SPONSORSHIP PROPOSAL 1

  • Category:
    Business
  • Document type:
    Research Proposal
  • Level:
    Undergraduate
  • Page:
    4
  • Words:
    2787

Sponsorship Proposal for Melbourne City Football Club

Executive Summary

In this proposal, Melbourne City Football Club (MCFC) is seeking sponsorship from Woolworths Ltd. MCFC is an Australian soccer club that was founded in 2009 and competes in the Australian A-League. Since it is a football club, MCFC targets male fans in Australia and the global football fan base. MCFC offers Woolworths an opportunity to promote and advertise itself through mediums such as player’s apparel, club website, stadium signage, and match day promotion. It also provides business-to-business partnership opportunities. Additionally, organizations wishing to undertake CSR activities can collaborate with MCFC to bring positive change in the community. The proposed partnership between Woolworths and Melbourne City FC will be a mutually beneficial relationship to both parties. On one hand, MCFC will benefit from the funding, as it is required in running the firm’s day-to-day activities. On the other hand, the partnership will help Woolworths to present its offering to potential clients and retain current customers. The payment plan is also flexible to accommodate the needs and the ability of Woolworths. The marketing plan of MCFC shows that the club is strategically positioned to achieve sustained success.

Table of Contents

Cover Letter 4

Sport Property 6

Target Markets 7

Promotional Plan 8

Communicate Benefits 9

Creative Leverage 9

Budget, Investment & Evaluation 10

Marketing Plan for the Property 11

11Vision and Mission of MCFC

11Brand Bullseye

12PEST Analysis

13Competitor Analysis

Inventory of Assets 13

References 14

Cover Letter

Sponsorship Manager,

Melbourne City Football Club,

Melbourne, Australia.

To The Marketing Manager,

Woolworths Ltd,

Melbourne.

Dear Sir,

Melbourne City Football Club is an Australian soccer club that competes in the Australian A-League. The club’s formation was inspired by a vision to create a community team that celebrates sporting passion through football and cultural diversity. The team has been performing well in the league and finished fourth in the just concluded season. Football is the world’s most popular sport and is among the most watched sports in the country. As the clubs participates in the various tournaments and leagues, it attracts a huge following within its community and the larger Melbourne city.

We would like you to consider becoming one of MCFC’s corporate sponsors. We believe that sponsorship is a two-way partnership. MCFC provides several sponsorship opportunities. The first activity opportunity is branding. In branding, your organization can promote itself through mediums such as player’s apparel, club website, stadium signage, and match day promotion. Secondly, your company can promote itself through our connection with the community and the surrounding businesses.

We believe that your organization is a perfect fit for our sponsorship opportunity. Your company targets the mass market but has a leaning towards the middle class. Through our promotional vehicle, your business will reach this target market. The partnership with MCFC will enable Woolworths to present its offering to potential clients and retain current customers. Finally, the payment plan can be customized to meet the sponsor’s capability and needs.

Thank you for your prompt response.

Yours Faithfully,

Sport Property

Melbourne City Football Club is an Australian soccer club that was founded in 2009. It is based in Melbourne and competes in the Australian A-League. Formerly known as Melbourne Heart FC, the club was acquired by the City Football Group, which rebranded the club to Melbourne City Football Club. City Football Group is a consortium with an extensive investment in soccer internationally. Apart from owning England’s Manchester City, the City Football Group also owns the New York City FC, which is a Major League Soccer club in the United States. Melbourne City FC is based at La Trobe University and its home ground is Melbourne Rectangular Stadium (AAMI). Based on the Melbourne City FC’s website, the club’s formation was inspired by a vision to create a community team that celebrates sporting passion through football and cultural diversity.

Melbourne City FC’s head coach, John van’t Schip, leads the club in the Hyundai A-League. Over the years, van’t Schip has helped to develop talented young players who have made the transitions from the league to other superior leagues such as the English Premier League. In 2014/2015 season, Melbourne City FC reached the Semi-Final berth for the first time and finished fifth on the ladder. In 2015/2016 season, the club finished fourth on the ladder. Melbourne City FC also has a women’s team, which competed in the 2015/2016 for the first time. The club’s youth team competes in the National Youth League. The youth team won the 2014/2015 season. The City Football Academy (CFA) in Melbourne houses the club’s headquarters. The CFA, which is situated in La Trobe University, has modern training and community pitches, expansive office space, and excellent sports science and medical facilities. The AAMI Park Stadium has a capacity of 30,000 spectators and features a sports campus.

Target Markets

Football is the world’s most popular sport. According to FIFA (2007), 4% of the total global population are actively involved in the sport. In 2006, there were 265 million male and female football players. Although the number of female players has been increasing, female players account for only 10% of the total players. In terms of fan following, fans in Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe, and the Americas love football. This is in contrast to other sports such as American football, Australian Rules football, cricket, and hockey, which have huge followings in some regions and little or no following in other regions. In fact, soccer is fast gaining popularity in countries such as the USA, which was predominantly associated with American football. The fact that football is the most loved game in the whole world means that businesses can use it to reach the global audience.

