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Case Study: London Football Association

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Case Study: London Football Association

The London Football Association Scores a Winner With pbSmart Codes


The London Football Association facilitates all local football clubs and competitions within a 12 mile radius around Charing Cross. It is one of the biggest football associations in the country with approximately 2,000 clubs, 1,000 referees and over 50 leagues and competitions.  Consequently, there are many members and partners that the Association needs to communicate with on a regular basis.

Sarah Hobbs, the London Football Association’s Marketing and Communications Officer, spotted a QR Code on a flyer and wondered how the association might use the technology in its communications.

 “I wasn’t really aware of QR codes until I received this flyer, and that sparked the idea in my head that this technology could be a great way to drive traffic to our website. We are really keen to raise our profile and advertise what we do, and obviously driving more visitors to our website is a key part of that”, explains Sarah.

QR codes are two-dimensional codes designed to be read by an electronic scanner, such as a smartphone. The code then directs the user to a webpage, or other kinds of information such as videos or images.

After searching online for providers, the London FA started using Pitney Bowes’ pbSmart Codes in August.

“We’ve never used Pitney Bowes as a supplier before”, explains Sarah, “but there were a few things that attracted me to the pbSmart Codes solution. Firstly, I liked that pbSmart Codes doesn’t simply consist of the technology to produce the code; you actually benefit from an end-to-end solution including the ability to create a mobile page (if you don’t already have one) to host the content that the code will link to. Then, at the other end, you have the ability to track the response to your code including statistics showing how many people have scanned it.” 

As someone who had not used QR codes before, Sarah was also pleased by how easy the software was to use.

“It’s incredibly simple and very self-explanatory”, she says, “The code is produced as a jpeg file and then you can simply drop the image into any flyer or magazine design. It’s also an extremely flexible tool; you can use QR codes almost anywhere.”

The London FA have integrated QR codes into their marketing strategy and are using them on a range of communications including their e-magazines, which are sent out monthly to members, on flyers promoting specific events such as refereeing and coaching courses and on email signatures.

“You can also personalise the content that the code links to”, says Sarah, “So for example, the code on the monthly e-magazine which is sent to our referees, takes the reader to the refereeing page of the website, and the news and content that is specific to their interests.” 

The Association has a six-month rolling contract with Pitney Bowes, so there was no obligation for them to make a long term commitment. 

“This really appealed to us”, says Sarah, “Obviously we couldn’t be sure how successful the QR codes would be so to be able to give a try with no binding long-term financial commitment was great. We then have the flexibility to upgrade or downgrade depending on our needs.”

“We were also really impressed with our Account Manager and the support that we received. It’s great to have one point of contact, someone that is always on hand whatever our query might be.”

The next phase is for Sarah and her team to get to grips with the analytics function of the software to judge where the codes are most effective.

“We haven’t really had a chance to study the results yet”, explains Sarah. “But this is something we’re keen to do as the initial feedback has been positive. I think that the codes will be especially effective for us as the majority of our members are young people who I think will be familiar with this technology.”


“We were also really impressed with our Account Manager and the support that we received. It’s great to have one point of contact, someone that is always on hand whatever our query might be.”

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