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Monday, 28 July 2014

Will the day come when we have 2 pre-season tours?

The 2014 Tottenham pre-season tour to the USA and Canada was the third in five years to the continent.

Tottenham pre-season tour

It is an important untapped market with many Americans now starting to get interested in the Sport with the help of the USA team doing well at the World Cup. The children who stated playing the game back in the 70's and now parents and their children are playing the game. Unlike the rest of the world who have been playing for generation after generation this is new to America, football is a merely baby.

Babies grow, they have to be nurtured and they form early attachments. Tottenham are trying to cash in on that attachment potential. Football is all about money these days and your ff field income is everything, it dictates what you can spend in transfer fees and pay in wages, the higher income, the more you can spend.

We have an American kit manufacturer, an American Ambassador and keep going over to get our brand seen. Mauricio Pochettino acknowledged for the players it's just about fitness but that he appreciates the importance to commercial activities that these tours represent.

As football grows so more and more American companies will want their brand displayed in front of worldwide audiences thus how we conduct ourselves, the type of football we play, our worldwide appeal and branding are all important factors.

Travelling to places like Seattle, currently acknowledged as the best side in America and the side with the highest average attendances are essential components. Playing on an artificial surface is not ideal preparation but was a marketing necessity.

Donna-Maria Cullen is an executive director at Tottenham Hotspur and knows the importance of growing the Tottenham brand in North America but appreciates the training facilities have to be first class for the players too, she was pleased with what they found in Seattle.

“The facilities have to be brilliant because it’s a serious time for the club because we only get one opportunity to get everybody fit and ready for the season. There’s a great setup here.”

Goalkeeper for the tour and Tottenham Hotspur US Ambassador Brad Friedel explained the Spurs brand.

“We want to expand. We want to get our message out and about into the American public because we are one of the clubs that are pleasing on the eye, if you like. We’re known throughout history to be a flair attacking football club.”

A trip to America takes in more work off the pitch than work on it and getting the Tottenham name in the papers is important for recognition so the events that Ledley King takes part in are important aspects, even if they don't interest fans in the UK.

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I read a story of how important a Spurs tour was for oversees fans who have no chance of seeing their idols live any other way. I have read many times in forums fans who seem to think the only people who care are the 36,000 who go to the stadium. That is quite a crazy notion, it isn't these people who generate the clubs income, it is the worldwide audience that sponsors want to market too.

Football is a commercial business, the games are just a product to sell, mush like a supermarket sells a packet of cornflakes. Obviously it means more than that to us and that is what drives the commercial side but the concept is the same, Tottenham sell a product, football.

There is life outside the Premier League and nine Premier League sides are undertaking tours to North America for pre-season games. The tour seems to have been a roaring success, certainly on the field there have been positives to take from it like Lamela's form and the promise of Ceballos and Mason in particular.

I'm sure the club would like to fit in two a year, one to North America, one to Asia, another massive market. Perhaps in the future we will see a big squad split and added to with the Development squad undertake two tours at the same time, one to America, one to Asia, we might as well maximise our branding awareness and commercial opportunities.


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