FOOTBALL administrators attending the 2013 Soccerex African Forum have been urged to come up with brands that resonate with their fans.
And a media expert has called on club officials not to view the media as an enemy but as a colleague in fostering football development.
Nomsa Mazibuko, head of marketing at SuperSport International, in her presentation urged Football Associations (FA’s) and clubs not to leave branding to chance.
Mazibuko said FA’s and clubs should not allow a sponsor drive their own mileage at the expense of the club but the clubs should at the same time continue growing the brand which should continue should a sponsor pull out.
“There is need for you to come up with a long term investment plan by understanding the importance of your brand and do not leave it to chance but gives it a commercial value. There must a relationship between you and your fans who should easily identify with your brand,” she said.
Mazibuko said while brands were not consistent, there was need to always come up with fresh consistent brands that should not detach the fans and gave an example of Orlando Pirates, whose brand has evolved in the past years but still maintained its fan base.
She also said players were the greatest asserts clubs had and should know how best to use them in the branding and that there was need to give fans original replica’s because no one wanted fake things.
Meanwhile, SuperSport United head of media Kokestso Gaofetoge, in his presentation said clubs should employee media officers who should have a good relationship with media houses.
Gaofetoge observed that there are many times that the media has been treated as an enemy by clubs that feel they have been unfairly covered and ended up rating sports journalists as second rate citizens.
He said journalists were important stakeholders in football development and thus needed to be given good treatment especially when it came to coverage of soccer matches and accessing information about the team.
Gaofetoge said media officers employed by the clubs should be pro-active by ensuring that they have a good rapport with clubs.
“Create a good relationship with the media houses and give them information unlike allowing them to snoop around and find information that you did not want them to get. By having a relationship that helps you in advising how well you would want to be covered unlike always complaining about bad coverage,” he said.