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The Globalisation of EFC

By Jay Harris :  03/05/2010 :  Comments (50) :
(In my Liverpool Home, Part 2)

I am writing this post in response to claims by people like Alan Kirwan who think we are forever doomed to be a small club in a poverty stricken City.

I was always taught to consider all options and evaluate all solutions... Looking at the investment situation first, I will repeat what I posted last year because I still believe it to be valid:

A lot of nonsense has been written lately about Merseyside not being attractive to potential investors in Everton FC and that is one of the main reasons the club remains in the same hands... because the man who has been "looking for investment 24/7" for over 10 years and believes we need "a billionaire" to take the club forward.

I personally believe we do NOT need a billionaire, we just need a boardroom of capable businessmen with some marketing nouse, a good reputation with the banks, and a sound business plan to support the most successful manager and squad for over 20 years. But that's beside the point I want to make.

Opportunities abound in life and, having been born and bred in Liverpool, I see the current City outlook as the most exciting it has been in my lifetime — despite the current economy. Obviously big commercial investors like Grosvenor etc do too because their investment is zillions more than it would take to buy EFC. So there is ample evidence that Merseyside is not the carbuncle some people like to make out. So obviously it is not the City deterring investors.

But "it is not London" I hear you say... Well, neither is Villa, Portsmouth, Man City, Sunderland or Newcastle!! Secondly let's expose another myth put out by some eminent chairman of a famous football club that "Only Newcastle supporters buy shirts." Now if anybody has observed the naked, fat-bellied Geordies, you might think the last thing they do is buy shirts!!

Fans buy kit (Including mugs, pens etc etc.) as an expression of their feeling for the club and according to Robert Elstone there are 19 million Evertonians out there so there's another attractive statistic for "potential" investors as it is evident our marketing has significant potential.

But "Liverpool are in the same City", I hear some say. Have any of you heard why there's a street full of restaurants or why Bees gather round the honeypot? Liverpool (the City) is a famous footballing capital and not just because of the Reds and the fact that a city has two teams certainly didn't deter buyers from investing in Villa and City. So why haven't we been snapped up?

Some say if they had been rebuffed by Kenwright and his buddies, we would have heard through the media... but It was only reported recently that Lerner was interested in buying EFC before he plumped for Villa — and that's taken about 5 years to hit the media!!

Having made some enquiries of my own, I can say without prejudice the purchase of EFC is very complicated and is being managed by Robert Earl and Sir Phillip Green. So draw your own conclusions on why the 4th most successful club in the Premier League remains unsold after 10 years!!!

However, even if the club is not sold, we cannot continue to muddle on with no apparent business or marketing plan selling players to create a budget which brings me to my main point:

I don't think many would dispute that our PR, marketing and media operations leave a lot to be desired, so let's examine the opportunities:

1. Our history stands comparison with most European or Premier League clubs and yet that is not the impression the new markets have of EFC... so why not produce a video history of EFC highlighting much of the "France" Collection and whatever can be found about Dixie Dean, Tommy Lawton, the Golden Vision and The Holy Trinity. There is surely enough material to make a best-seller.

2. We now have a number of well known international stars like Pienaar, Howard, Tim Cahill, Yobo and the Yak — not to mention Landon Donovan. Why not get the PR machine going to exploit the media opportunity this presents? FFS, Black Bill is quick enough to exploit his media contacts when he wants to get his mug in front of the cameras... Why not also spend some money training Moyesie to be more media friendly and less acidic with some of his quips.

Having launched a major offensive on getting the club and players more prominent, we would then exploit the merchandising opportunities.

As I said earlier, Robert Elstone said there were 19 million Evertonians worldwide and that's without creating more interest from current non-Evertonians. The range of merchandising goods is endless and the badge and name could be franchised to "Globalise" the brand. We don't appear to have exploited the "Chang" connection very much either.

Also, why not expand Everton TV and charge more for subscriptions? Initially, this might not generate a great deal more income but from small acorns grow strong oak trees.

Comments, suggestions and brickbats welcome............

Reader Comments

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Ste Traverse
1   Posted 04/05/2010 at 06:59:20

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Yet more quality from Jay, your thoughts on our club mirror my own.

No doubt the apologists will be out in force defending the imbeclies the 'run' our club.
Rupert Sullivan
2   Posted 04/05/2010 at 08:21:44

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Jay, I agree entirely with what you say here, I have no idea how complicated it may be to purchase Everton Football Club but I firmly believe that Everton could be better at marketing themselves. For me, the only way upwards is to broaden their appeal outside of L4, and to therefore capitalise on the 'brand' names they already have.

Have you suggested any of this to the club? Can I suggest if not that you try Mark Rowan or Robert Elstone?
Alan Williams
3   Posted 04/05/2010 at 08:02:21

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Jay, am very sorry but this is a rant and you have very little business acumen, you obviously have passion in abundance for our club but nothing posted will ever change how we EFC is perceived outside of Merseyside.

When you market a brand, the brand has to be “generic” as possible and have meaning worldwide; add quality and customer loyalty too it then you have a chance. The simple fact we have is EFC hold all those attributes to us fans and the people of the North West; thereafter, we are just another team that is perceived both by its fans and owners as parochial.

