the social and cultural history of Britain
for over a century. However academics have chosen to oversee the historical
importance of Women/Girls indulgence in football, prior to 1900. This form of
sport had rebuked and despised by many, as it was thought to be too
scandalous for pretty girls to be involved. The Football Association (from here
FA), deemed this game to be too risky to be played by the women and hence
banned all formats of women’s football in the year 1921 (Jean, William 2003).
In retrospect, this decision could be pointed out as the major reason for an
under developed Women’s Football and it has never been able to recover
from the depths of isolation and neglect. Jumping years ahead, the Women’s
Football Association (WFA) was formed in the year 1969 with 44 league
teams (http://www.thefa.com). In the year 1971 the FA lifted the ban which
forbade the women from playing on the grounds of affiliated club
(http://www.thefa.com). Inspite of the annulment of the ban, there was much
to be desired out of the inaction of the FA to promote women’s football.

“Women’s football and girls football in England stands at the threshold of

becoming one of this country’s most established and respected Female
Sport” (http://www.thefa.com). According to the memorandum submitted to
the U K parliament by Sue Lopez MBE states that FA had started supporting
Women’s Football since 1993. Since then the FA has managed to bring an
unprecedented change in the participation, infrastructure and management
of the Women’s Football. A testament to FA’s commitment is the number of
active participants in the affiliated league and cup competitions. The number
today stands at an astounding 147,000 when compared to just 10,400 in

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4.0 Literature Review

“Football has an enormous amount to offer. It stands in a uniquely privileged

position with regard to financial power, media coverage, infrastructure,
participation and national affection. This powerful position makes football
ideally placed as a delivery mechanism for a whole myriad of public policy
priorities ranging from social inclusion to literacy to health. To that end it has
already contributed a great deal however it is within women and girl’s
football that the full potential has yet to be realised"

There is a strong post modern wave passing us and the current post modern
era, (Best and Kellner, 1997) that we are experiencing, is an invitation to the
marketers working with product or services (Firat and Venkatesh, 1993,
1995; Sherry, 1991). Sport is one of the largest derivatives of human passion
considering its worldwide appeal. “Capitalising on the emotional attachment
of the consumers (fans) toward the team, the event or the symbolism
associated with the brand can enable a sports organisation to trigger trust
and loyalty toward the brand” (Richelieu and Boulaire, 2004). This trust and
loyalty earned will help the sports team generate additional revenue with the
sale of goods and services within and beyond the sports arena (Gustafson,

Sports’ marketing is always construed to be the glamour child of sporting

industry, where it is mistakenly thought about dealing with sponsorships and
promotion. Webster’s defines sport as “a source of diversion or a physical
activities engaged in for pleasure.” Sports industry today serves as an
entertainment (Shank, 2002). They have competition from contemporary
forms of entertainment like music, television, music etc. Shank says
“Organizations that do not recognize the relation between sports and
entertainment are said to suffer from marketing myopia”. Marketing myopia,
a term coined by Theodore Levitt, is the practice of defining a business in
terms of goods and services rather than in terms of benefits sought by the
customer. This marketing plan seeks to eliminate the marketing myopia by
focussing on the needs of the customers by emphasising on the tangible and
intangible benefits that the Football Association has to offer. This process of
emphasising on the consumers of sports whilst keeping in mind the
objectives of the organization i.e. The Football Association, is called
marketing orientation (Heiens, 2000).

The sports industry is estimated to be worth an unprecedented 500 billion

according to the Global Sports Industry Congress (http://www.eventica.co.uk).
“The Games are better, and well the athletes are just amazing and it happens

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24 hours a day” (Shank, 2002). There has been a growth in paid attendance
and viewership of women’s football in U K.

Fig10.1 shows the model of the consumer – supplier relationship. “In general,
highly-involved consumers consume sport with an intangible desire for long-
term associations and active participation with a team sport or a branded
product (Jowdy and McDonald, 2003)”. The most difficult part of sports
marketing is in understanding the sports product. A figure representing the
differentiation of sports products as goods and services is given in Fig 10.2. If
the goods and services are produced they must be exchanged to for a
marketing transaction. Traditionally the transaction involves a consumer
giving money to receive the goods or service. In this case the game itself is
the form of pure service (Lovelock 1984; Groonos 1982; Parasuraman et al
1985). Fig 10.3 gives the model of Sports Marketing Exchange Process (Milne
and McDonald, 1999).

