For a number of years we have criticised the marketing of, and the marketing within the Hyundai A League, Australia’s Premier football competition, and justifiably so, as many simple marketing errors have been made.
When the FFA, the games governing body announced that round one would be known as “del Piero Day” due to the former Juventus great signing for Sydney FC, our head once again fell into our hands. In all sport no one individual is greater than the team no matter how glittering his career may have been. It is a very risky decision to base your marketing around one player. Last season the powers that be did the same with Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton, two returning Australian players, but when both failed to ignite the league it left the marketers with egg on their faces, yet they have now done exactly the same again. Why is it Football never learns from past mistakes?
Had it been Sydney FC, del Piero’s club, who announced the game day was named in his honour then no problem, that is their prerogative.
Yesterday it was announced on Fox Sports News that the FFA had negotiated a television deal in Italy that would see all of Sydney FC’s games shown in del Piero’s home nation. This is undoubtedly great news fro Sydney FC, but raises two questions; the first is why are we selling off individual assets rather than the whole league, and secondly why are the FFA negotiating such a deal on behalf of a privately owned club? The FFA has always had a vested interest in Sydney FC and it appears that this unhealthy relationship is continuing. Of course they have also negotiated a similar deal with the club that they do officially own, Western Sydney Wanderers, having their games aired in Japan following the recent signing of Shinji Ono. Is this really good for the A League as a whole? Or just for the favoured few? The A League is about ten teams not just two and it is not about a few individuals, and until those who make these decisions realise this football will always be on shaky ground.
Finally on a more positive note the new “We are Football” advertisement is probably the best since the first season of the A League. It does finally capture the spirit of the game. Simply put we like it a lot, so a step in the right direction at the start of a season that could well make or break the Hyundai A League.
If you have not seen it here it is.