Although football is the most loved sport in the world, it is more popular among the male demographic. Therefore, organizations that target the female demographic are not suited to using it as a promotional vehicle. In fact, the viewership of all sports among men and women show similar trends. According to Roy Morgan Research (2013), football is one of the most watched sports in Australia. Based on the research, 21% of all people above the age of 14 watch soccer on TV. This percentage translates to 4.01 million people. In terms of participation, Roy Morgan Research (2014) estimate that 37.7% of children between the age of 6 – 13 play soccer. Overall, soccer is played by 8.2% of the entire population in Australia (Roy Morgan Research, 2014). The popularity of football, especially in the young demographic, makes it a suitable marketing vehicle for companies targeting this demographic.

Melbourne City FC, as it participates in the league and other competitions, attracts a following within its community and the larger Melbourne city. Melbourne is the capital of Australia and is one of the most populous cities in all of Oceania. The club’s positioning as the pride of the city allows people living in the city to associate with it. Therefore, in terms of geographical targeting, Sponsoring MCFC allows an organization to reach the wide clientele that Melbourne city offers.

Promotional Plan

Melbourne City FC offers many promotional activities for prospective sponsors. MCFC believes that sponsorship is a two-way partnership, in which both parties benefit. The first activity that MCFC provides to sponsors is branding. In branding, a business can promote and advertise itself through mediums such as player’s apparel, club website, stadium signage, and match day promotion. Branding on football shirts increases the product awareness of an advertising firm (Quester, 1997). Stadium signage and match day promotional activities allow a business to be seen when the team plays matches. The duration of branding can last several seasons. However, match day promotional activities can last a single match or the entire season.

Melbourne City FC also provides business-to-business partnership opportunities (Melbourne City FC). Melbourne City FC is connected to many businesses in Melbourne. The club also organizes events together with its business connections. Sponsors can use MCFC’s extensive connection to businesses to advertise itself or simply to engage the businesses. Further, collaborating with MCFC providers sponsors with an opportunity to engage the club’s fans. By engaging the fans directly, businesses can increase their sales and brand awareness (Quester, 1997). Finally, MCFC has a strong relationship with the community. Collaborating with MCFC provides sponsors with a chance to bring positive change in the community. Essentially, partnering with communities enables businesses to drive their corporate social responsibility agenda, which is part of marketing. For example, a sponsor can cooperate with MCFC to support underprivileged children in society thereby marketing itself as a caring corporate.

Communicate Benefits

Melbourne City FC is a strategic “fit” with the proposed sponsor: Woolworths Ltd. Woolworths is an Australian supermarket/grocery chain store, which has built a reputation of low pricing, convenient shopping, and excellent customer service (Mortimer, 2001). Woolworths targets the mass market but has a leaning towards the middle class (Woolworths, 2015). In order to enhance profitability, Woolworths must attract a large number of customers since it embraces a low pricing strategy. As a result, the promotional vehicle that Woolworths chooses must be one that appeals to a majority of the population. MCFC offers just that.

Many Australians love football and sponsoring a football team will allow Woolworths to reach a wide potential clientele. MCFC also participates in the A-League, which is watched by millions of people in Australia each season. MCFC’s excellent results on the pitch mean that Woolworths will associate itself with a performing club. Branding through mediums such as player’s apparel, club website, stadium signage, and match day promotion will increase Woolworths brand awareness, which can help to increase sales and revenues. Woolworths can also use MCFC’s relationship with the community to undertake CSR activities in order to promote itself.

Creative Leverage

The partnership between Woolworths and Melbourne City FC will be a mutually beneficial relationship to both parties. On one hand, MCFC will benefit from the funding. As a football club, MCFC requires funding to run its day-to-day activities. The funding will go into paying the coaching and the playing units, and the management. In particular, the club needs money to attract the best players who will sustain the good performance on the pitch. Other facilities such as sports science and medical facilities also require funding. In contrast, Woolworths needs to increase sales through brand awareness. Increased competition from international stores means that Woolworths must find ways of sustaining growth (Merrilees & Miller, 2001). The partnership with MCFC will enable Woolworths to present its offering to potential clients and retain current customers. Potential clients will become aware of its products, pricing, and store locations. The partnership will also enhance the interaction between the firm and the customer base.

In order for both parties to benefit from the partnership, it is essential for policies to be adopted to prevent ambush marketing. One such policy is to ensure that MCFC fully controls advertisements in the vicinity. For example, MCFC will consider buying billboards and other advertising space within the vicinity. MCFC will also demand media organizations to restrict promotion and advertising before and after matches. More importantly, MCFC has met the necessary intellectual property rights to protect events from dishonest advertisers. Finally, the partners will raise awareness of events, minimize the impact of online ambush marketing, and enforce individual agreements.

