I think few got surprised by the fact that it was the deputy of the Russian parliament Igor Lebedev who offered to legalize the rumbles of hooligans.
Let’s take a look at it from the point of view of marketing, the sports neuromarketing. With no politics and ethical reasoning, because that’s a separate subject for discussion.
Before moving on, we need to determine whether it is a social initiative or a business. Some may probably not believe, but it can become an excellent business, if not to be limited to Russia. And that’s exactly the way Igor Lebedev wants.
An international organization with separate federations, ensuring that certain rules are followed, is built on a clear and familiar principle. This case is self-explanatory.
The main question is how to earn. Or better this way: how to be breakeven? After all, the present time suggests that a successful project is a project that demonstrates growth, rather than the one that earns. I do not quite agree with that, because I’ve got into the way of always relying on the funds available, so I make the break even a top priority.
You can and should count on sponsorship contracts. Some fairly large brands may well come to this kind of sport. For example, I would first of all negotiate with brands popular in this subculture, with that of pads and with the Red Bull’s competitors. In the US, competitors of the Austrian brand have to use a rather controversial sponsorship in not the basic sports. Why don’t they do the same in Russia?
Some contributions from the participants are likely as well. The overall rating of participants should help them conclude their own sponsorship contracts.
“Turning on” participants to work on rating is quite easy. I always put the work with hormones at the center when dealing with fans. There are various ways to trigger the production of certain hormones in the human body in order to “nudge” people to the activity we need.
Some of this has been used before without understanding of the way it works, some has become possible only along with further exploration of neuroscience. In the context of sociology, the term Nudge theory is used. It’s a successful concept, which was adopted at the state level in the US and Australia. It’s behavioral psychology, it’s sociology, but it’s not neuroscience.
There are various tactics of appealing to the brain to convey this or that information directly to the conscious or the subconscious (System 1/System 2, to use the terms made known by Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman). They are also one of the main tools in neuromarketing.
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I might mention that in my work I prefer to use ethical manipulation (it carries many advantages for the brand); in the markets with high competition, however, many companies do not hesitate to resort to any methods to attract one more customer and earn an extra cent.
Nevertheless, there are a sufficient number of old school approaches that use similar tactics, but without an understanding of the way it all works and of the possible consequences for the brand. For instance, I do not actually enjoy getting involved in politics namely because anyone in politics has little interest in a long-term building of a brand, therefore they use methods that are not that ethical.
Sports marketing is a fairly conservative field. Looking at the scientific research in sports marketing conducted in the top US educational institutions and comparing it with what many well-known American brands study and apply in practice, you’ll get two different things.
Even the US Department of Defense is openly working with well-known neuromarketing laboratories, contributing to the study of the influence of hormones, while in sports marketing they prefer not to notice neuromarketing. It’s a separate topic for reflection, related to the specifics of American sports and American education.
The second major question is how to promote.
You can take up the search for an interesting partnership. For example, the UFC has got a prepared potentially targeted audience. The UFC is interested in various markets and has a good visibility in the territory of the former USSR.
Such a partnership can become strategically important for further expansion, as well as various cross-platform projects.
Currently, VK has got an interest in the production of its own video content, and since target audiences overlap, VK has got to be interested in such cooperation. Considering they don’t care that much about their brand, the ethical side of the issue should not become a problem for them.
This is basically the content that can grow with minimal investment and has to be interesting, at least to the companies mentioned above.
When we talk about promoting new stuff, we have to realize that the campaign strategy in this case differs from work with a well-known brand.
Without going into detail, when you watch on TV another commercial of a well-known brand, which is boring enough to be unmemorable to you, according to some studies, it is at least twice as effective for a brand as any interesting advertisement that you remember. I will be dwelling on that later on, so you’ll have enough time to find out. Subscribe to my Twitter not to miss these insights.
When it comes to new stuff, other principles are engaged. It is necessary to attract attention. In this case, we will use bottom-up attention (it’s when you suddenly notice something unusual, catch someone looking at you, etc.). It’s like the kind of attention that store marketers are trying to draw with a slightly unusual packaging or a brighter color. A great tool that evolution favored us with.
The very formulation of this sport is rather unusual. The very description of it arouses some kind of mistrust about the reality of it. While the second consideration brings the understanding that it’s a pretty cool idea, which can both solve many problems, and provide opportunity to make money.
As one of the possible options for using bottom-up attention, I suggest that you make a small beautifully filmed video, which will give an opportunity to see the whole point on one side, and on the other – to use somatic markers.
The somatic marker hypothesis gives us an adequate understanding of the way the decision-making process operates. Throughout our lifetime, our brain creates emotional markers for each event, to be able later on to quickly make a decision.
This hypothesis is perfectly applied in the commercial, which can be called emotional. To correctly create an advertising of the kind, you not only have to be aware of the way the hypothesis and the human brain basically works, but also use neuromarketing tools to properly organize the story, the timing, the moment of the brand emergence, etc.
A good PR specialist can easily promote this video without additional costs. Especially taking an occasion of using it in late-night shows. It’s not just about the Russian “Evening Urgant”, but also about a number of American political late-night shows, which will be glad to fill their broadcast with video and discussions on the topic of another scheme of the Russians.
After all, we saw that in the UK, the very idea of such a thing caused quite a stir.
The only thing left to do is get the OK nod from the Kremlin, invest small funds in the start and begin to negotiate with all parties.
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Leon The Alien
SEE ALSO: Simple logic of manipulation
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