Take EFC as a business model... then we fall even lower down the pecking order: 1) No waiting list for season tickets; 2) match day revenue very poor (like for like PL); 3) commercially very weak both with merchandise and corporate hospitality; 4) Brand worn and tattered; 5) Stadium a dump; 6) Season tickets prices too low.

Sadly, it breaks my heart to list all these but I could have posted many others, like “People Club” and “If you Know your History” — all which in a commercial environment are old and yes very, very parochial.

To change all that and put EFC on the front foot is going to take a very serious amount of investment both in fiscal terms and time. The team has to deliver silverware over a long period and the commercial activities have to be on equilibrium too. We have about 8 other teams ahead of us already in the PL so we need to catch up domestically first then look at niche markets to attract investment and support.

Sadly one of the countries that has promise to us as EFC is not even allowing British nationals to visit it at present!!! It’s a long road but fingers crossed we will deliver one day, without long-term plans and bags of cash we will always play catch up. We have neither at present for obvious reasons. COYB

Rupert Sullivan
4   Posted 04/05/2010 at 08:55:34

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Alan, I understand your comments, but the team does not have to 'deliver silverware over a long period' to be a marketable proposition. Were that the case, then there would only be 10 or 20 football teams in the world, all winning something every year.

Teams are capable of posessing a USP without winning everything in sight, history as Jay pointed is could be one of those, current stars could be another, partnership brands can also be used.

Sadly for my money, an unknown beer company and an unknown charity are not valuable partnership brands — better to pick something with a broader appeal for less short term money than more money and no brand value. EFC's failure to capitalise on the RSA angle with Pienaar for me is a big gap — image wise he could have been a powerful tool — he's creative, scores goals, plays for his country....
David Hallwood
5   Posted 04/05/2010 at 09:26:49

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I side with Jay on this one, in fact I've been banging on about the same thing, and what I'd say to Alan Williams is that every commodity needs to be advertised to achieve its maximum market. Put yourself in the shoes of an adman who's asked to come up with a campaign to promote a new chocolate for example, you either say it can't be done because the market leaders are too well entrenched and take a walk, or you view it as a challenge and take on the 'big boys'.

I've suggested that we should buy Donovan and then 'do a Ronaldo' and have a massive publicity campaign in the states promoting him rather than Everton. The potential market is huge and they don't even have to like football as long as they buy the merchandise. Far fetched? Well if you live in the UK or Europe see how many people wear baseball/basketball merchandise.

That doesn’t mean that Alan Williams isn’t correct in his analysis, in fact there was a report posted on TW recently by the Swiss Rambler (and must assume it’s a walking rather than the talking variety) that makes for very gloomy reading, but increasing turnover by beefing up the commercial side of the club is one of the areas that can, and must be improved.

Phil Bellis
6   Posted 04/05/2010 at 17:50:31

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Alan,
Do you work in Everton's marketing or PR? Your ethos certainly mirrors that of current employees.Remember the classic ploy of publishing a photo of a broken step instead of fixing the f'n thing?

Of course the improvements to our `branding' will take time — but they also require project planning, vision, staffing, the will, a determined leader and an initial impetus; perhaps you could lend Jay a pinch of your business acumen for starters??

Alan Kirwin
7   Posted 04/05/2010 at 09:44:15

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Thanks for the mention, however misguided. Have never used the word "doomed", nor indeed "forever".

Your ridiculously misguided and ill-informed rant says it all really. People like you are incapable of facing up to reality. You scowl when someone points out that we have had one 4th place finish in 23 years, or that our attendances are way down the league in size.

But then you bang on again about how we should EXPECT to win the league every year because we have a motto written in Latin and because we've won the league many years ago.

You don't need others to advise you on how pathetic and infantile you are. Your article does it perfectly. You are destined for many years of disappointment young man. Try getting a life.

Happy to help on this occasion. I wouldn't usually give time to such vacuous drivel, but thanks for the mention. Must dash, the real world calls...
Richard Dodd
8   Posted 04/05/2010 at 09:45:29

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Problem is, too many investors are beginning to learn that the only reward for owning a football club is hassle and unpopularity. Even Villa`s model owner, Mr Lernher, is getting stick from his manager and fans because he refuses to provide limitless funding as they seek `to move to the next level`.

Love him or hate him, Blue Bill has at least kept the lid on our situation but, as they have found elsewhere, new owners do not guarantee success. To me, Spurs have found the right blend of sensible investment, excellent commercial practice and attractive PR. An ideal model for Everton, I think.

David Hallwood
9   Posted 04/05/2010 at 10:36:32

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Alan Kirwin to be pedantic, in the 23 years, we've won the FA Cup and were in the final last year plus we've had a few seasons in Europe so don't counter 'naivety' with total pessimism; our place at the top table is long gone, but we ain't Hull, Wigan or Birmingham.

But none of the posters talk about our right to be there, in fact, the post is about how to market the Everton FC brand. Now you obviously take the view that it's a hopeless case, but like all ad campaigns, you don't know until you've tried it.