Budget, Investment & Evaluation

The sponsorship payment plan is customized to meet the sponsor’s capability and needs. Additionally, a sponsor is free to contact us to negotiate the pricing and offering. Concerning branding, a sponsor can choose advertise on on-field player’s apparel for a minimum of one season. Players’ shirt sponsorship costs AUD $500,000 a season. Stadium signage, advertising on the club’s website, and other match day promotional activities do not have a fixed price. However, the pricing depends on factors such as the size of the signage, and the duration of the advertisement. On average, a stadium signage costs AUD$10,000. Stadium naming rights for a period of one season will cost AUD$200,000. Sponsors wishing to participate in our annual one-day events to meet our business partners will be required to pay $50,000. Finally, to participate in our CSR activities, a sponsor does not have to pay us. However, the sponsor must be willing to support the charity we are involved in financially.

Marketing Plan for the Property

Based on the target market research, we have a media plan that will generate interest in and awareness of the club’s events. Depending on the offering that the sponsor is interested in, we guarantee awareness. One advantage of sponsoring MCFC is that the sponsor gets free media advertisement because we participate in the A-League and other competitive tournaments. Each season, millions of fans watch the A-League, which means that out club gets free media awareness. Apart from the awareness derived from the participation in the competitive leagues and championships, we also have budget to promote the club directly to our target audience.

Our television campaign targets two sets of clients: football fans and community organizations involved in CSR activities. Our focus on football fans is aimed at recruiting as many supporters as possible. Targeting communications helps us to support the community effectively. We run monthly television advertisements on Seven Network displaying our team in action and our efforts in bettering the community. Our choice for this channel is based on fact that it has a large audience share in Melbourne. As it is the trend with most big football clubs, plans are at an advanced stage to start our own TV station. Apart from reducing our TV advertising expenses, the creation of our TV station will help in reaching the intended target audience.

Although we do not have current advertisements on Radio, we occasionally advertise ourselves on this platform as the football season progresses. We also have our monthly magazine, MCFC, which highlights our team, successes, and community outreach programs. The magazine reaches more than ten thousand readers monthly. Articles from the magazine are also provided on social media platforms. Finally, we occasionally advertise ourselves on top newspapers in the country throughout the period of the football season. Our signage appear on the stadium and surrounding areas, increasing our awareness and reputation.

Apart from the conventional methods of advertising, we rely on our website and other e-marketing channels to reach our customers. The club’s website provides a platform through which we advertise ourselves to potential fans. Our website, www.melbournecityfc.com.au, generates more than five million hits annually. Most of the hits are before and after a major event like a league match. Apart from the website, we rely on social media to advertise ourselves and engage our following. Our huge following on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media pages guarantees enhanced awareness.

Inventory of Assets

The first asset that MCFC has, and which can be made available to the sponsor, is the stadium. The club’s AAMI Park stadium is an advanced facility with a Bioframe design and a dome roof that covers most of the seating areas. The stadium is located at La Trobe University. Therefore, sponsors advertising on the stadium will reach a wide customer base. The stadium signage, naming rights, and banners are examples of advertising avenues on the stadium that the sponsor can utilize. Another asset is the playing staff. Because MCFC is in the football business, the playing and coaching units are strategic assets. Players’ apparel are advertising opportunities that a sponsor can utilize. Finally, the club’s connection with the community and businesses is a vital asset. As a strategic and responsible business partner, sponsors can use MCFC’s credibility to advertise their products. Essentially, the club’s fans are likely to purchase a product if it is advertised on the club’s branding tools.

References

FIFA. (2007). 265 million playing football. FIFA. Retrieved from http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/fifafacts/bcoffsurv/emaga_9384_10704.pdf

Melbourne City Football Club. (n.d.). About us. MCFC. Retrieved from http://www.melbournecityfc.com.au/about/about-us/ascwzx0fu57v1ppdt2cinx8wf

Mortimer, D. (2001). Management Employment Relations Strategy: The Case of Retailing. International Employment Relations Review, 7(1), 81.

Merrilees, B., & Miller, D. (2001). Innovation and strategy in the Australian supermarket industry. Journal of Food Products Marketing, 7(4), 3-18.

Quester, P. (1997). Sponsorship returns: the value of naming rights. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 2(3), 101-108.

Roy Morgan Research. (2013). AFL is clearly Australia’s most watched Football Code, while V8 Supercars have the local edge over Formula 1. Roy Morgan. Retrieved from http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/5488-sports-viewing-on-tv-201403140213

Roy Morgan Research (2014). Top 20 Sports and Activities by regular participation rate. Roy Morgan. Retrieved from http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/6123-australian-sports-participation-rates-among-children-and-adults-december-2014-201503182151

Smyth, J., & Wells, P. (2016, March 2). Australia’s economic growth defies fears over impact of China slowdown. Financial Times. Retrieved from https://next.ft.com/content/64c1de68-e016-11e5-b7fd-0dfe89910bd6

Stensholt, J., & Mooney, S. (2015). A-League: The inside story of the tumultuous first decade. Sidney: Black Inc.

Woolworths (2015). Annual Report 2015. Woolworths Limited. Retrieved from http://www.woolworthslimited.com.au/icms_docs/182381_Annual_Report_2015.pdf