Match day experience is the lowest priority of club owners according to new fan survey

By Community | March 5, 2012

-European fans against foreign owners in their domestic leagues-

European sports fans believe the match day experience is the lowest priority for club owners, generic with the majority claiming that ‘foreign owners do not have the best interests of their club at heart’, unhealthy according to new survey findings released today by Havas Sports & Entertainment, unhealthy organisers of the fourth annual Global Sports Forum Barcelona (GSFB), 7-9 March, 2012 – www.globalsportsforum.org.

In the survey sports fans ranked the ‘match day experience’ bottom in a list of club owners’ priorities behind: ‘selling merchandise’, ‘maximising ticket sales’, ‘signing sponsors’ and ‘winning matches’.

In addition 63.3% of respondents stated that they ‘don’t want foreign owners in their domestic league’, with 52.1% claiming that ‘foreign owners do not have the best interests of their club at heart’ and more than half (50.8%) worried that clubs would be left ‘in turmoil’ when a foreign owner leaves.

The research was carried out amongst sports fans across seven European markets as part of the GSFB’s focus on the Globalisation of sport.  Today’s findings, along with other topics affecting the sports industry, will be discussed by the Forum’s 1,000+ delegates, including leading rights holders, brand representatives, athletes and personalities from the world of sport. 

Lucien Boyer, Global President and CEO, Havas Sports & Entertainment and General Commissioner of the Global Sports Forum Barcelona, said:

“Technology and globalisation have helped more sports clubs reach a wider fan base, but all club owners must not forget their regular and dedicated fan base, who deserve the best possible match day experience.” 

“A club’s most committed and passionate supporters are an integral part of its identity and can be one of the main reasons why a club can gain global appeal.  Owners, whilst focussing on the team’s development on the pitch and commercial potential off it, must remember to keep its loyal fan base happy and work with them to grow the club.

 “It’s a crucial time for owners to balance the imperative for results with its relationship with fans and the long-term sustainability of its club.  That’s why we are staging a panel debate on ‘Football and Finance: the dangers ahead’ featuring Dan Jones, Partner, Sports Business Group at Deloitte and Philippe Rasmussen, Financial Fair Play Manager at UEFA on Thursday, 8 March.”

The Global Sports Forum Barcelona will take place in Palau de Congressos de Catalunya in Barcelona from 7 – 9 March.  Now in its fourth year, the GSFB continues to attract the sports industry’s leading figures, delegates from more than 50 countries set to attend.  LOCOG Chairman, Sebastian Coe, will be joined by leading brand and rights holder representatives, including Emmanuel Seugè, Head of Sport & Entertainment Marketing at Coca-Cola, Christophe Pillet, Design Director at Lacoste, and Thierry Weil, Marketing Director at FIFA.