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EMOTION, THE ONLY USEFUL METRIC WHEN WORKING IN SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT

January 13, 2020

A sanctuary for some, a source of relaxation for others, the stadium is above all a place of sharing and gathering. Each game provides a highly emotional experience for fans, and once analyzed and understood, these emotions can be immensely valuable for football clubs.

In May 2016, the Toulouse Football Club prepared to play the most important game of its season. Just outside the locker rooms of the Jean Bouin d'Angers Stadium (renamed Raymond Kopa Stadium since then), manager Pascal Dupraz imparted his passion, his determination, and his emotions to his team. While technical and physical resources were no obstacle to this feat, the club’s mentality was. The Toulouse players had to win, and Dupraz's speech made that clear. Let’s look back at this moment that garnered the emotions of an entire club in a way unrivaled by any of its competitors.

During his speech, Pascal Dupraz spoke about fans’ love for the team to generate emotion, even causing many of the players to cry. His words impacted France in the sphere of football and beyond.

Widely broadcast following Toulouse's success, Dupraz’s speech was the catalyst for increased enthusiasm for the club. After spending years in the shadow of the city's other club, Stade Toulousain (Rugby), the "Téfécé" was able to surf on the emotional momentum generated by this wave.

Following the team’s win, Marketing & Media Manager of the Toulouse Football Club Boris Laffargue wrote, “The TFC 16/17 team could not have done better in terms of emotion, some would even say ‘excitement’”. He continued in describing emotions as “the only useful metric when working in sports entertainment”. Conveying emotion through sports happens not only through winning games, but also through telling stories about the team itself, and it is for this reason that the TFC achieved a remarkable season.

Football is a powerful source of emotion.

Addressing club lovers and the city’s youth, Toulouse FC masterfully celebrated the club's 80th anniversary in 2017 by showcasing numerous local personalities sharing their version of “Téfécé” in videos sharing the memories of the team’s most loyal supporters. The club also launched a Crowdsourcing campaign earlier in the year to create an event logo that combines history, glory, and modernity, and most importantly demonstrates the fan community's commitment to the club.

This explosion of emotion has resulted in great sporting and economic benefits for the club. For the first season in four years, the Stadium averaged 17,000 people per match (17,067). This increase generated “35% more ticketing revenue”, as Laffargue explained.

Sports entertainment is one of the largest industries in the world, with football one of its pillars and the stadium its temple. Emotions arise not only from the game itself, but also from the environment in which the audience is immersed. Spectators come to dream and to hope, to escape the problems of everyday life, even if just during the game. With this perspective in mind, clubs have a vested interest in analyzing and understanding the emotions driving their fans’ support to create a positive and sustainable emotional sphere.

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