Is Free Exposure Good or Bad For Shamrock Rovers F.C.

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Shamrock Rovers F.C., self -described as the most successful football club in Ireland(Shamrock Rovers F.C. Membership 2015) had asked the television broadcaster RTE to refrain from showing the club’s remaining matches for the year on television on the opinion that each live broadcast resulted in approximately €10,000 of lost revenue per event. It is understood that other clubs within the Premier League agree with the club’s position and were very sympathetic to their position.

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The Premier League clubs felt that it would be good practice for them to be financially compensated when their games were televised, providing hours of television entertainment. (McDonnell 2015). This paper will discuss the notion of free exposure including whether it was good or bad for a business as well as examine decision making within a company with the objective of attaining long term goals. The relevance and connection of these concepts to the aforementioned decision by Shamrock Rovers F.C. will also be discussed and analysed. The Irish football league, founded in 1921 is an important part of Ireland’s tradition and history. It consists of 20 clubs as well as the Football Association of Ireland, FAI which is the umbrella body responsible for the promotion, regulation and organisation of activities. The unique nature of the Irish sports environment means that the league faces robust competition for a comparatively small market in comparison to its European peers from the GAA Hurling and Football organisation and Rugby in addition to other growing sports (Conroy Consulting 2015). This is in addition to a good amount of television exposure for non-Irish football including the English Premiership. Revenue generation within the League has been described as challenging especially with the economic conditions of the past number of years (Conroy Consulting 2015). How does free exposure or long term planning impact this competitive landscape?

Free Exposure

Studies have shown that when people encounter something repeatedly, the likelihood of having a preference for it or a positive reaction in future is increased. This is known as the mere exposure effect, MEE (Kahneman 2012; Schacter 1987; Zajonc 1968, 2001). Kahneman (2012) explains that repetition results in cognitive ease and a comfortable feeling of familiarity linking this to eventually developing a degree of mild affection for the stimulus in question. The state of cognitive ease denotes relaxation, no threats or need to redirect attention. The main factors contributing to the concept of cognitive ease are illustrated in the figure below: Causes and consequences of cognitive ease Figure 1: Causes and Consequences of Cognitive Ease Source: Kahneman 2012, p.60 Zajonc (1968, 2001) goes further to argue that the mere exposure effect not only transcends conscious experience but that in fact the positive effect of repetition on liking is an extremely important biological fact supported by numerous experiments on humans and animals alike.

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