The late Hibernian chairman Ron Gordon has been hailed as “the driving force behind a move by the Scottish Football Associations joining forces to revolutionize “the marketing and promotion” of the game.
The Scottish FA, Scottish Professional Football League and Scottish Women’s Premier League have launched Scottish Football Marketing (SFM), which “will be a central trading hub to revolutionize the promotion and marketing of the national game in Scotland”.
Scottish football has come under criticism in recent years for failing to realize the full potential of our national game, both domestically and internationally, but it is hoped this new venture will change that.
A strategic review led by Gordon, who passed away last month aged 68 and which also included Aberdeen, Hearts, Rangers and Celtic, revealed the need for an SFM division and a Hampden Park-based group of “talented and ambitious advertisers”. . They are now looking for professionals to work to improve Scottish football as a brand.
The hope is that this can lead to increased revenue through more engaging storytelling, as well as greater sponsorship and licensing opportunities.
Neil Doncaster, Chief Executive of the SPFL, said: “The whole of Scottish football has pulled together during the pandemic and the daily meetings of the Joint Response Group have been vital to ensure clubs weather the huge challenges posed by Covid unscathed .
“This model, which brings together the considerable resources, skills and energy of the entire sport, has shown how much more we can achieve when we all pull together.
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“The SPFL recently announced record sales and fees for our 42 clubs. The creation of Scottish Football Marketing gives the game a major strategic advantage in developing new and attractive commercial offerings which in turn will continue to increase revenue for the benefit of fans and clubs.
“Ron Gordon was a driving force behind the Scottish Football Marketing project and we hope his creation will be a legacy of his all-too-short time in Scottish football.”
Scottish FA Chief Executive Ian Maxwell said: “Scottish football offers an engaging and unpredictable narrative on the pitch. We believe it’s time to work smarter off the pitch in an increasingly competitive market to amplify the magic of our national game.
“We have seen similar models work well in football and sport and entertainment and want to ensure Scottish football is as appealing as possible to fans of all ages, with an offering that will appeal to new sponsors and partners. “
Fiona McIntyre, Chief Executive of SWPL said: “SWPL has come a long way in a very short space of time and these early advances have been underpinned by a culture of collaboration between SWPL clubs, the SPFL and the Scottish Football Association.
“In our first season we’ve already secured record-breaking partnerships with Sky Sports, BBC Scotland, BBC ALBA and Mitre.
“Scottish football marketing is an innovative and exciting development for Scottish football and our involvement will continue to strengthen elite women’s football in Scotland – and accelerate the growth of women’s football in this country.”
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