Sport Tourism: Marketing the UAE Football Pro League

Football is among the widely practices as well as the most popular sports across the United Arabs Emirates (Baker, 2004). Its football leagues have produced both outstanding teams as well as players both on the local and international platforms. The current system of the football league in the UAE comprises of two leagues, whereby two teams are either relegated or promoted at the end of each season between Division 1 and the UAE Football Pro League. The top professional league in the UAE is the Arabian Gulf League, with Al-Ain going on record to have won most titles (12 titles) in the league since its formation in 1973 (Bade & Johnson, 2010). The UAE Football Association controls the UAE National Football Team, and also controls all football activities in UAE. Home grounds in UAE vary from time to time. For instance, most home games were played in different stadiums, such as Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain and Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

­­­            Justlike any other Arabian country, footballwas just a hobby in the UAE, but now it become acommodity, and as such, required a lot of marketing campaigns to create awareness. These promotional campaigns targeted various critical stakeholders in the football market (Collins, 2003). The first stakeholders were the talented and professional players, as well as the technical teams who would come join the existing teams and compete in the existing football leagues. The second stakeholders were the football fans and supporters. A football match cannot be entertaining if there are no fans in the terraces cheering their favorite players and teams to victory (Barcelona, Hurd& Meldrum, 2008). As such, the promotional campaigns targeted at attracting a wide pool of fans that would give both moral as well as psychological support to the football teams, and in turn attend the matches slotted in the two football leagues played within the country………………………………………

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