Football is back and so is its marketing – but it’s a different ball game without fans

Germany's Bundesliga is back, and other football leagues around the world are now gearing up to return in the weeks ahead. Amar Singh, head of football content and strategy for Budweiser, continues his lockdown diary of a sports marketer by sharing how he's preparing for football as we've never seen it before. If the surrealness of current events was not apparent enough, the sight of Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland celebrating his opening goal against Schalke, with a little dance, as his teammates stood two metres away in an eerily-quiet Signal Iduna Park, certainly felt like the dawn of a new era. It looked like a bizarre glitch in Fifa 20, but far from a malfunction, this was a considered attempt by Haaland and friends to maintain some form of ‘business as usual’ in a sport that has been turned upside down by the pandemic. Football behind closed doors or “Geister Spiele” (Ghost Games) as they call them in Germany is football but not entirely as we know it. Nevertheless, Dortmund’s passing was almost as free-flowing as one of Michael Jordan’s suits from 1993, and I, for one, was so happy to be watching live football again.

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