I went onto a USA website sellin soccarr merchandise, and the Sky3 + RS kits was on there selling at $69-108 a pop, so was Spurs & Villa (and how much more successful are they?) And Everton? a bottle holder and a baseball cap-and that's with the Tim Howard and Donovan factor thrown in.

Surely someone in the commercial department needs sacking for this alone. I don't think Jay or anyone else for that matter think we'll do a Susan Boyle and become a worldwide phenomena overnight, but we've got to start somewhere, and doing nothing is not an option.

Phil Martin
10   Posted 04/05/2010 at 10:08:04

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The Two Alans,

Jay's letter isn't a rant. It's actually a very logically thought out statement, highlighting some key shortcomings of the club's current leadership.

You think we (globalists) don't appreciate the difficulty in achieving this?
Man United the most marketed commerically successful club in the world started their marketing/advertising/ commerical ground work in the early 90s.
Yet we have never really got started.
With investment in a renovated GP — more fans will attend home games GUARANTEED.

Someone mentioned our lack of season ticket waiting lists. Possibly because the majority of seats left available are heavily obstructed. If you re-build GP stand by stand, making the facilities more family oriented. Which means no smelly piss laden toilet floors or postage stamp sized wooden seats.

We also sort out the pathetic catering service we provide. We make the place more attractive to visit. We must have thousands of fans who are put off taking themselves and their kids because the ground's facilities/pitch obstructions ruin the experience.

Don't you see the points you raised in argument to Jay are interlinked? Poor matchday revenue because of poor catering service and shocking stock management. Poor Corporate facilities with limited executive package options all mean we fail to capitilise on this key revenue channel.

As well as the club restaurant we should also have a Bistro type bar where you can order good food and a decent pint without paying for a full 3 course meal at £99 a head. It would appeal to the fans who just want something good to eat without going into corporate hospitality territory. You only have to go to Bolton Wanderers to see how well they cover this area. If they can do it, WTF can't Everton?

No season ticket waiting lists are accounted for because the remaining seats are obstructed or too 'packed in'. Also consider we are getting around 36,000 a game and we haven't won anything for 15 years. Imagine if we actually began challenging our attendances would soon rise. Did Manchester United always attracts crowds of 75,000, likewise Arsenal 60,000, Sunderland 48,000 or Chelsea 45,000? No, they grew the club and its fanbase.

We need to position the club as an old footballing institution. We can't compete with United's or Chelsea's recent trophy haul. So we need to market ourselves as a true giant emerging from years of underachivement. We need to market our loyal, passionate fanbase and our principles as club.

We should advertise Everton and a rebuilt GP as a venue for a "Real, passionate footballing experience." A place to watch a very good team (with excellent players) in a traditional, atmospheric football stadium. Comined with excellent facilities and somewhere you could spend the day.

We don't need 65,000 tourists (ala ManU or Chelsea) watching us every week. I'd rather have 50-55,000 loud passionate fans inside GP shouting the team on. However, we aren't even close to maximing our current revenue streams let alone growing new ones.

We should setup partnerships with high profile clubs in other Smaller leagues across the world. Like a team in the MLS, Chinese League etc. Somewhere we could possibly send out youth players for experience and even play friendlies against. In exchange we could get first refusal on any of their players. It would help develop the profile of Everton and market us as a club with genuine Global ambitions. But more importantly allow us to tap into the growing talent pool in these regions.


Again — increase the club's profile, its fanbase, and Sponsorhsip and Merchandies deals will increase accordingly. But you have to do the leg work in the first place.


Just my thoughts but I totally disagree with the defeatist mindset a small number of our fanbase has. There's always more you can do. Everton as a club haven't even scratched the surface. How I'd love to see a team of highly talented successful executives in place to sort this side of our club out. I'm sure they'd be shocked by our current business practices.

Rob Hollis
11   Posted 04/05/2010 at 11:41:04

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Alan

I am suprised by your comments to Jay. I work in media and am fully aware what a good campaign can generate and how it can change perceptions.

Yes, we need a budget to achieve it, but we are the fourth most succesful team and the first club (in age) of the city.

As a marketing proposition then the team that has played more top flight football than any other and is the fourth most succesful team in the country must present a fantastic marketing opportunity. It may not be a club priority and they may not have the budget, but don't knock him for saying it is possible.

It very obviously is.
Peter Griffin
12   Posted 04/05/2010 at 11:29:24

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What about EFC soccer schools? You could have them in SA using Pienaar for exposure, Australia with Cahill, USA with Howard. You could have them in Nigeria using Yakubu/Yobo/Anichebe. Russia with Bily.

If set up properly they could increase global awareness, fanbase, revenue, marketing etc etc. Obviously it's not that easy, but an idea.

I've heard the RS advertising theirs for the summer holidays on Radio City, where's ours?

