As Euro 2012 kicked off on Friday, football website 101GreatGoals.com received a threatening email from European football’s governing body UEFA.
You can see the letter, along with 101 Great Goals’ response, here: UEFA threaten 101 Great Goals: A Response
I have just a few things to tell the suits in Uefa.
1. UEFA knows it can’t win this battle. It’s impossible. Then why not “sell” a highlight package to all the websites who want to use UEFA content? Sell them for either a very small price (something like €10 per year), or for a percentage of the website’s income from online commercials. This can increase income a lot more than “playing a game of whack-a-mole”.
2. UEFA’s main missions are to be “football’s guardians” and “helping to cultivate the game’s grassroots – the foundation on which elite football can thrive”. How, exactly, does stopping kids and adults from watching their favorite player on YouTube help football “thrive”?
3. Do UEFA sponsors (Adidas, Canon, Coca-Cola, Continental, Castrol, Carlsberg, Hyundai-Kia, McDonalds and Sharp) know that UEFA hurt their exposure by trying to minimize Euro 2012′s exposure online? These companies post their commercials on YouTube in order to get as many views as possible. They also spend hundred of millions on sponsorship fees for Uefa. So, why hurt their online exposure? Sponsors can get a lot more viral exposure with the aid of a beautiful goal than with an online ad campaign. UEFA, by trying to minimize internet exposure, end up hurting their sponsors. That’s not a very smart strategy, is it?
4. According to the annual Global Sports Media Consumption Report, the new report by PERFORM, KantarSport and TV Sports Markets - a lot of fans have developed a habit of following sports online. In fact, it is now the second most popular method for fans to follow sport in all major markets except Great Britain and Germany. It’s time for UEFA to understand this fact and stop their pointless fight against it. Now, remember – in order to succeed in the online world, you have to offer your services for free. Just ask Google, Twitter and Facebook: If these giants are giving their services for free and are making money out of it – UEFA can do so as well. Then why not try?
5. Free content does not hurt the media right holders. People still watch their televisions and now, more than ever, they are watching sports. You can read why here: European football is not making enough money.
According to research, TV ratings are going up because of online “buzz”. Basically, this means that UEFA needs sites like 101 Great Goals that supply free content and get people excited about watching the game. Why, then, do they insist on trying to hurt them?