Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Why the marketing of soccer in Australia is going " downhill "

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Evaluate how successful the marketing of soccer in Australia has been


“The Marketing of soccer in Australia is going downhill because of lack of TV, Media coverage, limited media attention, not enough support from fans, and lack of sponsorship to support the market”.

Soccer as we know it today began in England about halfway through the present century. There are records of earlier forms in China, at least two thousand years ago, in ancient Greece and Rome. But it was in England that soccer began to take the shape as we know it today. Soccer has become a very poplar sport world wide, in some countries soccer; you could say is considered a religion.

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The purpose of this assignment is to evaluate the marketing of soccer in Australia, Find out why soccer is not as big or as popular as it is in other countries and determine why the marketing is going downhill. The assignment will consist of 4 main focus questions which are listed below and will hopefully prove my hypothesis correct. Although there are many other factors which are currently affecting the marketing of soccer in Australia I feel as though the chosen topics are the most obvious and major reasons.

1. Not enough TV coverage of soccer in Australia

. Lack of sponsorship to support the soccer market

. Not enough Fan support

4. Not enough media attention

1. TV coverage of soccer in Australia

For a Sport to popular in Australia or anywhere world wide, it seems essential that there has to be enough Television coverage. The NSL used to broadcast on Channel Sevens TV sports channel, but that no longer exists, leaving Soccer Australia desperately looking for another way of getting its sport on the box. This is one major reason the marketing is going on a downhill ride. Although standard TV channels have seized the viewing of soccer matches associations such as Homeart have agreed to show the 00/00 National Soccer League championship Series (Top 6 Finals Series) and Grand Final (delayed coverage) on the Expo Channel via the Optus cable and satellite service (Channel 47) and regional Austar Pay TV (Channel 1).Homeart, an Australian specialty retailer, has agreed to sponsor the significant production costs of the television production for coverage of the matches, in addition to providing the NSL Champions with a bonus winners cheque of $50,000 upon winning the 00/00 NSL Grand Final. Companies doing generous things such as this will surly help the soccer market, by making the sport more popular. But the market is always heavily relying on sponsorship such as this to remain even on pay TV. Where as sports such as cricket, AFL, NRL, are sponsored and shown on local TV channels on a regular basis, making it very hard for Australia’s soccer market to ever compare with other sports. Why would a TV station want to show soccer games if they can’t see any improvement in the popularity of the sport in the future.

The below quote will back the theory that TV channel producers aren’t prepared to support soccer on TV as they feel its not popular enough to be a success

We are not prepared to devote that sort of money and resources to a national soccer team when there doesn’t appear to be any light at the end of the tunnel in terms of pay-TV coverage and major corporate support. Fitzgerald says

Quote from (Daily Telegraph - Mirror Australian Telegraph Publications) Wednesday 4th

. Lack of sponsorship to support the soccer market

Soccer clubs in Australia are having a huge downfall with sponsorship. An excellent example of this would be the fight to try save the Melbourne based team, the Carlton Blues.

”Carlton is one of the more cosmopolitan teams of the league; its not tied to any particular ethnic group and has aimed to establish a broad appeal. It wins games, holds a respectable fifth place on the ladder and yet it hasnt been able to pay its players now for six weeks”.

The soccer club was relying on a transfer from an international player Simon Colosimo to Sunderland in the English Premier League. A fee of more than £1 million sterling would have taken care of Carltons crisis but the deal fell through.

(ABC NEWSPAPER) Web page in bibliography

All in all, transfers are an unreliable source of funding for Australias National Soccer League teams but there seem to be few other funding options. Lack of available sponsorship is effectively caused by lack of media and TV coverage, if the sport isn’t going to promoted and seen on TV in prime time big companies will never want to take part in supporting soccer teams as they will get little or nothing out of it return

In July 18 Australia applied for the opportunity to host the world cup finals. If a privilege such as this were to be given to Australia and they were aloud to host the world cup finals the sponsorship, TV coverage of soccer would boom and you would find that soccer teams in Australia would find it much easier to find sponsorship.

What can be said is that the NSL, as we know it, has no future. Australias oldest national sporting competition is showing its age. The bubble economy that raised hopes around the turn of the century has burst. Full-time football has gone, taking six-figure salaries for coaches and players with it. Without a solid foundation, a genuine pro league was always going to be a mirage.

Newspaper article “Power for sale” By Dean Ritchie


. Not enough Fan support

Having a large number of fans for any particular team is almost impossible for Australian soccer teams. Due to the lack of TV and media coverage soccer teams have trouble getting a crowd to support them. An average Australian soccer game pulls in a cheerless 500 fans. If you compare fan support of soccer to another sport, Football for example which has a smaller number of registered players with only 14,0 appose to soccer’s 87,74. Surprisingly the average attendance level for football is much higher pulling in an average of almost 11 thousand spectators per game which is over double that of soccer’s. The huge difference is obviously because caused from lack of media, TV attention. In the past 7 years due to the poor attendance of Fans watching soccer games in Australia the currant 17 soccer stadiums was reduce from the original which cost soccer Australia thousands in lost revenue.

“The Power, who average between 500-000 fans to each home match, entered the NSL on the back of early success of Sydney rivals the Northern Spirit. But hopes of immediate success � like the Spirit � sank due to average results and poor home attendances.”

Newspaper article “Power for sale” By Dean Ritchie


4. Not enough Media attention � Soccer Australia

Having a good solid media attention is essential for a successful sporting market. Not only does it help with the sports popularity but also attracts much needed sponsorship to the game. Media attention can really boost and make a particular sport more popular, normally when there’s big events coming up there’s commercials advertising it, for example the State of origin that’s coming up there is adds on all the time in prime time promoting there games. This really attracts football fans from everywhere to either watch the games from there home TV or to actually go to the stadium and see the game live. This could be one of the main reasons soccer has such poor fan support and spectator attendance, due to the lack of media advertisement. Using football for an example again TV/media shows such as the very famous “footy show” really helps the sport of football although the show has turned into more of a comedy show it runs for an hour Giving results there thoughts and stacks of information about what has been happening in that week of the football world. If only soccer could have a show as popular as this for example media attention, sponsorship would come to players a lot easier. Having lack of media attention seems to relate to having little fan support and perhaps because of little fan support there is no or little chance for soccer teams or individual players to get adequate sponsorship. Its clear that the sport needs all 4 of these points working together to create a successful market in soccer for the future.



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