Edwin Froma Marketing manager, FC Groningen

Edwin Froma, Head of Marketing at FC Groningen, is responsible for all marketing activities at the Dutch soccer club, known for its former players Arjen Robben, Luis Suárez, Dusan Tadic, Virgil van Dijk and Czech player Ondrej Svejdik. As part of his job Edwin is working on product development, CRM / FRM, digitalization / online marketing, sponsor activation, fan engagement and B2B marketing.

Edwin started working at FC Groningen in 2013. He started his career at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce where he built up an online community for entrepreneurs and he was responsible for major events for start-ups. After a 6-months sabbatical, Edwin had different marketing positions before he started working as a freelancer. In this period, Edwin became second in a worldwide innovation contest of Heineken. After nine months, he started at FC Groningen, the club he was already supporting as a fan. He build up the marketing department, which now consists of four employees and several internships.

TOPIC: Fan engagement doesn't cost a lot of money

Ranking at an average 7th/8th place FC Groningen belongs to the subtop in the Dutch Eredivisie. FC Groningen occasionally plays in the UEFA Europa League. FC Groningen is a financial healthy club and keen on keeping it that way. Without the budgets the big clubs have for fan engagement, FC Groningen managed to have a high involvement of fans. Together with the fans they realized several projects and recently they organized a day where fans could give input to the strategic plans for the period 2017-2020.

How did FC Groningen integrate a fan friendly culture at the club? What does this mean for the organization? What are still the challenges they have to face?