top of page

Part Two : What can Grassroots Football Learn from the success of Video Games ?

In our previous blog on this question we invited readers to complete our survey as to why they believed Video Games were so popular and also what lessons can be learned for Grassroots Football. We had a great response with over a hundred responses and we share those responses below in this blog AND examine how Associations, Leagues and Clubs can maximise participation AND obtain sponsorship revenue


The Top 10 Reasons given by our readers as to why Video Games are so popular were as follows :

  1. Video Games are FUN

  2. Autonomy- No Parental or Coach Influence

  3. Easy Access to get started

  4. Can Choose what Game to Play and Customise it

  5. Engage Socially online

  6. Flexible - play when I want to

  7. Progressive Challenges

  8. Guaranteed Playing Time

  9. Opportunity for Self Learning & Solve Problems

  10. Escapist but Safe

How do E- Game Providers do it - what can Grassroots Football Learn ?


We decided to use the replies from the survey respondents and our own research with the UEFA Grassroots Framework as a means to highlight potential lessons. To recap the Framework is below - Players, Environment, Game, Workforce as shown below


How do E- Game Providers do it - what can Grassroots Football Learn ?

From the outset Video Games are relentlessly focussed on ONE Overall MISSION - that of maintaining player retention. Video Game providers achieve this by focussing on the following objectives :

PLAYERS: Objective # 1 CAPTURE PLAYER DATA

From the outset Video Games are relentlessly focussed on ONE Overall Objective - that of maintaining player retention. Video Game providers do this with regard to the player are as follows :

  • PROFILE : Who are your players ? Find out as much as possible about the player -age/gender/interests / hobbies/ favourite pastimes etc.

  • DATA: How often do they play ? Track their participation - which games do they start with , which are the most popular games for them , for how often, when do they drop out? do they drop back in ?

  • USER EXPERIENCE FEEDBACK from the player - USER REVIEWS:What do the like about each game ? Why do they quit ?


ENVIRONMENT :Objective # 2 CONSTANT ENGAGEMENT

  • REGISTRATION : the aim is principally to collect data not data to control a competition

- Self Registration : Registration bar is low ,it’s Easy to Register

- Registration not based on Chronological, Date of Birth ( no RAE !)

- Multi Ages and Gender- promotes Social Interaction, developing a Community of players ( NB needs to be safety checks )

- Competition Registration not necessary

- Try for Free

  • CONSTANT ENGAGEMENT- messages, prompts, leaderboards, upgrades, offers etc. etc.

  • RECOGNITION :Immediate Feedback : Simple Recognition and Enrolment Rewards

  • TECHNOLOGY: Registration syncs with Smartphone , Digital Personal Assistants ( e.g. Alexa and Siri )

  • PROMOTION : Use ‘ Influencers’, Tik Tok and Short Form Video

GAME : Objective # 3 "PLAY "

  • FIRST STEP : is ‘ Play ‘ not formal competitions

  • FORMAT :

- Players choose which game to play

- Players choose rules - e.g. numbers, time, space or use prompts like ‘Match Day Cards’ ( Players like Story-driven gameplay) - Players can alter rules e.g. ‘ special powers’ , bonuses etc

- Guaranteed Playing time

- In-game rewards and achievements

- Regular updates and expansions

- Individual Rankings, Leaderboard


WORKFORCE: Objective # 4 RECOGNITION AND REWARD

No overall specific coach but support provided in a variety of ways:

  • COMMUNITY : Help , Chat Function

  • FEEDBACK to the player : Constant - built in to all games

  • PROGRESSION : Challenges built into each game, Levels to strive for, Individual Rankings, Leaderboard

  • REWARDS: Digital Badges, NFT Tokens, Play to Earn programmes etc.


What is a Proposed Strategy for National Associations, Regional Associations, Leagues and Clubs to learn from these lessons and maximise the opportunities?

1. KNOW MORE ABOUT PLAYERS AND COACHES -CAPTURE & ANALYSE DATA

  • Which E- Games do Grassroots Players and Coaches play ?

  • Use of which social media ?

  • To Which E- Games do Grassroots Players and Coaches subscribe?

  • Track Players and Coaches

2. MAKE REGISTRATION EASIER AND ‘BUNDLE IN’ MORE BENEFITS VIA AN APP

  • Informal Play , Competition Play , Players Club, Coaches Club , Match Tickets, Merchandise + Video Game subscription ???

3. THE GAMING MARKET NEED TO CREATE ‘SUBSCRIBERS’ NOT JUST CASUAL PLAYERS. MULTI PLAYER PLATFORMS NEED MULTI PLAYERS ! THE GAMING PROVIDERS NEED YOUR GRASSROOTS PLAYERS SO NEGOTIATE WITH THEM TO PROVIDE A PACKAGE TO INCLUDE :

  • Easy Access to Informal Grassroots Football e.g. Come and Try sessions, Festivals, Holiday Courses

  • Pathway to Competitive Grassroots Football

  • Match Tickets

  • Merchandise

Please share below any comments and ideas

72 views0 comments
bottom of page