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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

QPR Season Ticket Marketing...Camp Back?... Cook Suspended...Bircham As QPR Coach?...Mahon Captains and Praises Swansea...Paquette's Perspective

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MAD.Co.Uk - QPR draws up shortlist for season ticket brief
Source: Marketing Week | Published: 28 January 2009
- Queens Park Rangers Football Club has started a pitch for its season ticket campaign, which will also encompass broader brand positioning work.
- The club has shortlisted Newcastle-based Cravens, Dawson & Partners, B-street, and design agencies ’Cuda and Cre8.
- Two of the shortlisted agencies have already worked with the club. Cravens created QPR’s season ticket drive last year and Cre8 works on the club's matchday programmes and other publications on an ongoing basis.
- The pitch is being led by QPR marketing manager Joe Kyle, who will be joined by deputy managing director Ali Russell for the presentations.
- The club hopes to have completed the process next week and that work on the season ticket campaign will begin immediately.
- Kyle says the campaign will underline QPR’s brand positioning but the core message will relate to season tickets.
- The agency appointment is the latest move in an overarching strategy to position QPR as a global brand, as stated by club chairman and Renault’s Formula One boss Flavio Briatore, who took control of QPR in 2007 when the club was on the brink of bankruptcy.
- The club restructured its sponsorship strategy by terminating local deals and seeking large multinational companies as partners. At the end of March, the club announced it had signed a five-year deal worth £20m with Italian sportswear firm Lotto Sport Italia as kit manufacturer.
- The deal is one of biggest in Championship’s history. In June, QPR signed a seven-figure deal with Abbey as financial services partner and in July, a further multimillion pound deal was signed with Gulf Air as shirt sponsors. MAD - See Marketing Week

London Informer/Paul Warburton- Lee Camp earns QPR keeper place at Blackpool
- Lee Camp has been told he can claim his QPR keeper's shirt back permanently - if he keeps performing like he did in last night's 3-0 win at Blackpool.
- The England U21 custodian has been handed a lifeline by boss Paulo Sousa, partially because first choice Radek Cerny pulled a hamstring in training Ð and partially because want-away Camp has re-committed himself to life at Loftus Road.
- The 24-year-old was bitterly disappointed Nottingham Forest were unwilling to offer anywhere near Rangers £1m valuation for him - despite earning rave reviews while he was on loan at the City Ground for three months.
- But Cerny's injury is the silver lining for the Derby-born player, who was ousted from the number one shirt when the Czech keeper was signed from Tottenham last summer
London Informer

Lee Cook will serve a one match suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card of the campaign against Blackpool on Tuesday night.
The R's midfielder was booked late on at Bloomfield Road and will now miss our home clash against in-form Swansea City at Loftus Road next Tuesday.

