What a ride it’s been!
From a tentative experiment to increase the value and prominence of football in England, the English Premier League (EPL) now stands, 30 years on, as the biggest and most successful league football competition in the world.
There have been ups and downs, even brief periods of uncertainty. But by and large, the decision by a small group of visionaries in the early 1990s to establish the league has proven to be a masterstroke that’s generated massive financial returns, worldwide brand recognition, and, importantly, captivating football.
It shows no signs of losing steam too! Indeed, with a three billion-strong worldwide audience, and big names like Manchester City’s Erling Haaland still being drawn to England, the prediction is that the Premiership will only grow in stature.
And so, as it turns 30 this month, here’s a look at some of the reasons the EPL is still on top, and the lessons that business owners can draw inspiration from.
It emphasises quality
Fans are drawn to the high-energy games and staggering amount of goals in the EPL. Yet, what’s kept the league relevant is its quality.
Granted, quality in sports, like in business, can be a highly subjective topic with various drivers.
Nevertheless, the fact that EPL clubs and players have stamped their mark in tournaments away from England proves that this league is not merely about entertainment. Rather, it’s about excellence and an emphasis on quality, which has led to brand respect.
The EPL’s stress on quality, incidentally, has also led to more competitiveness.
For example, there have been a host of challengers and seven champs, including Manchester City, which QNET has partnered with since 2014.
Yes, it’s true that entrepreneurs, especially newbies, are sometimes nervous about the competitiveness of business. Yet the Premiership’s stature shows us that embracing healthy competition while maintaining high standards is the key to true victory.
It’s a showcase for diversity
Among the EPL’s greatest strengths is the diversity on display, on and off the pitch.
Back when the league began, there were only 13 foreign nationals plying their trade with English clubs. However, there’s been a concentrated push to be more open and inclusive since then.
This has allowed players, coaches and other professionals from a variety of different backgrounds and cultures to feel welcome and at home in the Premiership
Diversity at work, as business owners know, boosts productivity and happiness, and encourages creativity. And that’s precisely what has helped the EPL become a symbol of inclusiveness embraced by millions.
Great businesses place a premium on customer satisfaction and engagement, and the EPL and its clubs are no different.
Indeed, countless fan festivals and development programmes have been launched domestically and abroad. Yet what has helped the EPL stand out is that its efforts are more than merely about securing brand loyalty. Instead, it’s about solidifying the business-customer relationship by actively listening to fans and giving back.
Case in point, Man City’s City in the Community initiative, that’s focused on promoting health, education, and bringing positive change to communities around the globe.
Sure, a customer-centric approach often yields greater returns. But the EPL has shown that it’s vital to build genuine, sustainable relationships, and above all, to empower customers.
Built to last
Building a business that endures and thrives over decades is not easy. Nevertheless, the examples above, and our own experience over 20-plus years at QNET, prove that with the right focus, longevity is, in fact, possible.