Bishkek: The first regional AFC workshop in Central Asia, with participants from the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, concluded today in Bishkek, the capital of the Kyrgyz Republic. The aim of the workshop was to learn to use different marketing and communications strategies and tools to make football a profitable product in order to generate revenue.
General Secretary of the host Member Association, Football Federation of the Kyrgyz Republic (FFKR), Mederbek Sydykov opened the workshop by welcoming the 17 participants, media and communication officials, to the two-day event. Most of the programme of the first such workshop organised for all the four Central Zone’s Russian speaking Member Associations was conducted in Russian.
The first day’s programme focused on different aspects of marketing and was conducted by AFC consultant Elnur Mammadov. He took the participants through topics such as increasing the fan base, reaching your audience, match-day revenue, hospitality packages, stadium naming rights and the ticketing system. The Member Associations were encouraged to draft a specific marketing plan for their federation.
Mammadov said: “The Central Zone Member Associations have many similarities and this sort of events where you can share experiences and expertise are very useful. There have been many positive developments in terms of commercialisation in these Member Associations and by learning from each other you can speed up the development even further.
“The AFC has helped us a lot as we have recently introduced a totally new approach to marketing in the Uzbekistan Football Federation," commented head of the federation’s Marketing Department Bakhtiyor Mametov: “We have changed the format of the league to make it more attractive to sponsors, we have created different sponsorship packages and are now introducing online ticketing.”
The second day focused on strategic communication, event promotion and media relations. The participants heard from UEFA consultant and Media Officer Yulia Zenkovich and AFC Communications consultant and Dinamo Minsk Press Officer Vasiliy Kniaziuk and discussed their communications plans for 2018.
The participants had interesting and constructive discussions on communications issues, sharing knowledge on how they manage their media relations, use social media, which sort of media events they hold and what kind of challenges they face, including communications infrastructure and its cost. The participants agreed to continue the discussions and information-sharing after the workshop by email and other means.
Turkmenistan Football Federation’s Media Officer Orazgeldi Geldiyev thanked the AFC for organising the workshop: “This seminar is very important and we have learnt a lot from colleagues from our neighbouring federations here. Hopefully in the future we can have more workshops like this, they are useful for all of us.”
The AFC’s partner Mycujoo, an online match streaming service, was also represented at the workshop and their consultants presented to the participants how the tool can help the Member Associations to monetise their matches. The Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan Football Federations also told the participants about how they use the Mycujoo tool in their countries.
Photos: Football Federation of the Kyrgyz Republic