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SD Eibar's Success Drivers

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April 30, 2019 

 

“Another Football is Possible” is the slogan used by LaLiga side SD Eibar across its various marketing campaigns. It is a reminder that things can be done differently to survive in a competive industry such as professional football. 

An example of how the club's management model is different to most professional clubs in Spain can be highlighted by the following three innovation drivers.

 

1. High female participation across the club in managing roles

The club's mandate is committed to providing equal opportunities to women and this is reflected across the club's management positions. In fact, SD Eibar has a refreshing 50% ratio of women in executive roles, including the club's president, Amaia Gorostiza. Heads of function in the marketing, communication and sponsorship department are also female, demonstrating that it is an organization that has broken its glass ceiling.

 

2. Well-defined internationalization strategy 

In 2014 SD Eibar faced tough demands to raise their capital value imposed by a regulation which could have resulted in a club with zero deficit and no debts being demoted to Segunda B (the Spanish third tier) on administrative grounds. However, far from being intimidated, the club rolled out a novel and successful marketing campaign, "Defend Eibar" which made the headlines in numerous countries across the globe thanks to the momentum that the club's story had gained on social media. SD Eibar ultimately sold its shares in record-breaking time to raise the €1.9 million needed to satisfy the legal demands. Since then the club has more than 11,130 shareholders located across 65 countries throughout the world.

To help stimulate further growth and diversify resources, SD Eibar continues to target international markets with long-term objectives in mind. The 2015 signing of Takashi Inui from Eintracht Frankfurt led to a boom in the Basque side’s popularity in the player’s home country of Japan, where SD Eibar became the third-most-watched team after Barcelona and Real Madrid. The club leveraged on this opportunity by signing a sponsorship agreement with Japanese company Hikoki. Although the player left the club at the beginning of this season the sponsorship was renewed proving that the club's approach was always with a long-term vision in mind. 

 

Now, working with audience data provided by LaLiga, the club is expanding in markets such as India where consumers are able to watch Spanish football for free on Facebook, and China, where part of the club’s shareholders comes from.


3. Sponsorship management and activation providing ROI for its partners

 

Considering that SD Eibar has one of the lowest operating budgets in LaLiga it is impressive to see that the club has secured important partnerships with numerous domestic and international partners.  The table below highlights their list of sponsors and estimated annual value.

Additionally it is interesting to note that SD Eibar is the only club in LaLiga that has Puma as its technical sponsor (although this will change as of next season when they will be sponsored by Joma). 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

The above-mentioned drivers reflect how the club is constantly looking to innovate and expand to new horizons. In addition, SD Eibar has reached its highest treasury position in history, laregely in part to the TV revenues brought in by LaLiga. This economic liquidity has ensured that the club can now finance the expansion of its stadium and a new training facility without having to rely on any external credits or loans. 

 

 

 

 

They are different, unique and know their limitations as a club, yet have found a way to maximize them garnering the attention of the football industry with regards to their management model.  As their Club motto says, 'Another Football is Possible'.

 

Want to learn more about the successful managemnt model of SD Eibar?  These and many more "insider" takeaways will be revealed by the club's executives in the Online Certificate Program on "How to Run a Successful Football Club" starting on May 2019.

 

Dowload the prospectus HERE.  

 

 

This article was written by Matias Canil of SBI's marketing team. You can reach him at matias.canil@sbibarcelona.com for more information.  

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