Do You Support Your Local Team?
We all know a fan of Manchester United or Liverpool. But do enough of us support our local team like St Pats or Bohemians?
The Premier League pumps huge amounts of money into advertising their league. A considerable amount then goes on marketing to Irish fans. Sure the League of Ireland don’t have anywhere near the the of advertising budget as the premier league but are they doing enough to cater to local support?
If you walk around Dublin in particular, you will see hundreds of lads in Liverpool or United jerseys, even some in Barcelona tops with Messi on the back but one thing you see less of is local team jerseys. Is this because there just isn’t the same interest in local team games as there is for premier league games or is there something more to this?
Being on the winning team in my opinion accounts for a lot of this. There’s a reason there are thousands of Liverpool supporters in Ireland but not many Everton, plenty of Chelsea / Arsenal but not many Fulham / QPR, same goes for Manchester United and up until recently Manchester City. City were heavily invested in by Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi Royal Family and have since become a premier league winning side. A team that regularly challenges for titles is a lot easier to support than a bottom of the league side. It also gives you better bragging rights over your mates.
Manchester United fans (in Ireland) are a good example. I challenge you to find an Irish Manchester United fan born before 1980. Why? Because Manchester United only began to challenge for titles in the early 1990s. Therefore kids in school would start “following” them as they were the best team. Before that it would most likely be Liverpool.
Best League In The World
Ireland are not unique to this however, there are many countries who support the English premier league with live coverage reaching 978 million homes worldwide last season in 188 countries. The exposure of the teams are generally well marketed on social media with up to date news.
Our own leagues however are suffering. As mentioned in this episode, it is difficult to view the league of Ireland games outside of the grounds. Even then it’s not as clearly defined as the premier league.
We had the All-Ireland final recently, which has consistent supporters and seems to be getting bigger every year which is great to see. After the whole John Delaney saga, there is renewed optimism for Irish football. Should the league of Ireland be doing more to generate interest?
Producer: Sean Dempsey