You never know, you might find a future star. If kids in those countries see that players like Yakubu, or Bily come from a background like theirs and made it to a top Premier League club, you could sell the dream. There may be government grants for setting it up. Local companies may want to use the camps for advertising etc.
Tony I'Anson
13   Posted 04/05/2010 at 12:06:01

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What Phil Martin said...Plus didn't even Sir Alex mention that he enjoyed coming to Goodison with real atmosphere and real fans.

If Robert Elstone's 19 million fans worldwide figure is true, then surely it's got to be a no brainer to sell them stuff in blue and get enough to come to the match once a season to fill the place every week.
Phil Bellis
14   Posted 04/05/2010 at 13:11:56

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You have to imagine the deep, rich, dark voice-over a la “In a land before time…in a time before Sky…”

“1878...

1 year before Harry Hook becomes a hero at Rorke’s Drift;
2 years after Custer dies at the Little Big Horn;
3 years before Pat Garrett guns down Billy the Kid;
4 years before a coward murders Jesse Woodson James
and 10 years before Jack the Ripper terrorises the East End of London….

Thomas Alva Edison patents the first gramophone;
Jack Johnson becomes the first black heavyweight boxing champion;
the first telephone is installed in the White House

and the first football club in the City of Liverpool is formed

Everton Football Club – the Originals”
Conor Ryan
15   Posted 04/05/2010 at 12:15:01

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We need to position the club as an old footballing institution. We can't compete with United's or Chelsea's recent trophy haul. So we need to market ourselves as a true giant emerging from years of underachievement. We need to market our loyal, passionate fanbase and our principles as club. We should advertise Everton and a rebuilt GP as a venue for a "Real, passionate footballing experience." A place to watch a very good team (with excellent players) in a traditional, atmospheric football stadium. Combined with excellent facilities and somewhere you could spend the day.

Absolutely spot on Phil. In a time when football is becoming more caviar than meat pie and more latte than tea. Sooner or later people are going to long for the more nostalgic, traditional version of the game.
Let the Boltons and Arsenals build their UFO stadium's of the future... I dread the day we see Everton celebrating a goal like is done at the Riverside with some stupid baseball-esque tune being played.

Of course we need to clean Goodison up and make it bigger and more hospitable but I believe it is imperative we don't compromise our strong selling points as Phil mentioned. There is always room in the market-place for the alternative. And I have a feeling that a country like America would eat that image up — think traditional Irish bars.

Every year, millions of American tourists come to Ireland. High on their to-do list is a pint of the black stuff in a 200-year-old pub.It's so silly really but it just goes to show how a novel steriotype as simple as a drink in idilic surrounding's can have a huge economical affect.

I would like to think that when people visit England and they want the traditional and authentic football experience they must visit Goodison.

I also think that "retro " is cool and can be cultivated into a marketable entitey for fans wanting to support a "real" association football team.

Ciarán McGlone
16   Posted 04/05/2010 at 13:27:13

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As a wise... well, clever... well, employed, man once said - 'You lot have no idea how hard it is to implement a simple idea'..

Jay's premise is entirely correct. No imagination, no clue, no acumen...

To confront Jay's ideas with 'you know nothing about business' - is simply lazy...

Especially when the reasons given for rejecting his musings on marketing are ironically symptoms of the very malaise he confronts.
Peter Warren
17   Posted 04/05/2010 at 13:50:11

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"The badge and name could be franchised to "Globalise" the brand."

What do you mean, change our name from Everton or change Nil Satis Nisi Optimum?

If this what you mean, I disagree, although agree entirely that our marketing and business acumen is poor and hence, our brand is worth little. It will take years to rectify and unlikely to be rectified until the club is sold.
Jay Harris
18   Posted 04/05/2010 at 14:03:48

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Phil Martin; spot on and the type of thinking I hoped to provoke. Every "problem" presents an opportunity.

Peter Warren; by "the badge" I meant the design incorporating Rupert tower etc. I may be wrong but I wouldnt be surprised if EFC have never registered it as a trademark.

But my thought was that as a registered trademark it could be franchised.
Peter Warren
19   Posted 04/05/2010 at 14:29:48

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Cheers Jay; in terms of brand. the phrase "The People's Club" probably did more than anything the board have done and I don't think they trademarked that. Saying that, if to become a global brand, I'm unsure whether "The People's Club" is a good brand or actually deters others from supporting.

I think the biggest factor as to why the club is unsold is because of the ground and lack of attendances; clearly being a one-club city such as Newcastle would help and sharing a city with LFC is a drawback because their brand is truly global.
Phil Martin
20   Posted 04/05/2010 at 14:32:28

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Jay,

Every problem presents an opportunity —unless you work in Everton's Executive team. In which case, every problem presents another fucking problem.

If a group of fans can offer some ideas and thought into the whole subject (during their spare time at work), then why can't these professional strategic planners?

We all accept it won't be easily done on a budget but surely some of the ideas could be explored very cheaply. The benefits are long term and would directly impact our potential revenue and future profits.

Just reading some of the ideas from others on this thread, gives you an idea of what could be possible. The Man Utd brand wasn't built overnight and neither will ours. But if millions can buy into the "Theatre of Dreams" crap then why can't we market Everton?

