In each district, one or two clubs disappear each season. 1
The observation of the socio-historian of sport Jean Bréhon is certainly cruel for any lover of football and sport, but very real in a gloomy economic context. While the two major sources of funding for clubs (activity income and public subsidies) are decreasing, expenses are increasing. Particularly under the effect of increasing costs from the bodies to which the clubs are attached. So, what remedy? Revaluation of contributions? Increase in the number of licensees? Valid but limited options, one by a historically and culturally low level of contribution in certain sports (football), the other by the reality of the attractiveness of each sport locally. An almost unanimous finding emerges nonetheless: for more than 75% of the clubs questioned as part of the Great Survey of Amateur Foot 2 , the increase in sponsorship income in the coming months is an issue deemed from very important to crucial. . The remedy is identified, the way to understand and use the tool in a context of reinventing the economic model, much less ...
Clubs are not equal when it comes to sponsorship for several reasons (local competition, the clubs with the most influence locally capture a large part of the potential sponsorship income). Above all, no more small shopkeeper who drops a ticket without expecting anything in return at the local club ... A sign at the edge of the stadium or an insert in a calendar seemed to suffice. This is no longer the case. Sponsors are now expecting real rewards, clubs must therefore lead their network of partners. This animation must go through innovation, and digital is the ideal medium.
Two initiatives deserve to be highlighted and imitated, among others:
An innovative and inclusive solution for advertisers, purchasing power regained for associations.
Created in 2016, the Centrale du Sport, a true digital player since it is only online, a platform for the purchase of sports equipment, launched in 2019 the pooling of sponsorship areas for around a hundred local clubs from all disciplines to promote commitment of national brands in amateur sport, the first being UNIBET. Win-win partnership: advertisers' investments in amateur sport are optimized, which encourages them to increase their commitment, while sports associations finance access to equipment at a lower cost (equipment pack with marking at € 1 whereas the average is 30 €). National sponsorship campaign with strong local roots with digital as a link, the team is formidable.
Digital canvassing: Les Bons Plans du Club.
Launched by the company Call4sport, the idea of good deals is simple: each club offers its licensees good deals or promo codes for online purchases or with local partners. Then a commission is paid to the clubs on each purchase.
In a complicated economic context, the salvation of sports associations passes through innovation, digital technology constituting the ideal playground for this. However, going digital requires an overhaul of the way of thinking about the economic life of a club.
If the solutions proposed above have undeniable advantages, they are nonetheless short-term remedies, with relative durability. The founder of Les Bons Plans du Club admitted to having as objective this remark from a club: "Make me a solution where we have nothing to do and the money comes in on its own" 3 .
If the desire to save the resources and energy of volunteers is commendable, it still places the clubs in a position of spectator of its economic health ...
The challenges faced by clubs can only be resolved through structural and not cyclical reflection. Choosing the right (digital) tool to respond effectively to challenges is a first step; the implication of the club in the handling of this one, the control of the club on this one, it is to transform the test. Hence the advantage of structural solutions, such as Silad (presented very soon), which instigates and supports a new and constant demand among sports players, in order to reposition them in their only place: at the heart of the game.
↑1 So Foot, 19.07.19.
↑ 2 The Great Survey of Amateur Football, launched on May 31, 2018, by Call4Foot.
↑ 3 Interview given to Jérôme Bouchacourt, for Foot Amateur, December 14, 2018.