Speaking at an event hosted by the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) today (2 October) Dyke, who is also executive chairman of ATG, told Marketing Week the criticism by fans of the FA’s decision not to punish Chelsea FC’s Fernando Torres for scratching Tottenham Hotspur’s Jan Vertonghen during a recent match is an example of the governing body’s failure to communicate to fans about how it manages the English game.
To address the issue, the FA is reviewing its brand image in an attempt to be more “proactive” with how it promotes its work with the national teams and grassroots initaives.
Dyke adds: “I suspect the FA needs to up its image. When they didn’t charge Torres for scratching there was uproar [around the FA] but it was something that had been decided according to disciplinary rules. My view of the FA is that it needs to be more proactive and on the front foot [engaging with fans]. The work the ATG are doing now is very proactive and I think there are parallels to be drawn between it and football.
“If you want to be financially successful as a media business then you’ve got to focus on performance. What drives people forward in terms of performance is that [fan] passion. Football is no different. Once you have that then you can worry about the money.”
The ATG, which claims it is the UK’s largest theatre group with some 39 venues, is embarking on a sponsorship drive to fuel its expansion plans. The company is looking to sell the naming rights to its theatres along with creating what it claims are “flexible” sponsorship strategies around its venue, ticketing and production channels for potential sponsors.
Pat Westwell, marketing director at ATG, says the move aims to steal march on rival theatre groups such as AEG and LiveNation in creating a brand proposition founded on its access to affluent consumers. Additionally, the business is looking at ways it can co-create campaigns with commercial partners targeting more than 6 million households via its customer database.