Despre marketingul sportiv

About sports marketing in the Covid-19 era with Alexandru Tarog, Head of Marketing, Fortuna Entertainment Group

This period can be a real opportunity for the Romanian society

➤ What is your opinion about sports marketing?
Marketing is a tool you can’t do without in the mission of an organization with a strong component focused around sports. It is the basis for defining and setting objectives. For an organization like ours, they can become a benchmark at the community level, a decision-maker and influence in the relationship with partners, the private environment or the life of society.
Thus, the organization becomes a product that must be consumed by as many people as possible, that meets their needs in this segment and that needs to increase in popularity.
Sports marketing opens up new horizons and opportunities, you can create campaigns and associations between sports and various other operating systems (such as education and health).

➤ How do you see the situation of Romanian football during the pandemic, from the point of view of marketing?
For the 2020-2021 season, I think the most important aspect is caution. With a realistic strategy and a prudent business plan, I think it will be possible to get over this tried and difficult season, both from a financial and sports perspective, which has put us all in trouble.


➤ How do you think the financial market will change during this period, from the point of view of sport?
The sport will pass, like the whole of humanity, over the Covid-19 period. But the price will be important, and today’s sport has long ceased to be just a competition, it is a financial industry.
It is expected that in the current financial context, large companies will choose very carefully the projects in which to pay significant amounts. Only now will it be seen who will be able to keep up and who will be swallowed up by debt.

➤ What alternative promotion solutions did you notice that were used so as to comply with the rules that were imposed during this period?
In the desire to get as close as possible to reality, the leaders of the important football leagues have found ways to play indirectly with the spectator’s senses.
Thus, at LaLiga matches we can see how the TV graphics modify a part of the stands to suggest the presence of spectators in the arena.
Depending on the game, encouragement, whistles, songs and even the joy of the fans when they register can be heard from the “tribunes”. If we think about 7 months ago, this scenario seemed just a bad joke, but there are so many restrictions, factors that prevented us from carrying out our activity normally, we ended up creating fireworks.
The method was also taken over in League 1: at the CFR match with FCSB, the atmosphere was provided by the fans who from a match with Sevilla, in the Europa League (records were set from that confrontation).

About sports marketing in the Covid-19 era with Alexandru Tarog, Head of Marketing, Fortuna Entertainment Group

➤ How do you adapt your marketing strategy during the Covid-19 pandemic?
One thing is clear and puts us to the test every day. That is the adaptation to the current conditions and to the new economic reality. The way of doing business has changed and will probably remain changed even after the end of this period.
Thus, I believe that the adaptation during this period was made through an accelerated transition to online services. It is an environment in which we are left with more freedom to communicate and carry out the activity, in which we can still build relationships with our consumers through digital.
The major advantage of this type of marketing is that it can be applied universally, for any type of activity, and its results are measurable. Online marketing campaigns offer an excellent opportunity to be found online, to develop your presence, to identify new customers and to generate sales. Focusing your efforts on digital marketing during this time will give you a competitive advantage over your competitors, who may not react as quickly.
Optimizing our digital marketing efforts in the context of Covid-19, I believe will continue to give us an edge over competitors and allow us to continue to operate.
The crisis will end soon, we hope, and all our efforts will work. So, we started to strengthen our online presence, focusing on performance type promotion.

➤ We are in the adaptation phase, but how do we get to the reaction and relaunch?
Even if it sounds strange, this period can be a real opportunity for the Romanian society and good news for the next period, because many otherwise too rigid institutions are completely transformed today. And it changes forever.
For the Romanian sport, it is essential to be part of these fields that embrace the new, and the year 2020 must not simply pass as a (long) wait. Yes, sport is hit hard by the crisis we are going through, because sport is first and foremost about people. About athletes, about the people in their teams, about the people who follow and support them with passion.
And COVID-19 threatens not only our health, but also our economic system, and even our entire social fabric. Almost all cultural events in the world that had a direct impact not only on sports, but also on theater, film, music – the world entertainment industry – have already been canceled.
I think there are 3 phases that the sport and the brands that support the sport should go through in the next period:
The first is adaptation: measures to deal with the impact in the short term.
The second is reaction: a set of actions to mitigate the negative impact and open up new opportunities in the short term.
The third is relaunching: planning for when the situation will change, when life will restart.
I consider that adaptation is the period in which the impact of the crisis is assessed, the resources that sport or brands have at their disposal are assessed. It is essential to understand that financial resources are only part of the resources. Reputation, fans, relations with the authorities, know-how, logistics and much more are also very important.

About sports marketing in the Covid-19 era with Alexandru Tarog, Head of Marketing, Fortuna Entertainment Group

The next phase is the reaction. And sport should be directly involved in supporting those in need. There are several ways to do this:
Collaboration with sports sponsors on the projects they support. Even if it is not in the contract, even if it is not an obligation;
Support for directly involved supporters. Support can take many forms – logistical, financial or know-how;
Communication campaigns with fans who no longer have access to sports events and who need moral support, to be actions that activate them in the online environment.
At the same time, sport should be close to its partners and seek solutions with them to compensate as much as possible for the losses caused by the crisis. And here are some examples:
– Extending the duration of the partnership;
– Extension of the areas covered in the initial contract;
– Generating extra content with broadcast on its own media, but also on the national sports media (in great search of topics);
Branded content with partners.

The relaunch would be the third stage. We do not know exactly what things will look like after the end of this period, but we can anticipate some things such as the continuation of accelerated and accentuated digitization, the financing of sport by the authorities, a closer collaboration between sponsors and sponsors, etc.