Europe's national associations are welcoming UEFA's long-term support in helping them implement effective marketing strategies to help boost football in their own countries.
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UEFA is providing a long-term marketing vision to its member associations to help them implement effective strategies and stimulate the development of football across Europe.
National associations from throughout the continent – some of whom were represented by presidents and general secretaries – came to Istanbul for a marketing workshop held under the auspices of the UEFA Knowledge and Information Sharing Scenario (KISS) programme.
The workshop focused on a selection of the best marketing practices in Europe and beyond, and gave the associations an ideal chance to swap expertise through networking opportunities and inspirational group discussion sessions.
The agenda also centred on UEFA's GROW 2020 marketing support programme, which underpins the European body's commitment to helping all national associations put marketing plans in place to support their business objectives.
GROW 2020 comprises four key pillars: nurturing the image of the game; reinforcing engagement with the football family; increasing and retaining people who play the game at all levels; increasing the national associations' commercial revenues.
"GROW 2020 is UEFA's vision for how we can support our 54 national associations to increase the love for football across Europe, based on consultation and working closely with our members," said UEFA marketing manager Noel Mooney. "We will support the national associations to create a clear marketing growth plan."
The FAs of Romania, Azerbaijan, Portugal and Northern Ireland all presented their progress as part of GROW 2020, and further case studies on marketing football were presented by Scotland, Norway and Wales.
"The national associations have already demonstrated very positive feedback towards our vision," said Mooney. "Those that have already participated in the programme are experiencing clear, tangible results, demonstrating the benefits of a partnership approach to growing our beautiful game."
Participants received an update on UEFA's European Qualifiers marketing support programme, which focuses on supporting each national association to build and implement an appropriate digital marketing strategy that will engage each country's entire football family. The national associations also learned about the importance of consumer research in gaining real insights upon which to base their decisions and plan their marketing strategies.
With fan engagement high on the agenda, adidas were invited to Istanbul to present their specific approach to exciting fans through their football content.
"I'm a keen believer in experience and information-sharing between associations," said Turkish Football Federation (TFF) vice-president Servet Yardımcı. "Obviously marketing is one of the key subjects in football, and it continues to evolve day by day. In order to plan ahead and minimise risks, learning from UEFA and other associations is a source of great assistance to all UEFA member associations."