A research funded by MasterCard revealed a “new breed of football fans”, who are collectively spending a staggering €35 billion each season supporting clubs from foreign countries.
The new and growing breed of European football fans are identified in a report by MasterCard and the European Business School (EBS) as “Fans Without Borders” . They collectively spend 35 billion euros on European football via PayTV subscriptions, buying merchandise, flying to the games themselves and more.
Europe might be heading for financial instability, but European clubs can still flourish because of these “Fans Without Borders”. They are the real growth engines for the big clubs in Europe.
And they will become more and more important.
Soon enough, money-spinning tours around the world will be a thing of the past, as clubs will build mini-stadiums in key markets to attract viewers. These fans will pay for tickets and watch a game between holograms that mimic every move that the players make in the club’s actual stadium (Check out how it works here: The Future is Here)
People around world would be able to visit stadiums and experience something very much like watching an actual game in person, even though they are thousands of miles away from their favorite team.
Until that will become a reality (in 10-15 years time), European clubs must work hard to gain as many foreign fans as possible – or be in danger of being left behind. This means changing hours of games, and visiting as many countries as possible during the summer, or even during the winter break.
The most important thing, however, is to play well and succeed. According to the report, 85% of the fans are attracted to a certain club because of its playing philosophy. A Global research Arsenal conducted showed similar results, mainly that playing attractive football is a core element of the club’s appeal – even above short-term success. That’s why football bosses want to see “good football” and are not satisfied just by winning.
However, on the long term, 79% of fans are attracted to a certain club because of success – thus making it almost as important as playing pretty football.
Arsenal have the potential to be a part in this elite group of clubs that are immensely popular around the world – and therefore one of the richest in the world. On the other hand, it is safe to say that Manchester City’s dramatic title win has helped them gain more global fans, and according to researches – so will the new European champions Chelsea.
Arsenal are in danger of being left behind in the most important race of all: gaining more fans (locally and globally).
It is by itself a good enough reason to invest heavily in Wenger’s squad.