Football New Product Disaster

If you are looking to introduce a new, exciting, revolutionary business product into the market, it is probably best that the first comments heard about it on national television do not include terms like “disgrace”, “shambles” or “absolute joke”.

But that was exactly what happened last Sunday, soon after news had leaked that the six richest clubs in English football were to set up their own competition with three Italian and three Spanish rivals. With the rumours swirling of breakaway and disruption.

These paragraphs are from one of the many broadsheet post-mortems [subscription req’d] on the failed European Super League.

When news broke during a live EPL broadcast, the assembled punditry erupted in disgust.

No-one can truly love a closed-shop.

Especially when assumed to be driven primarily by greed. And seemingly utterly disregarding their customers’ feelings. How could Europe’s dozen rebels so misread the room?

I’m reminded of Amy Franko. One of her quartet of independent author pointers is to launch into a primed ecosystem.

Clearly lacking in this incredible case. Despite the literally billions (3 from bankster backers JP Morgan at least) at stake. How on earth were “opinion leaders’ not brought on side beforehand?

After all, each overpaid former player lounging on telly sofas agrees with the problem.

Namely governing body UEFA’s continued mis-management of the game. Particularly elite competition.

Yet even as a possible hardball negotiation ploy, this move looked crackers.

I have been privileged to aid countless b2b commercial new product launches this past quarter-century.

One of my overwhelming learnings is that salesteams engage help too late.

As is so often the lament, they hire outside expertise to put out the fire of a flailing release.

“We have a marketing/ product team that does our launching for us.”

Ignorance leading to blissful career carnage.

Yet the true market-taking propulsion comes at the moment when they first think to themselves, ‘time for a new product’.

A moment when typically any such chance of igniting rocket fuel is lost. Without the Sales Dept even realising.

There are several types of ‘pre-customer’ you must consider.

I myself frame four for companies.

In this case, none appeared to be approached.

Even the broadcasters ushered out swift statements heralding their intent to decline bidding for rights.

There is nothing more important for any new business pursuit than getting its first client.

In these football terms, they needed first the buy-in of several constituencies.

Some up-front, most behind-the-scenes.

Fans, current players, team managers, pundits, journalists, Authorities, tv companies.

How on earth none appear to have been spoken with beyond the confines of the cosy oligarchical Club Chairman chatter is an astounding oversight.

Make sure you do not make the same ‘shambles’ of a mistake.

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