Kilburn Times/Ben Kosky - Mahon admires Swans' graceful movement
- QPR face their sternest test of the season in the coming week, according to Gavin Mahon - but he isn't talking about Reading.
- The tough-tackling Rs midfielder rates the Royals - managed by his former Brentford boss Steve Coppell - very highly, but he reckons FA Cup giant-killers Swansea are even better.
- The Welshmen, who sent holders Portsmouth packing last weekend, visit Loftus Road on Tuesday night, three days after Rangers' showdown with Reading.
- Recalling the Rs' goalless draw at Swansea in October, Mahon declared: "Personally, I think Swansea are the best team I've seen or played against this season.
- "A lot of teams have gone there and lost. I watched them on TV the other week against Burnley and they passed them off the park.
- "Their movement off the ball is so good, especially with Jason Scotland up front. I think Roberto Martinez has done a great job at Swansea and I wouldn't be surprised if he goes on to a bigger club.
- "These are going to be two big games. There aren't many people talking about QPR, but we've beaten some of the top teams in this league and there's no reason why we can't keep doing that."
- Despite Swansea's impressive home record, Rangers' result at the Liberty Stadium was clearly deemed unacceptable by co-owner Flavio Briatore, who dismissed manager Iain Dowie prior to the following game.
- With Gareth Ainsworth at the helm, it was ironic that the team then achieved an identical result at Reading, another ground where few visitors have avoided defeat all season.
- Mahon, who played under Coppell before joining Watford in 2002, said: "Steve's a top manager, especially in this division. He knows a good player when he sees one and his teams always have a solid spine.
- "They've got Ivar Ingimarsson at the back, [James] Harper or [Brynjar] Gunnarsson and Kevin Doyle. Steve was a winger, so he knows how many goals come from crosses, from getting balls in the box and he's got people who can do that out wide.
- "Reading are good going forward - we saw that when we played at their ground earlier in the season.
- "But we're defensively solid, we coped with them well on that occasion and we'll be expecting to get another result against them."
- Along with Preston and Crystal Palace, Rangers are one of the play-off chasing sides who can focus solely on securing that prize without the potential distraction of the FA Cup.
- Cardiff and Burnley both face replays next week, while Sheffield United are already through to the fifth round, meaning all three will fall behind on their Championship fixtures.
- But Mahon dismissed suggestions that QPR could benefit from their traditional early FA Cup exit, saying: "Sometimes you can go up the league on the back of a good cup run.
- "That's because you're winning games and your confidence is high. In this league you play two games a week for long periods, but when you're winning you don't feel tired - you can't wait to get back out there.
- "I think Burnley will blow up this season because they've had a lot of games and they haven't got the biggest of squads. But with that said I'd rather have a cup run as well. Kilburn Times

Ben Kosky/ KILBURN TIMES - Birch aims to go back as boss
- FORMER QPR star Marc Bircham admits he would leap at an opportunity to return to Loftus Road in a coaching role.- Bircham, who called time on his playing career earlier this month after an injury-ravaged spell with Yeovil, is due to complete his UEFA coaching licence in the summer.
- "Football's all I've ever known and I started doing my badges when I was 26," Bircham told the Times. "In the long-term, if a job comes along at whatever level, I'd be interested.
- "Of course I'd love to go back to QPR as a coach or manager one day. I know the club's operating at a different financial level now, but I'd love to do it, whether it was the first team, reserves or whatever."
- The ex-Rangers midfielder is still only 30, but his career was blighted by persistent back and hamstring injuries even before he left Loftus Road in 2007.
- And an ankle ligament injury last September proved decisive as Bircham learned the operation he required would keep him out for the season, with no guarantee of an eventual playing return.
- But he insists he has no regrets about retirement, pointing out: "I had a great career in my eyes because I lived my dream and did everything I wanted to do.
- "I played for QPR, I captained QPR and I won promotion with QPR, so I can't be disappointed - thousands of Rangers fans never get that opportunity.
- "There were lots of highlights - promotion, of course and scoring the winner at Brentford to help make sure we got in the play-offs when Tranmere were right on our tails.
- "I miss the day to day banter, but not the actual training and playing. For the last few years, I played with pain and sometimes I'd be taking four painkillers just to get through a game.
- "I had to think twice about playing golf or even picking up my baby just in case I aggravated the injuries, so in that sense it's a heavy weight off my shoulders."
- Bircham, who made 167 appearances in his five seasons at QPR, is also planning to set up a soccer school in Cyprus once he attains his UEFA licence. Kilburn Times

