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Essay: Football Beyond Borders – marketing analysis

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  • Published: 16 November 2022*
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Introduction

For a country that hosted FIFA in 2014, it would not be wrong to say that Brazil is home to a young generation of avid football players and fans. Brazil has won the FIFA world cup 5 times and has made 21 appearances since the 1930s (FIFA 2018).

Ever since hosting the FIFA world cup in 2014 in Brazil, the country has seen a downward shift in its high as the percentage of people interested in the sport itself went down from 72% to 60% between 2013 – 2017 (Nielsen Sports 2018). If we were to look at the numbers to understand the scale of the population that translates to around 75 million Brazilians who take a lot of interest in the sport of Football (Nielsen Sports 2018). Naturally, hosting the world cup would have meant a massive interest by Brazilians who are already massive fans of the game because not only does hosting the world cup increase the economic activity within the country significantly, it also brings in a lot of international attention and tourism. However, the drop in interest needs to be taken into account when drafting a marketing strategy for Football Beyond Borders.

This report will look at the expansion of Football Beyond Border’s expansion to Brazil and will closely analyse the marketing environments through different marketing tools to understand how the organisation can establish a strong foothold in the Brazilian market as efficiently as possible.

Micro and Macro Environment

Both the Micro and Macro environmental factors are out of the control of marketers but understanding these factors will really help Football Beyond Borders (FBB) position itself in a new market – Brazil. The analysis of both micro and macro environments is crucial in understanding the external factors that could influence the marketing strategies for Football Beyond Borders.

Figure 1 Micro Environment ( Czinkota et al. 2013)

Micro

To put things into perspective, the illustration above in figure 1 outlines the different segments of our target market that can directly influence the marketing efforts of FBB.

Buyers

Since Football Beyond Borders is an education charity (Football Beyond Borders 2018), it should be noted that the organisation is not selling a physical product but is selling the wellbeing of young kids by using football as a tool to catalyse their educational learning. Which means that the ‘buyers’ or customers of the product would be schools or other public institutions involved in the education of kids. Customers always help shape the marketing strategy for any organisation and in this case the strategy will be more business to business or B2B focused.

Employees

The company employees are the biggest source of marketing as marketing by word of mouth or through referrals is the usually regarded as the most effective form of marketing. This means that all the people who will be recruited by FBB in Brazil will have to be trained by employees form the home office in the UK to act as ambassadors for the company.

Competitor Analysis

To analyse the microenvironment, the marketing strategy needs to take competitors into account. Currently, in Brazil, the other charities that have been working in a similar domain regarding the use of Sports with Education to empower young children include organisations like Lionsraw. The organisation is similar to Football Beyond Borders in terms of their mission and are also based in the United Kingdom. They who have been working with underprivileged children from Brazil since 2013/2014 (Lionsraw 2018). Another organisation that could potentially be competition for FBB is an organisation called ‘United through Sport’ who have been working closely in the region of South Africa in Argentina but could potentially expand their operations to Brazil as a part of their program.

Media and Public

As mentioned in the introduction, Brazil has a population majority that is immensely interested in sports and football in general. Keeping that in mind, the media and public would naturally have an interest in sports which would benefit Football Beyond Borders as they expand to the country, and this interest would possibly reduce their barriers to entry.

Figure 2 Micro Environment ( Czinkota et al. 2013)

Macro

Macro environments take other factors into account that include demographics as well as the political, environmental, economic, social, technological and legal aspects into account (Etzel et al. 1997).

Considering that the main language spoken in the country is Portuguese (BBC 2018), Football Beyond Borders will have to take that into account when developing the marketing strategies. Around 37% per cent of the population is younger than 24 years of age (CIA 2018) which is the main target age group for Football Beyond Borders. The literacy rates are pretty high and are around 92% (CIA 2018) for a population aged above 15 years of age who can read and write, which is important information knowing that the population does take education seriously. Being the 8th largest economy in the world, the country has suffered a lot from the recession and is still in recovery since 2015 (CIA 2018). There has been political unrest and a lot of negative attention has been brought to the country due to corruption-related issues and scandals especially since the impeachment of the previous president Dilma Rousseff in 2016 (CIA 2018), which is an important piece of information for any company planning expansion to the region as it shows instability. Analysing the technological environment shows that Brazilians are still coming to terms with technological advancements as 59.7 % of the population uses the internet. Internet penetration is an important factor as this can be used to identify if digital marketing can be used effectively by football beyond borders in a country like Brazil.

Marketing Communication Strategy

Taking all the things mentioned in the previous section after analysing the micro and macro environment of the country, Football Beyond Borders can use a handful of different marketing techniques to get their message across effectively. The following information will elaborate on suggested marketing techniques.

