B2B Marketing

What A Football Match, Customer Journey and CRMs Have In Common

I plan to go to Europe and the UK later this year. One of the things on my bucket list is to watch a proper live football match. So I thought I better brush up on the onside and offside rules.

As I try to learn more about football, I can’t help to notice that… It seems like football, customer journey and CRMs have some things in common. Let’s dive right in.

P.S. By the way, if you have an easy way to learn onside and offside rules - please help a sister out!

All three require a concept of working together as a team, whether it is a group of football players on a field, a group of employees assisting a customer, or a group of employees collaborating to handle customer relationships.

They all demand an understanding and evaluation of the situation to make informed decisions and take necessary actions:

  • In a football match, coaches and players benchmark. They analyse the strategies of the opposing team to make modifications and take action. 
  • In a customer journey, businesses assess customer behaviour and experiences to result in sales and revenue.. 
  • In CRMs, businesses examine interactions and customer data to make insightful decisions.

4 things they have in common

Strategy and planning

In football, the regulations for onside and offside necessitate that players be positioned strategically on the field to be in a position to receive the ball. 

Similarly, in marketing, businesses must develop short term and long term strategy in place to reach their target audience and execute tactical actions. Like football you would have match specific strategies but also strategies to win the whole championship.


Football teams rely on the collective effort of all players to accomplish a shared objective, whether it is scoring a goal or preventing the opposing team from scoring. It’s about leveraging each others skillset and talents.

In the same vein, marketing teams must collaborate and work in harmony within the team but also with other commercial teams (such as sales, customer service, product teams) to achieve their goals and attain success.


In football, players need to be flexible and capable of adapting to changes on the field by adjusting their positions accordingly - especially in times of injuries, unfavourable weather conditions and new environments.

Similarly, in marketing, businesses must possess the ability to adapt to changes in the market and adjust their strategies accordingly to remain competitive - especially in economic hard times, new technological advances and new players in the market.

You need to know how to dodge the ball, change team formation, change players depending on who you’re “against” and different tactics you need to implement to react to market/environment changes. 

As we can see in this imagery, there are many touch points in a customer journey and everyone on the field (aka marketing channels and executions) play a role in achieving the final outcome. Attribution ;)


The stadium is loud, the field is wide, coaches and team members often speaking over each other during the game. Players need to communicate in a clear and effective manner to execute ball passes and work together effectively. 

In marketing, clear communication is key to guarantee that all team members are aligned and striving towards the same goal. 

Partner With An Expert

Whether it’s the sports industry or any other type of industry you relate Marketing and CRMs to, there will always be challenges. We want you to know that you don’t have to do it alone. Imagine a football match having only one player to score, is that even possible? Speak to us for anything you need and we’ll be delighted and looking forward to speaking with you!

Gather ‘n’ Grow is to help scale up startups and enterprise businesses create more connected customer experiences. We LOVE helping businesses attract and nurture the right type of leads and support brand evangelists through inbound marketing & by leveraging on HubSpot as the central business engine!

If you're looking for some resources with actions you can take to make sure your "football team" is aligned, check out our free Revenue Operations checklist.

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