Kilburn Times/Dave McIntyre - Blackpool 0 QPR 3
- A PEP talk from stand-in skipper Gavin Mahon helped QPR storm to another away victory on Tuesday night.
- Rangers brushed aside Blackpool after Mahon, captaining the side while Martin Rowlands is sidelined, urged his team-mates to prove they were genuine promotion contenders by winning at a rain-soaked Bloomfield Road.
- Mikele Leigertwood, who battled alongside Mahon in midfield, explained: "Gavin made the point in the dressing-room that, if we want to achieve things this season, we've got to go to places like Blackpool and get maximum points.
- "It fired us up and everyone was up for the battle. We'll approach every game in that fashion - that's the way we're looking at it from now until the end of the season.
- "We scored three but it's not an easy place to play and there were definitely parts of that game where we had to scrap. We knew if we could do that we'd have enough quality to go and create chances."
- Back-to-back away wins is a major boost for a side who waited four months for a victory on the road before their recent triumph at Derby.
- A midweek game in miserable conditions away to a Blackpool side that beat Birmingham on Saturday seemed a tough assignment, but one a team capable of sustaining a promotion push must look to win.
- And QPR delivered. Heidar Helguson got their first two goals and Hogan Ephraim rounded the night off with the third, sending the 200 Rangers fans who braved the rain home happy.
- "It's been well publicised that we've struggled away from home, so two away wins on the bounce is encouraging," Leigertwood added. "At the start of the season people were talking about us winning promotion. That's not so much the case now, but we know if we can put a run of games together it's wide open."
- Helguson started and finished the move that led to the opening goal, laying the ball off to Wayne Routledge and then sprinting into the box to head home the winger's fine cross.
- Blackpool then had spells of pressure and keeper Lee Camp made a couple of smart saves.
- Camp was recalled because of Radek Cerny's hamstring problem, while recent signing Liam Miller made his debut in midfield and had a steady game before being substituted in the second half.
- Helguson's second goal - a coolly taken penalty after he had been tripped by former R's defender Ian Evatt - effectively sealed the win for Rangers.
- The Icelander was replaced by Dexter Blackstock, who hit the bar with a deflected shot before Ephraim struck in injury time, collecting Lee Cook's pass and firing into the bottom corner.
- QPR: Camp; Connolly (Hall 88), Stewart, Gorkss, Delaney; Routledge, Leigertwood, Mahon, Miller (Ephraim 54), Cook; HELGUSON* (Blackstock 75). Kilburn Times

Non League Football Paper/John Lyons - Richard Pacquette (Maidenhead United)
- Trying To Build On My Kop Glory Day
- IT’S HARD to believe that a year ago this weekend I was playing and scoring for Havant & Waterlooville at Liverpool in the FA Cup.
The year has flown by, but my memories are still strong. Walking out in front of a massive crowd and hearing the fans singing You'll Never Walk Alone was amazing – and to score in front of the Kop was even better.
A few days ago I was saying to Rocky (Baptiste), now a team-mate at Maidenhead, that this time last year we were looking forward to going to Liverpool and we were having a laugh about it.
People keep reminding me about the game – and I don’t mind. Even last week the referee in our home game against AFC Wimbledon was saying to me ‘Good game against Liverpool’ and I was saying ‘Leave it out!’
The Liverpool match had knock-on effects. I’d played in the League for QPR and it showed that I still had it.
In May I gave up my job as a standards officer at a school in Brent and decided to concentrate on my football. Although Maidenhead are part-time, I’ve been training every day and trying to get as sharp as possible.
I thought I owed it to myself to give it another shot at getting back into full-time football. Being fresh for games and having the chance to focus on your fitness makes a big difference. I’ve got 13 Blue Square South goals this season and I know I’m good enough to be successful as a professional if someone gives
me the chance. I proved I could play in the League at QPR and I’ve got more experience now.

It was a wrench to leave Havant last March after the success we had, but the gaffer Shaun Gale was leaving me out even though I was second top scorer and doing well.
My opportunities were limited and I didn’t want my season to peter out, so I moved to Maidenhead. I know manager Johnson Hippolyte very well and I'm enjoying my football.
We’ve had a blip, but we are still in touching distance of third and fourth place, and are aiming for the play-offs.
Yesterday we were due at Bishop’s Stortford. Not quite Anfield, but you have to treat every game the same. Then we’ve got Havant at home on Tuesday night, the day before my 26th birthday.
The fans at Havant are great and they still message me. I will always have fond memories of them, but I would still like a birthday goal.
Last year’s FA Cup was something I’ll never forget and I just hope the two Non-League sides left in the competition yesterday – Kettering and Torquay – did themselves proud.
I was especially keen to keep an eye out to see how Kettering got on. My old Havant team-mate Alfie Potter plays for them and I’ve got a few mates there. Non League Football Paper

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