Buying a professional football team? Ten lessons learned: #7 - Sponsors and fans could feel that the club's identity, is in the hands of a stranger; that is an enormous responsibility

19 August 2020

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Photo: PA Images RCD Espanyol fans with scarves during the La Liga match, date 26, between RCD Espanyol and Atletico de Madrid at RCDE Stadium on March 1, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain.

As a new club owner, you immediately need to connect with fans and sponsors. When it comes to the sponsors, you need to deliver concrete value. The fan group is complex and targeting the young fans requires a diversified "new-school" skillset.

Alexander Janssen was involved on the ownership side of two clubs, one in Belgium and the other in Spain, where he learned that the football industry is not only extremely competitive but very, very different to the environment that he used to work in.

As a successful consultant with deep knowledge of turnarounds, he inexplicably experienced a sudden disregard of the discipline and long-term mindset that normally characterised his every move.

Janssen has written ten columns about the insights he gained from being involved with those two clubs. This is the seventh.

Alexander Janssen, Sports Investor contact@offthepitch.com

Today we elaborate on lesson #7: ROLL OUT A SPONSORS AND SUPPORTERS RETENTION PLAN

When you are taking over a professional team, all stakeholders will be in limbo.

On the one hand, the new blood is exciting and they will hope that your leadership will be an invigorating force. On the other hand, they have a history - sometimes going back generations - and their team is their identity. Their identity is now in the hands of a stranger. That is an enormous responsibility.

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