The chairman of English Premier League side Chelsea FC, Bruce Buck, speaking at Thursday's session of the International Herald Tribune Sports Business Summit, said the best marketing strategy is to win on the pitch.
“If your product is sports, you can only sell it if you are successful on the pitch. It doesn't matter how good your marketing people are,” Buck said.
Chelsea made a splash by stunning Spanish giant Barcelona in the Champions League semifinals this week, a victory that has put the British team under the spotlight.
Speaking about the club's stadium debate, Buck acknowledged that the club's stadium is too small but expanding it is not “economically viable.” He noted that it is not possible to know the future trends regarding football audiences, saying there is uncertainty about the number of fans who go to the stadiums to watch the games in person.
When asked if he agrees with the opinion that Chelsea's players are too old and if the team will require restructuring, he stated the football team will probably need a change. Buck further said that Asia is the target region for Chelsea at the moment, as the club will open a commercial office in Singapore. He explained Chelsea's commercial relationship as based on two principles: engagement and proper dialogue with the fans, and activation of sponsorship.
Also at the same event, world-famous US athlete Edwin Moses, winner of two gold medals and one bronze medal at the Olympics, made a presentation about the Laureus World Sports Academy, of which he is currently the chair. The former athlete explained that the mission of the academy is to make a difference and to change lives through sport across the world. Currently the academy is involved in 90 projects in 37 countries. He said Laureus does not create sports programs but finds successful ones already running and supports them. He noted that Laureus helps 1.5 million disadvantaged young people and 70,000 disabled people gain access to sport every year.