Why is football so popular around the media? Why is that that sponsors fight to sponsor teams and clubs invest millions of Euros to sign players to do new campaigns and new policies? Is the final aim of the game scoring a goal, winning a game or winning a championship? Not anymore. Football has become a game that is played for the fans and the main purpose of clubs has become to increase their fan base and to keep it satisfied rather than winning. Over the recent years, football and its fans have built a strong symbiotic relationship where the fan pays to watch his team and to buy their merchandise while he benefits from feeling part of his team’s community while the team benefits from the financial help the fans are providing as well as increasing their status and reputation.
The book of rules claims that the ultimate goal or target of the game is to score in the opposition’s net. However, the administrative side of the sport has identified the fan as a tool for making profit at the same time for building a community. Who are the fans exactly? There is a clear difference between a fan and a supporter in the world of football. The supporter can be a mere spectator who occasionally watches the games of a certain team or roots for the team without being emotional when watching the team in action. On the other hand, fans are the ones who regularly follow their team’s games and news and are always involved with the team and their football team is mainly the centre of their life. Everything revolves around it. A true fan follows his team everywhere even on away games, he is also present in the stands cheering for his team even if the harshest weather conditions were around. All this distinguishes football fans than mere supporters.
The effect of the fans on their team is clearly obvious as one can notice; every team performs better on his own turf in front of his own crowd better because fans provide comfort and support to their team and their chants motivate and spur on their team while they make life hard for their opponents by intimidating them. Despite this, we recall at the start of the season, Italian club Inter was facing a hard time dealing with its fans to an extent that the club was booed in its own ground which caused the club to perform better on away games due to the hostile environment they were facing at the Giuseppe Meazza. This direct effect of the fans is referred to as the twelfth man.
Fans have also found more than entertainment in the game; fans have now grouped forming their own cults and rituals giving themselves a new identity in a world that is become more and more similar. South Western and Eastern Europe as well as South America have been the home of those movements as many clubs formed rivalry between each other because of their fans clashing together ideologically and very often politically. In Argentina, Boca Juniors is widely known as the team of the people while River Plate is the team of the rich class. Both groups of people have transformed their problems to the game and instead of fights and political clashes football has become the new alternative to show their superiority over the other.
Football fans have changed the direction of the game a long time ago and their presence in the stands is essential for their team’s success. Fly-Foot understood this point. Fly-Foot did not want to address the needs of the people such as travelling around Europe, it focused on their pleasure, satisfaction and happiness. The company knew that football is more than an experience and it wanted to let the Arab fans to connect more with the teams they’ve always cheered through the TV or followed through the internet. Its main purpose is to connect the fans of the game with the teams playing and this has become the main reason football is played because the fan is the incentive for the team to play better and he is the twelfth man after all.