El Clasico: 360° Football Marketing

Hi guys,
In less than an hour, El Clasico will kick off at the Nou Camp, Barcelona Football Cathedral. With approx 90,000 fans in the stadium and a couple of millions worldwide watching the game live, El Clasico is by far one of the biggest (and hottest) football clubs game in the year. It is also a fantastic display of marketing achievements on all angles.

Real Madrid and FC Barcelona count 51 domestic league titles, 12 Champions Leagues between the two of them. A huge players worth (circa $1 billion), and more than 500 million viewers will be in front of their TV (or internet streams) at 9pm CET tonight. I am looking forward to having the exact number in the days to come and why not comparing them with the World Cup final one?

El Clasico is also taking place off the pitch. A fierce rivalry between the two sports brands giants: Nike and adidas. The swoosh being the official kit manufacturer of the blaugrana and the 3-stripes outfitting the Merengue. Nike is more and more prominent in football, by being the official ball supplier of the Premier League, Liga and Serie A. Rival adidas is outfitting the European and World Champions Spain and other key clubs and federations. No doubts that El Clasico’s winner will give an extra marketing boost to either adidas or Nike.

This special game is also a opposition of coaches. Mourinho v Gardiola. Both have very different conception of football, of style, of communication. They are marketing tools for their club. Guardiola is “made in Barcelona” with a certain philosophy of football, whereas Mourinho is supposedly the best coach in the world with a fantastic success record.

Finally, we could not talk about El Clasico without mentioning the Messi – Ronaldo game inside the game. Respectively endorsing adidas and Nike products, they will be the main attraction of this Clasico. Which one will score? which one will have the best impact on the game tonight? The answer in less than 1 hour.

Some stats:

Courtesy: Soccer Bible.com

On a football product standpoint, adidas and Nike are again under the spotlights. With Messi and Ronaldo endorsing respectively the adidas F-50 adizero and the Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly II football boots, both brands will want to capitalize on whoever wins tonight. The adidas F-50 have a synthetic upper and are super-slim 165grams (5.8oz). The Safari, triggered a great buzz. They were designed for global icon Cristiano Ronaldo, Nike have launched the Mercurial Safari CR7 football boots featuring a unique all-over print, that sets the man and the boot apart from the competition! [Source: Soccerbible]


This is what I call 360° marketing. No matter how you look at this event, you cannot miss the powerful marketing component. Be it product, players, coaches, TV, there is an undeniable marketing component.

The best shall win on and off the pitch!

Karl Lusbec