Social Media

These days’ social media is an integral part of any business and its importance in marketing cannot be denied when it comes to marketing (Felix et al. 2017). Considering that 100 million people in the country use the internet (CIA 2018), that is an extensive population that can be reached digitally through the usage of social media. Among the population that uses internet 76% per cent of them use it daily (Nyugen 2015), which is really beneficial for Football Beyond Borders as digital marketing through social media not only validates the position of the organisation but also allows for potential organisations to reach out to them directly to show interest in the curriculum. Moreover, parents of these young Brazilians can be targeted through social media. Having a social media presence also allows the public to start a conversation online about the usage of football in empowering young children. According to the Nyugen (2015), the firewall in countries like China discourage foreign organisations from entering the market due to heavy censorship, however, Brazil’s social media friendly and internet friendly firewalls allow for an easier flow of information for organizations in terms of marketing. Social media is not just more effective in terms of its targeting as compared to traditional forms of marketing, but it also allows organisations to gauge the outcomes and efficiently allocate budgets to make the most out of their efforts. Furthermore, social media marketing is relatively cheaper as compared to traditional and conventional forms of marketing as argued by Felix et al. (2015).

Public Relations

Whereas social media can be used to reach out to end users of what FBB is offering, PR activities should be used to engage stakeholders in a B2B or a business to business environment. As mentioned above in the micro-analysis, FBB would have to reach out to educational institutions or government bodies and work with them collaboratively in order to empower young students. This can be done by organising presentations at different schools, universities and colleges where representatives from FBB demonstrate to the management and student the importance of their curriculum and the usage of football to enhance learning. Moreover, the company can organise a PR event in collaboration with any football celebrities from Brazil and can invite different educational institutions, organizations and government officials to the event as means of marketing and getting their message across.

Marketing Mix

The marketing mix is about finding the right balance and combination between the price, product, promotion, place and personnel/presentation for a product or service (Ghauri et al. 2014). The 4P framework is regarded as the ultimate model in determining and efficiently targeting the right market.

Pricing

The price of a product or a service is an important determinant of the marketing mix as altering the price can result in significant changes in revenue and profits and can also help in determining the amount being allocated to marketing activities (Ghauri et al. 2014). For Foot Ball Beyond Borders, as mentioned in their annual report from 2017, around 71% of the income comes from donations and community fundraising (Football beyond borders 2017) which means that the pricing of their educational program is not heavily reliant on the income of the organisation. For this reason, if FBB partners with other local organisations in Brazil for funding, it can offer the programs to students at really subsidised rates or even for free. Working in close relation with the local government might also make the organisation eligible for grants.

Promotion

As mentioned above in this report, the use of digital media is of utmost importance to Football Beyond Borders considering the tech-savvy internet population in Brazil (Nyugen 2015) and the synergy that can be created by targeting the right audience. Furthermore, Football Beyond Borders can use fundraising activities in Brazil to get the community involved and the through those activities promotion can be done effectively. Donation drives across the country can be organised cost effectively which will get young kids involved in football events for free and those events can be used to distribute literature and important information about the organisation.

Place

Placement or positioning is about understanding how the target demographic will get to the product or service (Ghauri et al. 2014). Considering the work being done by Football Beyond Borders, this point talks about making the product or service more accessible to potential clients. In order to make it more accessible, Football Beyond Borders will have to partner up with local organisations in order to make the sports-themed curriculum more accessible to a wider audience. This means, partnering up with the local education ministry as well as the local government and jointly offering the curriculum in a district, provincial or national level.

Product & Presentation

The product for Football Beyond Borders is the sports-themed curriculum to enhance development in young students (Football Beyond Borders 2018). Having established this product, the organisation might have to tweak the curriculum to fit the Brazilian market. This would mean working on the way the product is delivered to the target marketing and using the Portuguese language and elements of the Brazilian culture in order to make the product more widely and easily acceptable. Football Beyond Borders will have to use newer feedback methods to gauge the difference their curriculum is making in a new country like Brazil.

Personnel

The employees of a company are usually undermined when marketing plans are made but it is important to understand their significance as they deliver the product to any organisation. This means all Football Beyond Borders management who will be working in Brazil, as well as the coaches and mentors who will be working with the young kids. It has to be made sure that these teachers, coaches and mentors have the right certifications and proven track records to be able to work with younger children. The security and well-being of these kids are of crucial importance and hence the scrutiny of staff members in Brazil will be very necessary. Important training has to be conducted with FBB employees from the UK in order to make the staff in Brazil understand the concept, values and overall mission of Football Beyond Borders. Unless these employees truly understand the importance of the mission and if they do not wholly embrace it, they will not be able to represent the values of the organisation. Having people who truly believe in the organisation and its mission can drastically shift the overall performance of the entire team.

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