Some of the defeatists will argue if these ideas haven't already been implemented, it's because they've already been analysed and dismissed. Yet reading Ian Ross's response from last week and our handling of DK. I'm inclined to believe we haven't even bothered.

It's too easy and our club is too important just to say, "It's not worth the bother!"
Ciarán McGlone
21   Posted 04/05/2010 at 14:54:37

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I think there'd be 'distinctiveness' problems with trying to register a historical public monument as a trademark..

I also don't really see a necessity for it either.
Jay Harris
22   Posted 04/05/2010 at 15:18:34

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Good point, Ciaran, but as we've used the badge (to my knowledge) since the 1930s, we must have some sort of ownership.

However, you're right; it may not be necessary in the overall scheme of things.
Jim Harrison
23   Posted 04/05/2010 at 15:24:29

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A very minor point but, in my humble opinion, David Moyes is one of the more affable and interesting managers during interviews. Compared with Benitez, his "acid quips" are nothing.
Paul Conatzer
24   Posted 04/05/2010 at 16:14:07

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You only have to look at the Chicago Cubs over here to see the role of marketing. True, they do have a TV station, but they have millions of fans and haven't won anything for close to 100 years.
Michael Kenrick
25   Posted 04/05/2010 at 16:26:10

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Peter Warren: Thankfully (as pointed out by the reformed Richard Dodd), the club dropped "The People's Club" moniker many months ago. One of the reasons given was of some note in that a fan had already trademarked it and the club was not about to give him royalties.

I was so glad because to me it was an embarrassment. It was fine when Moyesie said it (in context) and we all loved it. But that's where it should have ended.

It became such a small-time, small-club, parochial moniker that unfortunately defined us and our truly limited ambitions only too well. Let's do as the Club has done and confine it to the annals of history, where it belongs.


ps: Not that I think "The Toffees" is any better. In fact, when it comes to image (I so hate that word "brand"), my worry is that "The Toffees" as a nickname falls well short. "The Blues" is okay in a local context but not sufficiently distinctive... I'd prefer "The Royal Blues"... but I guess that makes me Old School!

Conor Ryan
26   Posted 04/05/2010 at 16:24:18

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Good point, Paul. I know nothing of The Cubs in a sporting sense but I do know the brand, would wear the gear (for arguement's sake) and would mention them as an ice breaker when making small talk with someone from Chicago.

And how am I familiar with them? .... The Late John Candy. A co-incidence? Not a chance!

Peter Warren
27   Posted 04/05/2010 at 16:56:46

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I agree entirely, but shows how "brand" or "soundbites" can work.
Alan Williams
28   Posted 04/05/2010 at 17:42:29

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Rupert, show me one successful sporting brand that hasn’t picked up domestic silverware nor has a bag of cash to promote. We are Everton — not NY Yankees, Real Madrid or MUFC. The brand has history but our history is not exclusive; since the inception of the PL, honours prior to that have been de-valued.

Phil:- you mention some of the problems arising with GP, that’s exactly the point I have raised, if the brand is poor (and GP is certainly part of the brand) then spending millions on marketing ideas and promotion is mostly wasted as the basic product is sub-standard as opposed to similar products within the industry (PL).

I have no pleasure in posting this as I love EFC more than anything, I travel the world with my job and purchase end of line shirts and give them to all my business partners over the world. I get fed up when I’m overseas trying to explain who EFC are, I get "EFC who?" Then I have to say the Beatles supported us to get a response!!

My office is littered with EFC pictures I can’t do enough but the simple fact is we are not glamorous enough internationally as there are other brands that capture the imagination. We need massive investment and a long term approach to succeed; this is not going to happen in our current state, which is reality.

EFC currently operate hand to mouth... therefore areas such as the marketing department will always have financial restrictions placed upon them as the cash is needed in other areas. Every year, we fall behind as other brands get stronger. EFC’s business plan, whilst completely understandable, is flawed long-term and has been for the last decade.

I don’t come on and knock BK as I have complete understanding in what he is trying to achieve; I do it too on a daily basis but the company I sit on is double the size of EFC and very cash rich and we still have many, many issues that mean we can't compete with the Global brands so I have great sympathy with EFC as most of its cash is drained by players who are all short-term assets that hold no value on the books until sold at the market prices, which can be lower as well as higher.

What you all say is positive and we all want it but putting it in to practise and dressing it up is a lot harder than you can imagine; add to that with no funds... it's basically impossible. Be aware Woolworths, Leyland, Rover, Cunard, Bank of Scotland had lots of history and nostalgia... what happened to them?

BT have spent tens of millions promoting “Cellnet”; I think Boro had it on their shirt... this brand has been shelved and O2 has taken over adding another tens of million in advertising, how can EFC compete with this without success on the pitch? Making EFC an International brand in baseball terms is way outside the box! COYB

Dennis Stevens
29   Posted 04/05/2010 at 18:09:56

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Sadly, I just don't think we have the right people at Everton to run the commercial operation successfully. When one considers that one of the "successes" of the Kenwright era has been to farm out the retail operations, less because of the handsome returns than due to the need to stop losing money on the in-house operation — how can anybody lose money selling football kit, etc?!