Fig 4.1 Perceived benefit of implementation of the new marketing


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“Strategic sports marketing process is the process of planning, implementing,

controlling marketing efforts to meet organizational goals and satisfy
consumers’ needs” (Shank, 2002). “Sports’ marketing can be deconstructed
as the application of marketing principles and processes to sports products
and products through the association with sport” (Shank, 2002). Fig 10.4
represents the Strategic Sports marketing Process.

It is very essential to understand the consumer market and then act on the
sports marketing mix. Market selection decisions are referred as STP i.e.
Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning. Segmentation may be carried out
on the basis of demographic, geographic, behavioural tendencies. Target
marketing allows choosing the segment that allows an organization to
establish its marketing objectives (Evans and Berman, 1992).Positioning
involves fixing the sports product in the mind of the consumer. Marketers
making marketing strategies should be able to target the right segment i.e.
families and females per say, as there would be an increase in other female &
family profiles, that can be targeted, which is interested in Women’s football.

Marketing mix decisions follow the selection of the market. “The objective of
the marketing Mix is to implement the positioning established by the chosen
target market. This is done by coordinating the marketing mix variables –
product, price, place and promotion.

Table 4.1 Marketing variables and its Implications

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Peter Drucker states that “The best plan is only a plan – that is, good
intentions – unless it degenerates into work” (1974, pp. 147)”. “The
distinction that makes a plan capable of producing results is the commitment
of key people to work on specific tasks (Drucker, 1974, pp. 147)”. This is the
implementation stage. Once all the planning is complete it is imperative to
put plans into action (Gupta and Govindarajan, 1984).

Table 4.2 Activities Associated with Implementation

Table 4.3 Measuring Results

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Final stage of the plan is the control stage, where comparing results with the
marketing objectives and modification of the plan to achieve the desired
result is the basis of it’s conjure.

5.0 Vision of The Football Association:

1. To protect football’s status as the nation’s favourite game.

6.0 Mission of The Football association:

“Championing growth and excellence (www.thefa.com).”

Mission of this proposal: This marketing plan seeks to leverage the brand
equity of the women’s football. The core mission is to

1. IDENTIFY ways to increase the average attendance at a women’s football

meet by 10-20% in the coming five years.

2. INCREASE the brand awareness

3. APPRAISE the broadcasting rights and Maximise revenues through new


4. Build a long term relation with the consumer.

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7.0 Goals of the Proposal:

1. To be Nations most preferred women’s’/ girls game in the country.

2. Grow and retain participation.

3. Increase awareness and positive perception of the game.

4. Increase the commercial development and the profile of women’s football

8.0 Research methods

The methodology undertaken for this proposal is going to be qualitative and

the research (Malhotra, 2007) will be exploratory in nature. In addition to the
above I shall also proceed with content analyses (http://www.readership.org)

1. The Football Association, the women’s sports teams’ in England.

2. The Internal and External Contingencies surrounding Football Association

and their marketing plan.

3. Websites interviews with managers of Football clubs.

4. Scientific papers, sports articles, and media articles (print and electronic).

9.0 Implications and conclusion

This proposal seeks to work on the strategic sports marketing frame work as
a tool for altering and modifying elements that play a big role in the influence
of sports marketing as a whole. This is also an attempt at appreciating the
growing popularity of the women’s football. Though the focus would only be
on the marketing mix aspects of the strategic plan further study will also be
conducted on consumer behaviour and services marketing, as both play an
huge role in sports industry per say. This study seeks to undertake a
successful implementation of the academic knowledge and apply it to the
real world. On the whole this is an attempt to understand the core concept of
marketing in context of sports and a comprehensive attempt at gaining an
insight into the functioning of Women’s Football in England.

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10.0 References

1. A. K. Kholi, B. J. Jawaroski, “Marketing Orientation: The Construct,

Research Propositions, and Managerial Implications,” Journal of
Marketing 54 (2): 1- 18.
2. Anon (2008). [WWW]. Available at
tatements2008.ashx/ReportFinancialStatements2008.pdf. [Accessed
9/4/ 2010].
3. Anon. [WWW]. Available at: http://www.merriam-
webster.com/dictionary/sport. [Accessed 15/4/2010].
4. Anon (2009) [WWW]. Available at
http://www.eventica.co.uk/files/GSIC_eng_s.pdf. [Accessed 15/4/2010].

