Internet: strong marketing tool for Brazilian soccer clubs

September 25, 2012
Guilherme of Corinthians celebrates after scoring a goal during a Brazilian championship football match in Sao Paulo on September 8. With sales of exclusive products, online games and contests about who has the greatest number of fans on social networks, Brazilian soccer clubs are battling it out on the Web to reap the bonanza of online marketing.

With sales of exclusive products, online games and contests about who has the greatest number of fans on social networks, Brazilian soccer clubs are battling it out on the Web to reap the bonanza of online marketing.

In this huge, soccer-mad country, which won five World Cup trophies and will host the 2014 edition, more than 83 million people have access to the Internet and some teams have up to 25 million .

First division clubs therefore, in addition to having an , also have a page, a Twitter account, online television or even a smartphone application.

"The connection with the fan has changed. With the new technologies, clubs are in daily contact with their fans, not just when they go to the stadium," explained Guilherme Costa, of the Maquina de Esporte website, which specializes in sport marketing.

Sao Paulo's Corinthians club went so far as to create a "Corinthians People's Republic" with 190,000 "citizens" fans, its own currency, embassy and identity papers.

This online concept, created in 2010, was elected "idea of the Year" by Worldwide Creative Board, a contest among advertisers.

"The goal is not to have the largest number of fans on Facebook, but to transform them into consumers," said Marcus Duarte, head of marketing at Rio's Flamengo club. Three of the 13 members of his staff are assigned exclusively to giving the team visibility on the Web.

"The Corinthians online store sells as many products as 15 physical stores and reach consumers wherever they may be in Brazil," said Eduardo Generoso, head of sports projects at ESM, an online marketing agency for several first division clubs.

"With fans' online memberships, sales of sports paraphernalia, sales of advertising space on their sites and Web-TV, clubs can earn on average one million reais (390,000 euros) per month," he added.

The Internet can also be used to conduct permanent marketing surveys. According to the Ibope institute, 86 percent of who have access to the web use social networks, a percentage much higher than in other countries.

The ESM agency was able to draw up a data base on one million of Corinthians fans, including names, age and sex but sometimes also their consuming habits as detailed on Facebook or from their online purchasing history.

"That's how we noticed that they like to travel. The club therefore set up a partnership with an agency and now sells them trips to Japan where the team will play at the end of the year," said Generoso.

According to Guilherme Costa, the Internet also highlights the popularity of the players among fans.

"Clubs then use that to negotiate advertising contracts with brand companies which use the image of their players," he noted.

On Vasco's Facebook page, the latest contest rewards fans who will best promote a real estate company, which is a partner of the club.

"We still have a lot to learn from abroad regarding online marketing, but we are beginning to reach cruise control," said Marcus Duarte, Flamengo's marketing chief.

Explore further: ComScore study says Facebook ads effective (Update)

Related Stories

ComScore study says Facebook ads effective (Update)

June 12, 2012

(AP) — As investors question just how much Facebook is worth, a study from Internet research firm comScore suggests that marketing on the world's most populous online social network can help increase sales.

FA Cup to go live on Facebook

August 17, 2011

Non-league sides Ascot United and Wembley FC will create a small slice of footballing history on Friday when their FA Cup preliminary round tie is screened live on Facebook, it was confirmed Wednesday.

Research: Facebook fan pages are effective marketing tool

February 18, 2010

Companies that use the popular social-media site Facebook and its fan page module to market themselves to customers can increase sales, word-of-mouth marketing and customer loyalty significantly among a subset of their customers, ...

Spectator rage: The dark side of professional sports

February 6, 2012

Preventing violent outbreaks of "spectator rage", similar to the deadly riots that broke out following a soccer game in Egypt, requires assessment and action by sports team owners and stadium managers, according to a report ...

Facebook launches page for all things Olympics

June 18, 2012

(AP) — Facebook on Monday launched an official London Olympics page for fans to connect with their favorite athletes and teams, a move it says can help make this summer's games the first "truly social" one.

Recommended for you

Microbes help turn Greek yogurt waste into fuel

December 13, 2017

Consumers across the world enjoy Greek yogurt for its taste, texture, and protein-packed punch. Reaching that perfect formula, however, generates large volumes of food waste in the form of liquid whey. Now researchers in ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.