The club needs to progress one step at a time & managing to develop our current commercial operations would be a big step forward before we consider world domination. Perhaps the club could get somebody to find out what supporters actually want to buy, that might be a start.

Assuming clubs will, in due course, have the rights to their own matches, then the focus for EvertonTV should be to build up numbers rather than to worry about maximising profit at this stage.

Maybe the club would be more attractive & worth more to potential buyers/investors if the commercial set-up was a bit sharper. However, there seems to be a lack of commercial nous at the club & perhaps the hill seems too steep for them to contemplate the climb — but I'm surprised to see fellow Evertonians displaying the same degree of apathy.

Phil Bellis
30   Posted 04/05/2010 at 18:32:23

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Alan, just an aside: I am not usually a replica playing-shirt wearer but happened to be in the East End of London recently sporting a 1985 silver-grey top. A group of `Ammers fans asked me who Hafnia were. When I told them (with great dignity) a Danish potted ham company, they fell about laughing (slow fume building up).

But then... "fackin' brilliant mite"; "a proper fackin' club, Everton"; "great to see yer doin' so well"; "top club, always `ave bin"; "wotcher avin?"

They were genuine; I was quite chuffed.

Brian Waring
31   Posted 04/05/2010 at 19:10:33

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You could put the biggest money spinning idea to the club, but the problem is always going to be there, they are a bunch of lazy, clueless wankers.
Jay Harris
32   Posted 04/05/2010 at 23:05:27

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Alan (Williams), that is exactly the point.

We may not have done much since the formation of the Premier League but we are STILL the 4th most succesful club in the football league. Try telling that to Spurs, Villa or City.

PR and marketing is about having something to shout about and not necessarily trophies; eg, look at 'Appy 'Arry who is media friendly and gets himself in front of the cameras. Martin O'Neill is another media darling who has won nothing.

The point is, we have a rich tapestry of legends like Dixie. Alan Ball (a World Cup winner) and a host of current international stars who could all promote EFC in their own countries. It doesnt necessarily have to be Sky or Setanta, we just need to get cheap or free publicity for any reason and we do have a lot of stories to tell.
Eric Myles
33   Posted 05/05/2010 at 05:38:28

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@Alan Williams:

"Sadly one of the countries that has promise to us as EFC is not even allowing British nationals to visit it at present!!!"

Where's that then?

Alan Williams
34   Posted 05/05/2010 at 07:44:34

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Eric, Thailand home of our main sponsor — check the foreign office website.

Jay, I think we all want our club at the top, that’s one thing we all agree on. I look at EFC as a businessman rather than a fan and the differences are frightening.

If we want to expand the “brand EFC”, we need to make the brand strong — that’s the problem, it isn’t? History gives pedigree but you have to offer something different and at present we don’t. At least 8 or 9 other Premier League clubs can offer an overseas fan just as much but probably more if I’m honest.

We can certainly take advantage of short term publicity associated with South Africa and Australia but that’s just papering over the cracks; marketing has to have a long term strategy. The Club is up for sale so no long-term directives will even be on the agenda; my guess is they are living season to season.

Put on my other hat as a fan and I’m angry as hell about our situation, but I still travel 500 miles round trip and still hold my season ticket. Why?… because I love EFC and it's in my blood. That will never change until the day I die.

I and some of my friends (not all) could easily have corporate tickets in the Directors Box — we all choose to sit in the same seats with all of our mates and family and have a pint in the pub before and after the game.

We belong to a family, it's called Everton... everybody is equal, we have a common interest!! The sad thing is, modern day corporate and networking just doesn’t take this in to account. COYB

Phil Martin
35   Posted 05/05/2010 at 10:53:18

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Alan Williams,

I think we all agree current leadership are "papering over the cracks". And we're all here because we went the best for the club.

But I wonder how much it would cost to reach out to a CEO/owner of a high profile Chinese club and make some kind of arrangement. In which our youth team could tour and play against youth teams of the various Chinese clubs. Even try and arrange some sponsorship of the tournament.

We could ship out Everton merchandise like shirts/scarves etc and sell them in the grounds of the venues of the games. The Chinese press would love the idea of a big team from the Premier League sending its youth team to test the future talent of Chinese football.
We could even sell DVDs which inform and illustrate our fine history and traditions — obviously requires Mandarin subtitles or commentary. But I think it work and would at least allow us to sell the club.

Following on EFC could negotiate with one of these Chinese clubs about some form of player exchanges or even getting first refusal on their best players. Possibly send the senior team over for a friendly.

I've used China as an example of somewhere with enormous market potential. Remember 300M Chinese people watched City v Everton a few years back (Lie Ti vs Sun Jihai). But there are various options. Surely we aren't needing to spend millions to do something like this.

The key benefits being;

a) Pushing the name "Everton FC" further out into the world.
b) Selling the brand Everton FC, and what we choose to brand the club as (Passionate, Traditional, Grand? etc)
c) Tapping into a new talent pool of players.
d) Raising our profile amongst businesses and industry in more regions of the world.

