3 Marketing Lessons You Can Learn From Manchester United

Ever wondered why most football fans are fanatical in their love? Why they would gladly crush skulls in defense of their clubs? Is it just the love for the game, or something more?

Not many people realize that football clubs carry out more active marketing than most consumer brands. It’s not just about the game of football, but about strategic positioning. For example, players are chosen not just for their skill, but for also their PR value. And one of the best at this is Manchester United Football Club.


Here are three things brands can learn from Man U’s marketing playbook.

  • According to David Carter, Executive Director of the USC Marshall Sports Business Institute.”Fans must be treated first and foremost as customers, not just potentially monetizable data points.” Other wise, “They will be turned off by any outreach that seems either inauthentic or viewed as a mere money grab.”
  • It is also important to offer quality content. Whether over-the-counter, or on social, brands must always offer value in the content they offer. Man U commercial director Jamie Reigle says, “We focus on the quality of the content and tailor it by platform.” This is part of the reason why Man U has over 65 million Facebook fans and 5.4 million Twitter followers, while the website ManUtd.com attracts more than 5 million unique visitors per month.
  • Overall, connection is the key to holding and maintaining top market position. Which is why Man U pioneered exhibition matches in cities across the world, to bring the club closer to its fans, a promotional strategy that is one of the club’s most successful and most copied.
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