Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Marketing expert: "It will be an Obama-type campaign"

Carles Torrecilla, marketing professor at ESADE in Barcelona, gave an interview to Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo.

The number of club members has grown.
Not only the number of voters has grown a lot, they've also got more heterogeneous. If there are 50.000 members, it's possible they're all very alike, but if you have 100.000 you in fact have a very heterogeneous group.

But classifiable?
If there are few, you can divide them by age, social class, by purchasing power. But when we speak about those kinds of quantities, you have to classify them based on socio-demographic characteristics.

What does that mean?
Well, we have for example a meaningful number of Barcelona fans who are immigrants, not Spaniards but foreigners. That is an aspect that in the US is taken into account a lot when signing players. The NBA teams recommend their scouts to focus on this or that country because they have a lot of fans from that area.

What should be the basic electoral strategy?
In the elections for president of Barça, candidates used to focus on one theme, I am the Catalan, or I am the one who supports the fan clubs... This won't do it any longer. This will be a campaign that is no longer focused on the mass media, but that will spread to the internet, it will be an Obama-type campaign, so to speak.

Explain yourself.
The candidates will need to have their facebook account, their mail account, their twitter account, they will have to send mobile messages, they will have to organize events at bars and clubs and things like that. Not because the voters have changed in terms of age, that would be the most instinctive reflection. Nor just because they are younger. The point is that there are different groups with different expectations. It will therefore be necessary to offer different messages.

Isn't there a risk that these messages contradict each other?
That's why the campaign shouldn't be about people but about teams. Until now, the board was formed by the president and people known by the president but not by the public. During this last term you could already see that some directors became more important. In the future, the rest of the board will embody different concerns, as in politics.

The logistics side has an influence?
Yes, because of only having one place where people can vote. This wasn't a problem until now because many members lived very close the stadium. But from now on, if the elections are not on a match day, voters belonging to one majority segment, as well as many other people, will not be represented. That will lead to conflicts. Barça being more than a club, it doesn't make sense that the elections are not held on a match day because if that's the case, the members who live the farthest won't come out to vote. On the other hand, more and more members are living further away, members who also do not usually come to watch the games. There is a risk, like in politics, that the participation drops and that the board becomes an organ that is separated from the social dynamics of the club and that could be dangerous.

Read more:
How many people will be able to vote?
Laporta meets with Obama campaign advisers
Plan for internet voting rejected

interview: f. perearnau