“We are also responsible for passing on traditional values, energy, and excitement to the next generation”

We spoke to Adam Pavella, Head of Brand Strategy and Marketing of FC DAC 1904, about the club’s recent developments and how its unique Slovak-Hungarian origin can build a bigger brand in the region.

By Quang T. Pham

Why is the club strongly supported and uniquely bonded with the Hungarian community in Slovakia?  

Adam Pavella: The key reason is our geographical location. The club is located in Dunajská Streda, a small city in Slovakia not so far from Hungary. Most people in the area speak Hungarian. The club has a long history and is an important part of the Hungarian community in Slovakia. We are known for our strong connection to Hungarian culture and history and for bringing people together. However, the club also strives to be modern and open, and it has successfully attracted more and more Slovaks to attend games due to the welcoming atmosphere. We’re careful to balance our pride with a sense of inclusivity and openness and avoid any political connotations. The club is a friendly and welcoming place that values its community and history. 

Adam Pavella
Head of Brand Strategy and Marketing
FC DAC 1904

From a business perspective, how big is DAC 1904? How many employees are currently working in your department? 

From a Slovak perspective, we are considered as a big team. Our marketing department comprises around ten people working on social media, photography, film, and digital marketing. We also have a sub-team that takes care of cultural activities and community involvement, such as green projects. The club is well-known for being active in cultural and sports events and continuously growing. 

In 2021, DAC 1904  launched a new logo that follows a minimalistic style which is more revolutionary than the traditional football logo design. Why is it? 

The biggest reason is to modernize the club. The club teamed up with Interbrand, the same agency that worked with Juventus. The new logo received mixed reactions from supporters, as it strays from the club’s nearly 120-year history. Furthermore, the logo is practical, modern, and easy to print on merchandise and match jerseys.  

Our most recent logo is approximately the 20th in the club’s history, making it more of an evolution than a revolution. Despite initial pushback, we are confident in the new design as it carries on our traditional values: determination, fighting spirit, and unity.

Read the full story of the club’s new logo.

What are the club’s most important revenue streams currently? 

We also have the typical revenue streams: television deals, sponsorships, and matchday tickets. At the moment, we focus on improving the match experience and attracting more younger fans. In addition, we need to enhance relationships with current sponsors and constantly seek new partnership opportunities. We are also looking for other opportunities to bring in revenue, such as merchandise sales and other innovative projects.


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What are your key strategies to win younger fans?  

I think the club is not yet at the stage to adopt recent technology buzzwords like NFT or Metaverse. We focus on community-driven actions.  For 2023, we will implement new physical activations for families, teenagers, and communities. For instance, we have recently started engaging with local schools, bringing in players for presentations, and inviting young fans to attend games with special activities. The club strives to engage with younger fans through various projects and activities on social media as well.  

Our goal is to bring in more young faces to our events, as our current audience tends to be older. While it is important to honor our history and traditions, we are also responsible for passing on those traditional values, energy, and excitement to the next generation.

Does DAC 1904 focus more on local or global partnerships? 

Currently, the main focus is on domestic partners, but we have already knocked on the doors of regional and global brands. For example, MOL Group, a highly active corporation in Slovakia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, among others, is our biggest sponsor. Another key partner is Kukkonia which is famous for its high-quality local food products and involvement in cultural and sporting events in Slovakia. We teamed up to create the Kukkonia League, a youth league for over 300 young players in our region. The campaign was a success and attracted at least 5.000 people in total.  

What is DAC 1904’s unique selling proposition (USP)? 

I would say it would be our unique Slovak-Hungarian origin, which allows us to connect with more markets and attract more football fans and potential partners from all over Europe. More specifically, we can target markets with significant Hungarian-Slovak communities. Our ultimate goal is to create a larger brand with deeper meaning and purposes.  

What is the next big thing at the club and how does your 5-year vision look like? 

First, our focus will be on the “Match of the Season” on February 12th against Slovan Bratislava. This will be a massive match with big expectations, and we are working hard to ensure that we are well-prepared.  

Regarding our 5-year vision, our 2 biggest goals are sporting success and building synergy to attract more sponsors in the Slovak and Hungarian markets. We will also develop new talents and flourish our Academy to nurture the next generation of players.

Adam Pavella was also part of a panel discussion “How to develop small and medium-sized football organizations” at the Football Business Meetup Bratislava. You can re-watch the session or read the summary here.


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