Sports leagues and teams can grow and prosper in ways they never imagined before. A team can take itself global with the right strategic combination of branding, fan experiences, content and distribution. Properly monetizing attendance, viewing, sponsorships and merchandise for the local and global fans drives revenues many times over what a local sports franchise could ever have expected just a decade ago, even in a major market. And a team does not have to reside in a major market to achieve this type of global success.
The UK’s Arsenal Football Club has applied itself to such a strategy and now numbers its fans in the millions. Key to the success has been careful attention to developing the brand and the fan experience, including touches such as giving fans an Arsenal-oriented live audio commentary via an app on their device of choice, so fans can watch the broadcast but tune out impartial broadcast commentators in favor of a “true fan” experience.
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