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Posts tagged ‘stockport’

Stark reality

When “County” went down, I recall someone saying that this was the best thing that could happen to us.  We’d just bounce back was the rhetoric.  I rubbished the suggestion, pointing out that the BSP read like a graveyard of former ‘League’ teams: York, Cambridge, Luton, Grimsby etc.  If we were to remain in that Division in Season one that would be a result in my opinion, after a free-falling demise and so many woes – consolidation had to be the name of the game.

Facing the on-going reality, relegation brings with it reduced income. There is an immediate loss of the £250,000 Premier League solidarity payment;  TV revenue and sponsorship £430,000 is halved for one year and then goes all together; youth development funding of £180,000 a year is halved for two years and then gets removed.

 It’s a significant contrast from the generous parachute payments clubs relegated from the Premiership receive for three years. 

All this explains why the Centre of Excellence in its current guise is not sustainable – and why innovative ticketing regimes need to be piloted such as ‘mad hatter prices’ to boost attendances for forthcoming seasons including attracting ‘new blood’ (the fans of tomorrow) and deriving supplementary in-stadia secondary spend.

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Is Manchester winning?

I should have used the last blog photograph with this post as I’m banging on my drum again about the pitfalls associated with completely ignoring social media.  Naturally, I’m a convert but I’d like to think from a reasoned platform.

It seems to me ages ago since my colleague and brother-in-law, Bilen, wrote his thesis whilst completing his Master’s Degree in Strategic Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University.  It was titled: “The role of online communities in internet marketing: a study of three professional football clubs in the North West of England”.  Its compilation kindly assisted by the co-operation of three of my clients: Stockport County FC, Bury FC and Oldham Athletic FC.  I recall this subject, as still to this date some organisations are only just  awakening to the potential of its use in digital marketing strategies.

Some have said, Manchester is leading the way.  “United” is a key case study in Facebook Marketing’s intelligence.  “City” is on a pedestal with a selection of tactics scoring ‘early goals’ such as Flickr and Twitter.

We’ve had some great R.O.I (return on investment, not to be confused with Republic of Ireland) from social media.  I hope some of you are following me on Twitter and YouTube?  Or maybe Check In at my office on FourSquare (specials available!).  However you look at it, this social approach has merits and has to be considered.  There is no prescriptive solution but much best practice around.  Furthermore, when expanding into the use of  ‘social communities’ I buy in here also.  I think it was David Jones that wasn’t in favour of online fans forums – but you cannot be a serious marketer if you don’t embrace this methodology and communication channel.  It’s valuable in research, PR, polling perceptions and publicity.  Expect more from me on this subject at a later date.

Friday night

How I enjoyed last night’s football.  Plus a tipple in Ye Olde Vic and Our Lady’s as pre-match warm-up and post-match contemplation. A combination of a draw against fellow ‘Hatters’ Luton Town after trailing, and a return to Friday Night Football. 

I used to query with former marketing/commercial regimes at County whether they had undertaken any analysis to determine whether Fridays or Saturdays were best financially for the Club.  Must admit never got a reasoned response.  Naturally, there are pros and cons of the day we play, but for people like me with young children, I can enjoy my beloved County and have two full days uninterrupted for other pastimes that they might choose to pursue each weekend.  For some reason the entire family don’t necessarily want to visit EP every week.

I was brought up on a diet of Friday Night Football.  I seem to recall others like Tranmere Rovers FC and Southend United FC did similar.  I understand discussions have been held with a view to moving some Scottish Football League games to Friday evenings.  Ligue 1 in France will be scheduled in the same way under the terms of the French top flight’s television deal commencing 2012 – 13.  The Australian Football League (‘Aussie Rules’) promote matches on that night in conjunction with the Seven Network and remain convinced it is an optimum fixture for publicity and income.  Does anyone know any lower league clubs that have adopted Fridays and launched promotional tactics to entice supporters of other clubs successfully that are playing the day after?

Mersey ferry

It reminds me of that old pub quiz question: “Which professional football club is closest to the Mersey?” (Obviously, asked before last season).  Punters ponder over Liverpool or Everton, or then could it be Tranmere – when the answer is in fact that it’s actually Stockport County. 

Yesterday’s pre-season friendly was a victory over Accrington Stanley, and at Edgeley Park. My elation was somewhat deflated by a wondering about the regime running ‘County’ and our future.  I’m just one supporter in a sea of blue and white that could have our fears removed by just a little more light on the facts.  You’ll recall I wrote about it before and National Media has continued pushing at that door since.

I suppose that it’s this ‘not knowing’ that means we continue to have reservations, despite the lads on the field putting it all in this fixture.  Scepticism breeds the worst accusations – and I note that of five new signings, Ryan Fraughan, John Miles, Sean McConville, John Nolan – they have come from Liverpool, Fazackerley, Liverpool and Huyton respectively.  Are we ferrying them in from Merseyside or is this just the Manager exploiting his connections?