The profile Activities Strategy AFC Ajax NV (AFC Ajax, Ajax) is the most successful football club in the Netherlands and is one of the most successful football clubs in Europe. Ajax won the Dutch championship twenty-seven times, the European Cup for National Champions (European Cup I; currently the Champions League) four times, the European Cup Winners Cup and the UEFA Cup both ones and the World Cup for club teams twice. Ajax' activities can be divided into football and football-related activities. Football Ajax' football activities consist of the playing of professional football, the youth training programme, the playing of amateur football, the scouting system, player management and supporters management. The first team plays professional football in the KPN-Telecompetitie (the Dutch Premier League), in the national cup competition and in the inter national cup competitions and plays friendly matches. The first team plays its home matches in the Amsterdam ArenA, a stadium with a capacity of over 50,000 seats. The second team plays in the reserve teams competition and acts as a springboard for young talents to the top. The main pillar of Ajax' successes and reputation is the youth training programme. The youth training programme takes place at the modern sports park De Toekomst The quality of the youth training programme is important for the flow of young talent to Ajax' first team squad, for the number of players which have to be bought from other clubs and the level of costs this involves and for the transfer income result to be realised by Ajax. Ajax has four amateur teams, playing in the Saturday league organised by the Dutch Football Association (KNVB). These are recreational teams, which are not part of the training programme of the first team of Ajax. As well as the youth training programme, the scouting system is of great importance to the successes of Ajax.0 Ajax has an extensive network of scouts to do its scouting work. These scouts assess young players according to the criteria which are also used in the youth training programme, i.e. technique, intelligence, personality and speed (TIPS), and keep records of players for the various field positions and of different age groups. Ajax aims to have a squad where two players are available for each position in the field, with an extra added player for each line (defence, midfield and attack). With regard to supporter management, Ajax aims to meet the justified expectations, wishes and demands of the supporters, to increase the number of supporters and to guarantee the safety of the supporters. Football-related activities I he football-related activities are exclusively carried out in support of the football activities. The football-related activities comprise generating income from sponsoring and advertising, exploitation of television rights and merchandising. Ajax currently has 14 sponsors, including a shirt sponsor and a clothing sponsor. Advertising income is generated from the advertising boards on and around the pitch, advertising on the big screens in the Amsterdam ArenA and advertisements in Ajax publications. Ajax' policy is aimed at extensive co-operation with a number of partners, who fully integrate their sponsorship, preferably in an international context, into their communication strategy. This creates a maximum contribution to the global exploitation of the name and logo of Ajax. Income from television rights is primarily generated by the contract between the KNVB, acting on behalf of the football clubs, and NOS and SBS 6 (two Dutch broadcasting companies) for the broadcasting of summaries of matches from the Dutch Premier League and matches from the national cup competition (Amstel Cup) respectively. In addition, there is the 'memorandum of understanding' with Canal+ for live and integral broadcasts of matches from the Dutch Premier League. The television rights for the Champions League are collectively exploited by UEFA. The television rights for the matches in the European Cup Winners Cup and the UEFA Cup are sold by Ajax itself. Ajax' merchandising activities consist of the granting of licences on a royalty basis for the production and distribution of sports articles and non-sports articles, all with the Ajax trade mark (as Ajax name, logo and shirt), the purchasing and selling of certain Ajax articles under the control of the company and the direct distribution to the end user of non-sports articles with the Ajax trade mark, as well as exploitation of image rights of players and running of the Ajax museum. The direct supply of non-sports articles is done through the Internet and mail order. The museum shows the history of Ajax. In addition to relics, memorabilia, documents, personal belongings of (former) players and photographs, the museum also has a room in which the most important trophies are displayed and where Ajax' successes are portrayed in an audio-visual presentation. The Ajax strategy is aimed at keeping the club at the top of Dutch professional football, and also at the top of European professional football. In order to realise this Ajax aims at combining young talents with interna tionally experienced players in its first team selection. A continuous stream of young talents trained by the club should minimises the need for the buying of players from outside the club. Within this framework, Ajax has set itself the target of expanding both its youth training programme and its scouting system internationally. This especially involves building a global network of scouts and setting up training centres throughout the world. As well as the strategies with regard to the football activities, Ajax aims to play a leading role in the ongoing commercialisation and globalisation of professional football by fully exploiting the football-related activities as well as playing football, of high quality. Exploiting these activities cannot be a goal in its own right, but should always support the football activities. With respect to sponsoring, the aim of the company is to strengthen the relationships with its sponsors, in order to create the possibility for both the sponsor and the company to make optimum use of the exploitation of the Ajax brand. The strategy with regard to the exploitation of television rights is aimed at the company carrying out these negotiations. Furthermore the develop ments relating to new media concepts, such as 'pay-per-view' and 'video- on-demand', will be monitored continuously. The merchandising strategy is aimed at the increasing income by both raising turnover and improving margins. The most important focal points hereby are expanding Ajax' distribution network and broadening the range of Ajax articles. 4


Jaarverslagen Ajax NV (vanaf 1997) | 1997 | | pagina 81