promoting football

April 28th, 2007

Football as a sport is not really anything that special. It's how you wrap it and sell it that makes all the difference. The difference from a cult following to nationwide adoption, to domination even. This is why you have to be very shrewd about how you promote the competition.

I think we can agree that the English have this down to a pretty exact science. They are certainly the best at it. I don't know if they have the best national ratings (probably), but their product is proving the most palatable abroad at any rate (much to the chagrin of fans of non-English football in their respective English football dominated countries).

I give you the English football league:

  1. Premier League
  2. Football League Championship
  3. Football League One
  4. Football League Two
  5. Conference National

Now, you might say, why is league number three called League One? That's a good question. And why is the 2nd league called the Championship? Again a good question. In other leagues "winning the championship" actually means (in an unwritten understanding) winning the top league. Odd.

Elsewhere it's very easy to know where you are in the system. Primera, Segunda, Segunda B, Tercera (First, Second, Second B, Third). Serie A, Serie B, Serie C1, Serie C2, Serie D. Slightly confusing because there are two C's. But, of course, elsewhere isn't as successful at selling tv subscriptions, are they.

But you see it's all about how you wrap it. The truth of the matter is that the first league matters and none of the others do. If you invite someone to watch a match with you, thinking it's the top league they're watching, and it turns out it's the Championship, they are not going to be thrilled about it. It's like if you wanted to meet the Pope, would you settle for a bishop instead? No, it's not nearly the same thing.

But you can always distract people from the truth. League One sounds a lot better than League Three, which is what it actually is. And for the clubs in that division, it must feel a lot more satisfying to win League One.

This is my proposition for next year. It's too bad they can't use Champions League, which is reserved for something else.

  1. Premier League
  2. Championship
  3. The Super League
  4. Queens Finest League
  5. Premium League
:: random entries in this category ::

5 Responses to "promoting football"

  1. erik says:

    Im not sure I would want to win the Queens finest league

  2. Jack says:

    I am not sure if you were serious suggesting the new names here.

  3. Nawaf says:

    Well, spot on with the Premium League.. Only place I've seen it used is in ads for cheap toilet paper..

    Now all we need is the Economy League :D

  4. Graham says:

    This reminds me of the way the winners of the NBA are called World Champions :lol:

  5. Steve O says:

    The irony of course being that as a sport Football pales into insignificane when compared to rugby league. Or as us in England like to call it, Super League ;)