The Beautiful Game: What Football Can Teach Us About Content Marketing

“Sport is war minus the shooting. Yachting is like standing in a cold shower and tearing up $100 dollar bills. The batsman found the spin harder to read than Finnegan’s Wake.”

and the metaphors go on and on…

Some sports contribute more metaphors to language than others, and the similes and extended analogies we tend to favor revolve around the gridiron and the baseball diamond. Penetrating the defense has as much to do with politics as it does sports, and everyone from John Updike to Don Delillo has used the stats and semantics of the nation’s pastime to explain the finer details of the universe. But what about the beautiful game and phrases like the fluidity of the pitch? And what on God’s green earth does the beautiful game have to do with content marketing, anyway? Well, it’s a metaphor.

Soccer vs. Football

What the U.S. calls soccer, the Europeans call football. However, the sport is globally recognized as the beautiful game. Does all of this sound confusing? Well, this brings us to the first point: the language of business and content marketing needs to be precise, concise and exact. Content might be king, but clarity is the key. Nothing can be lost in translation.

The Strikers

A strong social media campaign is essential to the success of your business. In other words, Facebook and Twitter are your main strikers, your top goal scorers. Twitter, for instance, is lightening quick (140 characters) and ingeniously crafty. Just like Christiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, your messages need to have just the right touch.

The Midfield

Who are the midfielders in the scheme of content marketing? They’re your bloggers and guest bloggers. Whether content marketing is an in-house operation or outsourced to content services, blogging is the nuts and bolts of modern business. A guest blogger is like that U.S. player who’s on loan to the English Premier League during the MLS off-season. Remember: the midfielders control the pace and fluidity of the pitch.

Red Flags

Red flags can make or break the outcome of a game. In the loud and overcrowded stadium of content marketing, you need content that stands out. If you want to avoid red flags, you need to be the guy singing rally cries at the top of his lungs. If not, then you’re just another face in the crowd. Red flags include poorly written content, content that isn’t updated regularly, and content with little interactive or entertainment value.

Brand it Like Beckham

Your content is your brand. Whether you’re like David Beckham, known for his tattoos and impeccable corner kicks, or the Spanish National Team, recognized for its Tiki-Taka short passing game, brand is style and style is what differentiates your company from every other company vying for position out there. Crafting a brand is the most difficult part of any business; it’s a team oriented goal, not an individual one, and this is why England hasn’t won a FIFA World Cup since 1966.

Damon H is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.


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