Over the next few weekends we will see the GAA marketing machine in action as the All-Ireland series come to a conclusion. It is a great opportunity for the GAA to showcase Croke Park,along with the great skill and excitement that it all brings at this time of year. €1000s will be spent to really push the product into the minds of people across the world.... But is this where the real marketing happens?
Many companies today use a philosophy called Content Marketing.
It is basically where you give something of value on a regular basis to your potential customers, to build a relationship with them, in the hope that some time in the future, when they need the thing you sell or provide, they will choose you. It's a soft sell.
So what does the GAA actually sell when you get into the nuts and bolts - community? as sense of belonging? tribalism? a platform for competitors to compete? An opportunity to play sport at a respectable level? An opportunity to gain respect of others?
For an effective Content Marketing approach, you need to think of the longterm, as it may be years before you bear the fruits of your labour.
GAA Clubs have been doing this for years. Volunteers offering their time to coach children for FREE( Like providing useful content), so when the time comes where they need any of the above, the potential customer will pick us , and in turn grow the club and the organisation ( like a company).
Next saturday will represent a huge boost in extra revenue for the GAA, when Mayo and Dublin play for the second time in a week.
Lets hope that this revenue continues to filter down to the real marketers of the GAA, the clubs, coaches and volunteers that work for free. All they ask for is that the knowledge, facilities and equipment that they need is up to scratch to let them do their job correctly.