Even if we were to get fresh investment in a news stadium and players. We would still need to be doing all this to broaden our horizons. You only have to look at Man United as a finely oiled marketing machine. Yet they work incredibly hard targeting new areas for potential growth. We have to be seen to be doing the same.

Yes, without a decade of continued success, we may never be regarded in the same context as a Real or a United. But that doesn't mean we shoudln't be doing more to compete. With some momentum (like a trophy or two) we really could have a club worth shouting about. But we have to start the ball rolling. Sitting with our thumbs up our collective anuses saying "What's the point?" is the fast road to mediocrity.

Alan Williams
36   Posted 05/05/2010 at 13:22:57

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Phil, I agree 100%. but we don't own the club or have funds to do what you say. MUFC off-field activities employ 100+ staff with B&M teams going direct to source. Limited funds means hand-to-mouth and every spare penny goes to the players; Moyes can't have both without investment. COYB
Rupert Sullivan
37   Posted 05/05/2010 at 13:54:50

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Alan,

Interesting that you pick the NY Yankees as a sporting brand that is known worldwide... in exactly how many countries is baseball played? Japan, Cuba and the USA? Maybe more, but certainly not a worldwide sport. How about the Miami Dolphins? When was the last time you watched them play, but you know who they are don't you? Brand — not success.

There are lots of ways to promote a brand without winning things — you do not have to be a winner to have character and an identity. Tim Henman — known around the world?

I think the key here is that without publicity and promotion, EFC will stay as it is, and you clearly cannot rely on the media for the promotion of the club, they follow the names they think they can sell the most. Everton have come 4th, 5th and 6th in the PL for the past 5 years but the media still push Spurs and Villa as the teams to break in to the top 4 next season. Unless EFC do something to promote EFC, it won't happen.

EFC need to find that identity and sell it around the world.
Alex Whitney
38   Posted 05/05/2010 at 15:45:29

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Especially cause the Miami Dolphins suck. Also in keeping with the continued success vein, the Boston Red Sox are a phenomenally strong brand and prior to 2004 hadn't won a title in 80 something years.

What about setting up some sort of club arrangement in Russia? I'm pretty sure Bily's dad is a coach at his old club. Maybe he could set something up with that club?
Alan Noon
39   Posted 05/05/2010 at 17:57:29

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Yawn..... there are probably about a dozen clubs that can lay claim to what they should be but aren't.

In case Jay didn't know there ain't that many billionaires who are going to fling their money at football given the state of the world economy. Man City got it due to Taksin, who was possibly using the club to launder his millions, but it blew up in his face and he sold it to some dodgy Arabs.

I am afraid I have to agree with Alan W's comments (most at least). Everton do not have an addressable market of 19 million supporters, nor is it a global brand like Man Utd, Chelsea and dare I say Liverpool. The Premier League will go through some very hard times in the next few years (Pompey being the tip of it), and I will be glad of it. I don't really wanna see crazy transfer and over paid players anymore.

As regards the comment on making Moyes more media friendly — what bollocks! I don't want him talking like a party political broadcast. As for international stars and exploiting their fame, if that's the case let's get Pele and Maradona on a freebie.

Sorry but footy is simply about big money if you wanna be a top four club and, unless Bill Gates buys Everton, then we will struggle to challenge and to be honest I am happy to do so. I don't wanna be some artificial club that has supporters that call TalkShite (sorry... Sport) and whinge about not spending a load of money on the next foreign import.

Alan Noon
40   Posted 05/05/2010 at 18:10:33

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Phil Martin - Chinese are not so interested in footy, in fact the Chinese league is undergoing investigation for corruption. Chinese also won't buy merchandise as the culture is not the same as Europe.

The only reason why Carson Yeung bought Birmingham is that he owns a large sports merchandising business and will want to promote and build the brand over the next few years.

Hey, if that's a good strategy that fits with both parties then great. But I don't think China is a big market for Premier League football it's not (I lived there for 15 years so can see it from a local perspective).

Alan Williams
41   Posted 05/05/2010 at 18:07:24

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Rupert, didn’t MD win many super ball with Dan Marino? Red Sox have a very rich benefactor and large green wall plus a global derby game against NYY that’s still today is one of the most watched games in the USA (very similar to United vs Liverpool). EFC brand in not unique, it’s not a franchise backed by multi millionaires. Premier League doesn’t operate a draft system so the cycle is stuck (Sky top 4). All these differences go against us, I wish they didn’t. COYB
Jay Harris
42   Posted 05/05/2010 at 20:57:48

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Alan Noon;
I suggest you read my post again as I actually stated we do NOT need a billionaire owner IMO but what we do need is a long-term business plan tied in to a strategy that will prevent us stumbling season to season financially hamstrung.

Also it was not me who stated we had 19 million Everton supporters worldwide — it was Robert Elstone. Are you saying he doesnt know what he's talking about.

I respect the fact you lived in China for 15 years and therefore should have superior knowledge than most of us about the Chinese market but can I ask how long it is since you lived there and what City in China were you located?

For the record, I didn't mention China either as the players I had in mind were American, Australian and African although I think we should consider the Chinese market as part of our GLOBAL strategy.

