Gannon University Professor Co-Authors International Book
Posted: January 7, 2016
While you might not think that North America has much to teach
Europe about how the game of soccer is played, there is little
doubt that Europeans are interested in the way the game is marketed
on this side of the Atlantic.
Gannon University's Eric Brownlee, Ph.D. is one of the teachers.
Brownlee, who is director of the sport management and marketing
program at Gannon, is the co-author of a chapter in a book,
"Marketing du football," just published in France.
Brownlee says the chapter is the first of its kind in France and
compares the marketing and sales strategies of Major League Soccer
(MLS) in the U.S. with the strategies employed in major European
Brownlee and his co-author, Nicholas Lorgnier, Ph.D. of Canisius
College, uncovered some fundamental differences.
"The World Cup is the most watched sport event in the world, but
most of the major European soccer leagues rely a little too heavily
on the product itself and there is not much customer service or
creativity [in] marketing the teams," Brownlee said. "My French
colleagues were very adamant telling me that they believe the U.S.
is the best country in the world when it comes to marketing and
sales strategies related to professional sports. The MLS has been
experiencing explosive growth in recent years and much of it is due
to the unique setup they have with a centralized National Sales
Training Center and the focus on the fan experience. The book
chapter serves as the first analysis of these strategies
specifically for French sport business students and practitioners
and should be heavily utilized in France."
Brownlee met Lorgnier and Nicolas Chanavat from the University
of Paris-Sud at a sport marketing conference in Pittsburgh.
"Pittsburgh is my hometown so I got to know both Nicholas and
Nicolas very well and I showed them around the city and spent time
together talking about sports and marketing. They were interested
in my industry connections to major U.S. professional and college
sports and we decided to add the chapter to the textbook after our
initial meeting," Brownlee explained.
A wrestler in his competitive days, Brownlee is a new fan to the
world's most popular sport. His current rooting interest in MLS is
the Philadelphia Union and Everton F.C., an English Premier League
team in Liverpool. "I am still a relative rookie when it comes to
my knowledge of soccer, but have significant experience selling
tickets and advertising in the sports industry, and I continue to
do this as part of my classes at Gannon," he said.