The report analyses the key drivers of the secondary fan market for AS Roma Football Club (AS Roma), using a three-part framework. The framework details the factors influencing the secondary fan’s behaviour and what tactics other sports clubs and businesses are using to expand fan engagement. The report culminates with a series of recommendations to implement a strategy to increase engagement with the secondary fan market.
I designed a report for Italian football team AS Roma titled ‘Playing the Field – What motivates a fan to have a second favourite football team?’
I worked on this report with James Mooney who researched and wrote the report. James is an experienced marketing professional, whose 11-year career has involved consulting some of the fastest growing SMEs in Europe and North America, as well as leading the strategic implementation of digital and insight campaigns for some of Europe’s largest sport organisations.
The report analyses the key drivers of the secondary fan market for AS Roma Football Club (AS Roma), using a three-part framework. The framework details the factors influencing the secondary fan’s behaviour and what tactics other sports clubs and businesses are using to expand fan engagement. The report culminated with a series of recommendations to implement a strategy to increase engagement with the secondary fan market.
WHAT IS THE GOAL OF TARGETING THE SECONDARY FAN MARKET?
Every football club in the world would like everyone in the world to support them. The more fans you have, obviously, the benefits that can bring for the club, whether this is pure support for the players on the pitch and willing them to win, to helping generate revenue, indirect and direct, that can then again be reinvested into the team and put out the best team on the pitch. So obviously, all clubs want all the fans.
The way football has generally worked in the past, is the proximity to the club is largely where the fan base would have come from. The advent of television, internationalisation of the clubs and of football, and then the increasing foreign players who move to different leagues, different clubs, makes it a much more global game. We are all competing, not only for our own fans in our own cities, but we are also competing with fans who want to support Barcelona or Real Madrid, or any other team for that matter. So, I think our actual, when we say target the secondary fan market, is more of a realisation that for lots of people who have a club, then it’s going to be very difficult to get that fan to give up their support for that team. It might be that they regularly attend games, or they grew up supporting that team or that their father or mother or someone in their family encouraged them to support that team. I don’t believe it is very easy to get someone to switch teams. So, I think one of our ideas is that there is an emerging secondary market of fans, where social media has played a big role in this, where you can follow many different teams or watch different teams or leagues. A Manchester United fan isn’t going to follow Arsenal, but could decide they like a favourite Italian team in Roma. Our goal is to tap into a bit of that secondary fan market, and try to develop as many fans as we possibly can around the world. In the first instance, we would like them to become primary fans, after that have Roma as their favourite Italian team or your second favourite team after your primary club. That’s the reason, and that can be with digital fan engagement, number of followers, increasing fan attendance, increasing commercial potential… they all merge into one.
If you have a new follower who engages with you, then it is much easier to take that fan down a route where they’ll become more loyal to you, engage with you or transact with you, whether that’s buying a shirt from you or attending a game as they’ve grown to grown to like or love the club and want to take it to the next step. If you have millions of followers who are engaging with you and enjoying your content, then that is an attractive proposition to anyone who wants to reach those fans as well.