01 Nov 2012

«Had we been a Moscow based club, we would be filling up the entire stadium»

This evening in «Luzhniki» as part of the group stage of Champions League «Spartak» will be hosting a game against «Benifica». Shortly before the match «Spartak» - «Benifica» a lecture was given to the students of «Management in Sports» RMA business school program by the marketing director of the Lisbon football club Miguel Bento.

«From the perspective of business, it has never been easy to work with the Portuguese football. Our main problem is the size of our country - only 10 million people. We have never had such big money in our football, if you compare us in that respect to the top-five football countries. Our football audience is therefore relatively small, and the market niche is quite narrow, all of which leads to the fact that the sponsors don't express as much interest in our national league events as they do say in Italy or needless to say in UK. Obviously the economic recession has only exacerbated the matters. It definitely is much harder now to make deals with the sponsors», – pointed out Miguel Bento.

«In the last season our club has generated 148 million Euros. 34 million of which we have raised from selling the players to other clubs. Another 25% came from the broadcast licensing, and about 30-35% accounts to sponsorship agreements, and the rest is what we call a "match day" revenue: in this we include the sales of the seasonal as well as singular tickets, renting out commercial space, the sales of food and drinks, and last but not least - merchandising.

In regards to the sponsors... Advertisements in exchange for monetary investments is indeed a common place strategy these days, however it doesn't mean that we don't seek to use all the available space as a source of advertising revenue. The main question for us is rather how well this advertisement is organized. For example: one of our main sponsors is a Coca Cola company, which, as you probably have already guessed, has it's own corporate lodge at the «Benifica» stadium.

And speaking of it: before it was just a regular lodge, however now, in close cooperation with our sponsor we have organized in it a youth club, a Coca Cola club. It opens it's door usually a day before the game, and our young fans can come there to play the real football as well as other games, meet up with the club's stars and veterans, and, of course, drink some Coca Cola.

Now when it comes to corporate lodges, whether they were bought outright, or rented out on a temporary basis, we give our sponsors a complete right to use that space as they see fit, and not only during the actual gaming days, but all 365 days a year. Hence our sponsors can shore up themselves additional business opportunities by utilizing that business space as one of their offices, and our lodges provide all the necessary conditions for that. So now that space is actively used for various business talks, singing of contracts and so forth, which makes our offering not only original but also profitable».

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