Every year, the football season brings together millions of fans in stadiums or in front of their screens to follow the results of their favorite football teams live. The UEFA Champions League is certainly one of the most awaited tournaments by fans, players and football clubs alike. It is also a key opportunity for the sponsor brand to shine in front of a large and potentially interested audience. Annually, brands broadcast their messages before, during and after the games, in interviews, TV commercials, etc. Are these messages always conceived according to a target audience? How to build a truly relevant sponsorship strategy?
Through this case study, SOPRISM wants to evaluate the best sponsorship and partnership strategies to build in the sports world. Whether you are positioned as a sports club, a brand or an event organizer, audience profiling allows you to focus your message on the right target audience and create a winning combination. The comparison of Real Madrid C.F. and Liverpool F.C. audiences allows to highlight their own characteristics and to establish a different football fan profile for each of the two clubs. Audiences are built from the combination of interests and behaviors that result in a target group with a real attraction for the club, football as a sport and the players who play it at the time of the analysis (May 2022).
“You’ll meet more Real Madrid fans on Facebook and more Liverpool fans on Instagram.”
From a socio-demographic point of view, both clubs’ audiences are predominantly male, although the proportion of female fans is higher for Liverpool than for Real Madrid. Regarding age, Real Madrid wins over the 35+ age group and Liverpool conquers the 18-24 age group. Both clubs are equally appealing to the 25-34 age group.
On the world map, for both Real Madrid and Liverpool, the dominant markets today are Asia and North Africa. However, Real Madrid generates more interest than Liverpool in Central America, Latin America, West Africa and South Asia. On the other hand, Liverpool generates more interest than Real Madrid in East Africa, the Middle East, East Asia and North America. Europe is divided between Real Madrid and Liverpool. Discover the details of the countries in the TOP 10 for each club.
Rivalries between clubs often lead to intense matches both on the field and in the streets, in the bars where fans meet to support their favorite teams. Beyond the differences, knowing the preferences of other football clubs is a valuable insight that allows us to better understand the profile and affinities of one’s own fans. For example, we can see that Real Madrid fans also have a lot of affinity with Olympique Lyonnais, Valencia C.F., S.S.C. Napoli, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Olympique de Marseille, …
Another important element in the world of soccer is obviously the time of the Mercato (July-August and January) and transfers between clubs. The arrival or departure of a player can change everything! Besides the financial issues, the challenges are also to be able to strengthen the bond between the fans and the club through players who are already well-liked by the fans. Whether it is current pro players for the Mercato or former players for the development of marketing initiatives, knowing the affinity of the fans is a must.
By profiling both audiences, we can identify the segments that are specific to Real Madrid fans and compare them to the segments specific to Liverpool fans. This comparison makes it possible to visualize the specificities of the targeted audiences and to understand how to reach them in terms of communication, how to approach them from a marketing point of view and thus be able to develop data-driven strategies of sponsorship. Discover the 8 dominant segments for each club.
In this case, we have identified that Real Madrid fans are much more sensitive to social issues such as ecology, waste management, energy issues, political, public health or security issues; this is much less the case for Liverpool fans. Regarding consumption habits, Liverpool fans are much more brand conscious. They are more modern, more sensitive to lifestyle, food, car brands, and more sporty. Liverpool fans are also more interested in their local consumption (understood as consumption of geo-located shops near where they live). In a general way, the Liverpool fan reacts more to the price and the marketing of the brands. On the other hand, the Real Madrid fan reacts more to the values, commitments, and missions of the brands.
Among all the brands associated with the two clubs and the UEFA Champions League, we chose to focus on Emirates, Adidas, Nivea, Audi, EA Sports, Standard Chartered, Nike, Axa, Expedia, Carlsberg, Heineken, PlayStation, Mastercard, FedEx and Pepsi.
The analysis of brands associated with the UEFA Champions League shows that Heineken, PlayStation and FedEx generate more interest among Liverpool fans than Real Madrid fans. On the other hand, Mastercard and Pepsi have more receptivity among Real Madrid fans compared to those of the English club.
With these insights, you have all the keys to evaluate each sponsor brand according to whether you are a sports club, an event organizer, or a brand wishing to establish an effective and relevant sponsorship strategy. Find the details of the analysis of the other sponsor brands for Real Madrid and Liverpool in the complete case study.
At the semi-final match between Real Madrid and Manchester City, Pepsi displayed a “Please Recycle” banner around the field. As a sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, which audience did this message reach? If this same banner is shown during the final match between Real Madrid and Liverpool, what marketing effect will Pepsi reach? 👉 Find the answer to these questions in the complete study!
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