Wednesday, May 22, 2013

If You Want Something Done, Do It Yourself?

You have heard the saying "if you want something done, you have to do it yourself." I subscribe to that thinking... sometimes. The reality is no individual or organization has all the capabilities and know how to accomplish every task or pursue all opportunities. Limitations in skill sets and resources lead sometimes to an inevitable conclusion that tapping the strengths of others is the best way to move forward.

It's OK to Need Help

Relating this saying to the marketing function, an example of addressing this issue is the decision of whether certain tasks should be outsourced (e.g., sponsorship sales, ticket sales, and e-commerce operations). There is no shame in acknowledging the benefits of bringing in a marketing partner. On the contrary, forming partnerships with other firms reflects management's recognition of how to best leverage the organization's strengths. This issue came to mind when learning that Major League Soccer had announced its 20th team, New York City Football Club, will begin play in 2015. The club will be the second in the New York metro market, joining the New York Red Bulls (that actually play in New Jersey).

A Beautiful Match

 What is particularly noteworthy about NYCFC is its ownership. The expansion club will be a partnership between Manchester City of the English Premier League and the New York Yankees. The pairing of one of the EPL's highest profile and wealthiest clubs with one of America's most prominent pro sports franchises brings instant credibility to a club that will not play its first match for nearly two more years. The synergy of the partnership was summed up nicely by Yankees president Randy Levine who said "They'll be running all the soccer. We know our way around New York, how to get things done." This statement speaks to the benefits of forming partnerships; while Manchester City and the New York Yankees are strong brands, their chances of profitably succeeding in launching a new MLS franchise are increased by the partnership as opposed to going it alone. 

Soccer is known as "the beautiful game." The Manchester City-New York Yankees venture can be described as a beautiful match. If you want something done, first ask if it makes sense to do it yourself. If yes, go for it. But, if partnering with another firm brings more resources to the table while reducing risk, then entering into a joint venture is a viable option. In this situation, both organizations are branching out into new markets (geographic growth for Manchester City, product growth for NY Yankees). Include the possibility of joint ventures with like-minded partners when evaluating growth options.

ESPN FC - N.Y. to Get 2nd MLS Club in 2015