Commercial and Marketing Update – June 2015

Now we’ve been at the Club for a few weeks, we, in the new commercial and marketing teams, are keen to start establishing regular updates on our activities, plans and progress. Every month, we will round up our past activities and current plans through the website and match day programme.

Firstly, at this point it may be a good idea to introduce myself. I am Mark Winkworth, a life-long supporter of the Stones. Some of my best times have been enjoyed following and watching the team. My love affair started when my father, who worked for Kodak, took me with his workmates in the late 1960’s. I was ten years of age when the club turned semi-professional, sixteen when we beat Hereford United and Reading in the FA Cup, and twenty-two when we achieved the non-league “double”. After moving north and then working abroad for a while, I am now firmly back in Stones territory and am a full time parent to my two boys as well a running my own business. When I heard that the club was looking for help to deliver a more secure financial future and platform to engage with you, the local community and businesses, I leaped at this voluntary and part time role.

So, that’s me. Let me now introduce you to the new team: Mike Bandry is leading on our commercial sales; Ashley Holding is responsible for our marketing planning; Craig Whitehead is heading up our social media campaign; Segun Akinwoleola is setting up our match day promotions; and Steve Foster, who you all know as our excellent Club photographer, is creating a consistent ‘look and feel’ for the club brand. The marketing team are all volunteers and working for the Club in their spare time. In future updates we will take it in turns to explain a little bit more about each of us and why we are so passionate about your club. Meanwhile, I hope you will join me in wishing them well for the future.

Commercial

In recent years the Club has not generated the commercial income it needs to sustain its ambitions on or off the field. This situation has to change. As a result the Club have brought in a new commercial team with a clear remit to deliver the revenues required. In the short term we are focusing our efforts on renewing advertising contracts and selling new commercial products to existing and new partners. We have made a good start with renewed advertising spending from DW Griggs & Sons, Wealdstone Motor Sales and Woodfield Windows and new sales contracts with Lewis & Lewis and the new Asda store in Wealdstone.

Our long term strategy is to generate income by entering into partnership with North West and West London-based organisations. We have identified approximately 75 large companies and over 2000 small and medium-sized enterprises which we have begun to approach, whether it be for perimeter advertising, programme advertising, stand sponsorship or matchday promotions.

On the subject of club and shirt sponsorship, we are meeting with a number of local companies and will be holding more in-depth discussions with three of them in the coming weeks. In general, we can expect to take several months to identify the right organisations, find the right person, pitch our proposals to them and convince them that Wealdstone FC is a good sponsorship opportunity though that doesn’t mean that things can’t happen quickly. I am comfortable that have a quality sponsorship package to offer potential partners and that we will secure the right deal for the Club for the short and long term. Having said that a lot of hard work lies ahead!

Meanwhile, Marketing have some plans we would love you to be involved with in the coming weeks and months.

Marketing

Ruislip Fun Day – Saturday 4th July 2015

We hope that as many of you as possible will come and visit the Wealdstone stand and experience our ‘one club’ approach. Representatives from the Club, WFC Supporters Club, Wealdstone Youth FC and Ladies Teams will all be present promoting both their own activities and those of the Club.

We will be looking to attract new supporters – from young children and teenagers to adults and families – and our programme of events includes first team players providing autographs, face painting of club crests and colours, competitions and freebie giveaways.

Social Media

Towards the end of this month, we will be launching our new social media campaign thanks to the tremendous efforts of Craig Whitehead and his team. We are lucky to be able to build on the excellent work that people like Nick DuGard have started but bringing these sites together gives us a fantastic opportunity to understand and engage with new and old Wealdstone supporters consistently across multiple social platforms – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram.

It is our intention to publish content most days of the week – breaking news, match reports, match previews, photos, highlights, sponsor news, etc. – improving our reach, extending our conversations and building online relationships with existing and new supporters. It is our aim to encourage more people to interact with the Club, whether through hits on the Club’s website or preferably as well as an increase in attendances.

Other Marketing Activities

We will shortly be announcing details of our Social Events Programme for 2015/16. These include a 30th Anniversary Celebration Lunch with members of our double-winning team, to be held this autumn, and a 50th Anniversary Celebration Lunch of our FA Amateur Cup winning team, to be held in 2016.

We will also be confirming details of our matchday promotions for the first half of the 2015/16 season including a new loyalty scheme for juniors.

We plan to host an ‘open day’ forum in July at which supporters of the Club will have the opportunity to meet members of the Commercial and Marketing teams, to hear first hand of our plans for the future, and to have the opportunity to ask questions.

Finally, if you feel you would like to contribute to the marketing effort of the Club and have some experience of marketing in general, and content writing, promotions and project management specifically, then we would love to hear from you. We have a lot to achieve if we are to meet the challenges of the future!

Feel free to contact me at markwinkworth@wealdstonefc.com or on my mobile 07768 554712.

Mark Winkworth

23 June 2015