5. Anon (2005) [WWW]. Available at

ds/1357/1357.pdf. [Accessed 9/4/2010].
6. Best, S and Kellner, D. (1997). The Postmodern Turn. New York: The
Guilford Press.
7. Boulaire, C. and Richelieu, A. (2005) A post modern conception of the
product and its applications to professional sports. International Journal
of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship, 7 (1), pp 24.
8. Burton Nelson, Mariah (1991). Are We Winning Yet? How Women are
Changing Sports and Sports are Changing Women, Random

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9. Drucker, P. (1974). Management: Tasks, responsibility, Practices. New

York: Harper Row. pp. 147.
10. Evans, J. and Berman, B. 5th ed. (1992). Marketing. New York:
11. Firat A. F. & Venkatesh, A. (1993), ‘Postmodernity: The age of
marketing’, International Journal of Research in Marketing. 10(3), 227-
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Implications. European Journal of Marketing. 18, pp. 36-44.
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Converting Strategic Intent Into Reality. Journal of Business Strategy.
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14. Gustafson, R. (2001), ‘Product brands look set to gain new advantage’,
Marketing (5 April), 20.
15. Heiens, R. A. (2000). Market Orientation: Toward an Integrated
Framework [WWW]. Available from
http://www.amsreview.org/articles/heiens01-2000.pdf [Accessed
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Kicking off a New Era. Frank Cass Publishers: London. pp 7.

17. Jowdy, E. And McDonald, M. (2003) International Journal of Sports

Marketing and Sponsorship. 4 (4). pp.

18. Kane, Courtney (1999). “Want to reach female viewers? The NFL asks
marketers if they’re ready for some football”. New York Times.
December 22.
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South Western Publishing.
20. Levitt, T (1960). Marketing Myopia. [WWW] Available from http://0-
9c3adae88448@sessionmgr112 [Accessed 19/4/2010].
21. Lovelock, C. Services Marketing. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall,
22. Milne, G and McDonald, M. (1999). Sports Marketing: Managing the
Exchange process, Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
23. Malhotra, N. K. 5th ed. (2007). Marketing Research- An Applied
Orientation. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
24. Mullin, B. J et al. 2nd ed. (2000). Sport marketing. Champaign, IL. ; Leeds:
Human Kinetics.

25. Parasuraman, A. et al. (1985) A Conceptual Model Of Services

Marketing and its Implications for Future Research. Journal of
Marketing. 49, pp. 41-50.
26. Peer, L. and Nesbitt, M. (2004). Content Analysis Methodology [WWW]
Available at:
logy.pdf. [Accessed 17/4/2010].

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27. Shank, M. T. 2nd ed. (2002) Sports Marketing: a strategic perspective.

Published Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall, Prentice-Hall.

28. Sherry, J. F. (1991), ‘Postmodern alternatives: The interpretive turn in

consumer research’, Handbook of Consumer Behavior, Harold H.
Kassarjian and Thomas S. Robertson (eds.), 548- 591. Englewood, N.J.:
29. *Smolianov, P. and Shilbury, D. (1996). An Investigation of Sports
Marketing Competencies. Sports Marketing Quarterly. 5 (4), pp. 27-36.
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10.0 Appendices

Fig 10.1 Simplified Model of Supplier - Consumer Relationship in the

Sports Industry

In: Shank, M. T. 2nd ed. (2002) Sports Marketing: a strategic perspective. Published
Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall, Prentice-Hall. pg. 12

Fig 10.2 The Sports Product map

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In: Shank, M. T. 2nd ed. (2002) Sports Marketing: a strategic perspective. Published
Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall, Prentice-Hall. pg. 25

Fig10.3. Model of Sports Marketing exchange Process

In: Shank, M. T. 2nd ed. (2002) Sports Marketing: a strategic perspective. Published
Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall, Prentice-Hall. pg. 32

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Fig10.4 Strategic Sports Marketing Process

In: Shank, M. T. 2nd ed. (2002) Sports Marketing: a strategic perspective. Published
Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall, Prentice-Hall. pg. 46

Fig10.5 Malcolm McDonald Model of Market Plan

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Malcolm McDonald’s model (McDonald, M. 2002. pp 568)

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ia/Files/PDF/TheFA/WomensStrategy.ashx/WomensStrategy.pdf. pg. 43

Table 1 – Gantt Chart of Activities to be developed in the next 9 weeks

Week Number
Activities 1& 3& 5& 7& 9&1 11&1 13 14 15
2 4 6 8 0 2
English Football Assessment
1.External and internal audit
2.Swot Analysis
3. Critical Success Factor

Formulation Marketing Objective

Segmentation, Targeting and
Conduct focus groups
Gap Analysis and Services
/Marketing Strategies
Product and Pricing Strategies
Promotion and Distribution
Plan of operation
Implementation of the plan
Control stage and monitoring
Plan for evaluation
Conclusion and Proof reading

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