Since I began Sports Marketing Scotland, the Scottish FA have been continually trying new things in order to be at the forefront of the game in our country. As pointed out in our interview with ex-Social Content Producer, David Childs, the team were given plenty of creative licence and free reign to capitalise on opportunities. This is certainly still the case as I’ve been lucky enough to witness this first hand from starting the Scottish Football Marketing Podcast with Michael Bochel. On episode six of the podcast we focused on how the William Hill Scottish Cup is marketed, with insights from Jack Evans, also of the Scottish FA. One of the methods discussed was a toolkit for clubs to utilise across their social channels and in this post I’ll be reviewing that toolkit and showing a few examples of it. 

The toolkit is available to all clubs competing from the First Round to the Final. One of the aims of the Scottish FA is to grow the game at all levels, from the grassroots youth game through to developing elite players for the men’s and women’s national team squads. Part of the overall aim of growth involves the Scottish Cup and ensuring that the clubs playing in it portray themselves, and the cup itself, in the best possible light. As we reach the latter stages the clubs involved will more than likely have graphical styles and resources that they might well want to utilise on social. However, in the early stages of the tournament where clubs maybe don’t have these resources, the helping hand from the Scottish FA to provide this easy-to-use toolkit is I’m sure more than welcome. Brora Rangers posted the fixture card option ahead of their Second Round fixture before unfortunately heading out in the Third Round against Cowdenbeath.

All of our clubs are unique, I believe their social channels should reflect that. You’ve got Celtic trying to bring in a more light-hearted tone with their goal GIFs, Motherwell producing parodies that go viral and then lower down you’ve got BSC Glasgow injecting some humour into how they communicate. Social feeds should speak to fans the way they want to be spoken to. When it comes to the Scottish Cup though, I believe the best thing for the tournament would be for the branding to be consistent across the board. If all of the clubs buy in to that then it’ll add to the overall positive opinion around the competition. It’ll be instantly recognisable, as all the best brands are. We saw Hibs using another of the toolkit options, rather than their own graphic, to announce that they’d been drawn against Elgin City in the Fourth Round.

All of the heavy lifting is done for the clubs, with all of the options being there to pick and choose from for a variety of different situations around the match, including line up and goal graphics. All they need to do in most cases is select the correct round and the clubs involved.

Alloa showcased the brilliant option clubs have to brand up their programmes for Scottish Cup matches too. This might encourage a few more sales on matchday as the change from the regular programme makes it become that little bit more of a collectible for fans.

What about the Scottish Cup standalone Twitter account? Is it on brand, keeping it consistent? Of course. Representing the old trophy in this way ensures fans continue to know what to expect when they see any information around the Scottish Cup. The tagline of “Original Moments. Unforgettable Memories.” is almost the Scottish FA’s promise to fans. Invest your time in following your team in the Scottish Cup and you’ll get this in return. There’s so many examples of it even just in the last few years, never mind going further back.

While I said the Scottish FA have been known to try new things in recent years, this isn’t a new phenomenon. Our friends at the Online Rule did a great piece with the English FA showcasing their approach to marketing the FA Cup, part of which included a toolkit clubs could tap into for online resources. The Scottish FA’s version isn’t the finished product, Jack Evans was quick to point out that they have already gotten some feedback and are always looking for more from clubs on how they can continue to improve on and evolve the toolkit, and I’m sure if you’re a fan reading this you could certainly let them know what you like or dislike about it too.

Guest posts are always welcome on Sports Marketing Scotland if you’ve got an opinion to share on the business or marketing of Scottish sport. The email address to get in touch with is sportsmarketsco@gmail.com, or just Tweet/DM @sportsmarketsco.