My opinion is that Moyes has developed a sarcastic streak of late when dealing with the media, unlike 'Appy 'Arry who trades jokes with them all day long and therefore gets his face in front of the cameras more.

That is my opinion you are entitled to yours but many of us are not willing to accept second best.
Alan Noon
43   Posted 05/05/2010 at 22:09:59

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Jay, I have just returned from HK and have looked after Asia Pacific for a SW company, it simply isn't a market that likes football in great numbers. With regards to 19M fans, this is simply spin from the PR people (give them what they want to hear etc).

In terms of capitalising on players origins and names etc, Everton toured Thailand about 4 years ago which didn't bring in much, and I do believe they are touring Aus in the summer.

It is not a question of accepting second best, I was lucky enough to grow up in the glory days of the 80s and can understand how fans can be frustrated by the current situation. However, this is modern day football, I don't particularly want Everton to change but I would rather the whole Premier Leaguer structure will change.

I don't want to have a Euro Super league for the plastic elite or a 39th game played in some place outside of England. The FA don't give a hoot in the past 15 years about you or me or any other fan. They have suckled from the cash cow of Sky which we pay for and this has gone to fund higher transfers and higher salaries.

Liverpool, United and Portsmouth are some of the high profiles which are now paying the price for a poor Premier League structure and I really wouldn't want to see Everton go down that path. It is what it is until either Everton get a sugar daddy or, that the Premier League is forced into financial change, I personally believe the latter will happen quicker.

Alan Noon
44   Posted 05/05/2010 at 22:31:25

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Jay, sorry but I have to comment on 'orrible 'arry. This is a guy that constantly whinges if things don't go his way. Man City are seeking legal advice today about his comments on their transfer handling of Bellamy.

He is loved by certain sports channels which are very London centric and probably are scraping around for a friendly celeb. He also acted unethically against the Blues in the summer transfer window and, sent down Southampton and contributed greatly to Pompey's plight.

Oh, and he is also under invesitgation from HMRC for tax fraud. Infact I would rank him is the top four gobshites, Ferguson, Benetiz, Wenger and 'Arry.

Jay Harris
45   Posted 05/05/2010 at 23:42:42

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Alan; I can't disagree with any of your sentiments there, particularly the spending habits of Appy Arry and Benitez in particular.

I have had the privilege and the pain of watching the Blues since 1960 and I too would welcome a clampdown on the ridiculous amounts of money being wasted within the game.

But I believe there is more than one way to skin a cat which IMO Moyes is proving on the pitch but regrettably the board is not good enough to provide the necessary support.
Eric Myles
46   Posted 07/05/2010 at 02:34:50

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Alan, I live in Thailand, they are allowing anyone into the country. It is only the foreign governments that have over reacted to the situation here that have given travel advisories against visiting.

There are demonstrations in 1 street in Bangkok that do not affect the rest of the country. It's really only a problem for tourists that want to visit Patpong (the notorioous red light district) which is closed. All other red light districts in the capital are operating as normal as is the rest of the country.

It's like someone having a demonstration in say Bold Street in Liverpool and the rest of the world declaring that the UK as a whole is unsafe to visit.

Mark Harrison
47   Posted 07/05/2010 at 15:41:39

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I have to agree that we don't seem to market ourselves well at all. I live in the Northeast and travel to Goodison with my son as much as possible but the last time I was there I was disgusted with the club shop at Goodison!!

I took my son with intentions to buy him and my daughter the away strip and they didn't have the size for either of them. Even after that, I had to get my son the away goalkeeper's shirt with home goalkeeper's shorts and socks to make a kit!! What is going on there?? Promising my kids a new strip and coming back with a mix match... I find it disgraceful!!

God only knows what the Americans were thinking who were in the shop at the same time!!!

Eric Myles
48   Posted 08/05/2010 at 09:57:39

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Michael #25 said "Peter Warren: Thankfully (as pointed out by the reformed Richard Dodd), the club dropped "The People's Club" moniker many months ago. One of the reasons given was of some note in that a fan had already trademarked it and the club was not about to give him royalties"

You make it sound like the guy was demanding royalties. Didn't he in fact say that the Club could use the phrase free of charge?

Dennis Stevens
49   Posted 08/05/2010 at 09:58:54

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Absotively, Mark! Our off-field operations could do a lot to support Moyes by simply running our current commercial activities effectively. If the club can achieve that level of competence perhaps there would be some hope of gradual progress, however, it seems to me that these other revenue channels are treated very much as an afterthought by the club & offered to supporters on very much a "take it or leave it" basis.

In order for the club to progress in this area, a very substantial change of attitude is required, from Board level down, to mirror the attitude of Moyes & his on-field team.

Larry Boner
50   Posted 13/05/2010 at 09:21:41

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Phil Bellis, brilliantly put into perspective re the history of Everton.

A couple more -

2 years before Panama canal construction started
2 years before Amatuer Athletic Association formed.
2 Years before Salvation Army formed.
2 years before Mack Sennett born (now chairman of Everton)

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