It was recently announced that Neymar is now the most expensive player in the world, taking home an almost unspendable and record breaking £500,000-a-week.
Why merchandise matters
However, if you believe some sources, signing such deals these days is often inspired by more than just the qualities the football player has demonstrated on the pitch. Quite often it’s a means of capitalising on his fame. For example:
When Manchester United signed Park Ji-Sung he became one of Asia’s most successful football players in Europe, leading to a massive increase of the club’s fan base in Korea and consequently an increase in their Asian revenue streams.
The team then took on board another Asian player - Shinji Kagawa. The decision has been heavily speculated to have been made because of the popularity that Shinji’s name has in Japan.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s £80 million transfer to Real Madrid has been said to have paid back through shirt sales alone.
Of course, this behaviour makes sense. Your favourite team signs your new favourite player, you MUST buy the new version of the kit with their name on the back. But it is at this moment where creating a richer shopping experience can make all the difference between selling a single shirt or selling a $300 basket.
How has merchandise changed
It wasn’t that long ago that people would go to their local football club store with their friend, excited about the recent signing of the team with a new player, and pick up a shirt with their name on, often walking away with more swag than just the shirt. Nowadays that rarely happens and everybody finds it more convenient to shop online. This is exacerbated by international fans who do not have a local club shop in their town.
So how can you replicate that social experience online? Can you improve your existing online shopping experience and create social proof in order to increase basket sizes?
How can you play upon the feeling of being part of a team and the excitement of getting the shirt with your favourite player’s name in order to shift more of your own brand products?
Does it have to be this way?
It doesn’t take a lot to change that and give the fans a richer experience, motivate them to share their joy with friends and allow them to see what merchandise other people from the community are wearing, buying and using. Put those fans in the centre of the shopping experience as well. Everywhere; at point of sale, through cross selling and even in cart abandonment e-mails.
Duel can’t help you sign Neymar, but it can help you sell more online. Arrange a demo here now and don’t miss out on the chance to optimize your shop before the holiday season.