Muscat: The management of digital media, content and communications planning were cast in sharp focus in West Asia at the first-ever regional Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Communications Workshop which concluded in Oman on Sunday.
Hosted by the Oman Football Association (OFA), the two-day workshop opened with an overview of the promotional and engagement activations for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 by the Local Organising Committee, who was represented by Reeva Bains, Vice President of Marketing & Communications from Flash Entertainment.
The biggest-ever edition of Asia’s most prestigious tournament will witness a record 24 participating teams with the largest representation across the five AFC zones, 11 teams from the West zone.
Participants were also provided valuable insights by UEFA consultant Kenny Macleod on the approach and key considerations in establishing communications objectives and action plans, as well as leveraging on digital media marketing as part of efforts to enhance the capability of Member Associations to better engage with football fans.
The second day of the workshop placed a significant emphasis on campaign marketing, increasing tickets sales and match attendances, presenting participants with best practices from Europe, with a particular focus on Belgium and Scotland.
Bringing the agenda closer to the region, participants also benefitted from in-depth case studies from Flash on the highly-successful Formula One Yasalam music festival to galvanise the motorsports community in the United Arab Emirates as well as the strategies deployed in the promotion of last year’s FIFA Club World Cup, which will return in 2018 in the country’s capital, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.
The workshop also examined deeper the advantages of establishing a distinct brand identity for national teams and building a closer connection between fans and players, through the use of more relevant, creative and interactive digital media content.
“One of the key lessons was the importance of long-term planning," said Ahmed Alkaabi, OFA Media Manager.
"We recognise that we need to strengthen our engagements in social media and the best way to achieve that is putting together a sustainable plan and working closely with our national teams to attract more fans, ultimately enhancing the profile of football in our country.”
Participants were also given the opportunity to put their key learnings into practice, as each Member Association was tasked to identify challenges and key areas of focus taking into consideration the best practices shared over the two-days.