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Thursday, March 11, 2010

QPR Snippets: Mittal Wealth...Warnock Pinpoints a Change...Agyemang....QPR Shortlisted for Community Club Award and Marketing Award


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Neil Warnock pinpoints one of the problems: "I've said to them if they want to stick around then do what I say and if they don't then they will be leaving," he said.I suppose in the past they must have thought 'we'll be all right in a couple of weeks'." Teamtalk

- Lakshmi Mittal #5 World's Richest Billionaires Forbes "...Upped stake in struggling British soccer team QPR in February..."

- QPR Shortlisted for Community Club of the Year

- Magilton Suing Ipswich

- Ex-QPR Zesh Rehman Shortlisted for PFA's PLAYER in The Community

- Could-have-been QPR Zimbabwean international Onismor Bhasera to Plymouth

- 25% Premier Season Ticket Holders May Not Renew

- One (Non-Football) Fan of Flavio Briatore

- Next: Sheffield United

- Ex-QPR, Tommy Cunningham Update

- An Italian Interest in Buying QPR?

- QPR Ladies Reach The Cup Final

- Chelsea Face Questions over Unlicensed Agent

- Portsmouth Axe 85 (non-playing) Staffers

- Two QPR Interviews with Gianni Paladini

- Football League Support for National Association of Disabled Supporters (NADS)

- Best Football League Programmes Shortlist
- Football League's Shortlist for "Family Club" Awards

- Gaffer Neil Warnock has called on the R's faithful to turn out in great force for the trip to his boyhood Club, Sheffield United, on Saturday afternoon.
- The Rangers boss spent seven and a half successful seasons at Bramall Lane and knows more than anyone the important role the travelling support can play in the Steel City.
- "Make no mistake, it's a tough place to go - but the R's fans can play a massive role," he told www.qpr.co.uk.
- "I saw the impact the visiting fans can have in my many years there and all I ask is that the Rangers supporters turn out in great numbers to show their support."
- Tickets for the Bramall Lane clash are still available. To guarantee your seat…
- *Click here - *Call 08444 777 007 - *Visit the QPR Box Office - QPR FC, Loftus Road Stadium, South Africa Road, London, W12 7PJ QPR

Posted on: 11.03.2010
The 2010 Football League Awards take place on Sunday 14th March and all this week in the build-up to the prestigious ceremony we will be focusing on those in contention to receive awards on the night. Here we look at the best marketing campaigns clubs have run in the last year and that are in contention for the 'Perform Best Marketing Campaign' award.
Judges were looking for the club that best demonstrated results they had achieved during 2009 by running a innovative marketing campaign which engaged fans. This could be either a club initiative or a partnership with a sponsor. Clearly defined objectives and innovative execution were integral to the short listed entries as well as an understanding of the drivers of fans engagements backed up by good results.

Cardiff City launched their Platinum Ambassador campaign in 2009 in a marketing initiative that aimed to sign up 10,000 season ticket holders by December 31st. They demonstrated good use of different media channels such as sending Cardiff City players into the community to encourage fans to sign up. The judges were particularly impressed with the way the campaign utilised effective marketing techniques by recognising the target market and approaching them in a one to one fashion to make it more personal, such as by sending out personalised Christmas cards. By targeting the communication directly at the fans individually rather than using an umbrella campaign it made the fans feel valued and central to the marketing campaign. As a result, Cardiff City had very successful response with the uptake of the Platinum Ambassadors, not only achieving their target but surpassing it by 1,000 season tickets.

After relegation from the Championship to League 1 in 2009, Charlton Athletic recognised that they had the difficult task of trying to keep moral amongst supporters high, especially season ticket holders so this year their campaign had a single and clear objective - to retain as many existing season ticket holders as possible, especially after the loss of a previously successful 'free' season-ticket offer. A reduction in season ticket prices, a video and poster campaign and the influence of using Charlton legend Keith Peacock to encourage fans to stick with the club as they had overcome much worse situations in the club's history all combined to produce a very effective campaign. The judges felt that the campaign was extremely well put together and showed real character, successfully tapping in to the identity and heritage of the club. The campaign showed swift results as well as 9,000 season tickets were purchased in just 10 weeks, testament to a great campaign.

2009 saw Huddersfield Town enter a new era and set about transforming themselves to become 'The Yorkshire Club'. As part of this the club donated the sponsorship space on the front of their shirt to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and together they created a dedicated campaign called 'Keep It Up', where for every £1 raised 50p would go towards the charity and 50p would go towards the Huddersfield Town Academy. A whole range of activities were organised, including sponsored cycle rides, charity dinners and even a naked calendar, to giving families, fans and businesses alike the opportunity to contribute and be part of it. The target set was to raise a total of £100,000, with £50,000 going to each partner and after just 6 months £80,000 had already been collected. Coverage of the campaign has been achieved across local and national media, not only helping the club to raise a lot of money but generating fantastic awareness of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and underpinning Huddersfield's 'Yorkshire Club' branding. It is clear that Huddersfield had put a big effort behind the campaign, and this has clearly paid dividends with the judges highlighting in particular the fantastic results achieved.

QUEENS PARK RANGERS ('RE-POSITIONING THE OFFICIAL SUPPORTERS CLUB'):Queens Park Rangers wanted to improve the relationship and communication between the club and its supporters. Firstly, they conducted primary research amongst their supporters to gain key insights. They then repositioned the Official Supporters Club (OSC) as the vehicle for supporters to use in which to provide regular feedback to the Club, as well as using the OSC as a key brand ambassador for the Club. The creation of a new identity and logo for the OSC, which they had never had previously, was commissioned by the Club and then placed on all Season Ticket and membership cards for the first time ever in order to highlight the fact that all Season Ticket Holders and members are automatically members of the OSC. The role of the OSC was redefined, and information was provided on how supporters could utilise it to their benefit. A constitution was also created and shared with supporters. The key findings of the research were shared with the OSC and used as a template for ongoing supporter feedback. The judges were really impressed with this marketing campaign as it is a great example of real business practice applied to football. Extensive and sophisticated market research resulted in key insights on fan segmentation, customer relationship management and supporter experience, while trials of different product initiatives such as a '5 pack' of tickets for those who cannot commit to a season ticket, early bird food offers and prepaid food packages were successfully received. QPR have effectively brought different, wide ranging concepts together in an extremely well thought through campaign.

Nottingham Forest set out with the clear objective of purposefully integrating home and away fans in a ground-breaking initiative that encouraged families to enjoy football together in a friendly atmosphere. Affordable tickets were an integral part of the campaign to promote families to sit in the mixed home and away family area with a £25 family ticket permitting 2 adults and 2 children to watch the match against Doncaster Rovers in November. Forest ensured the area operated a zero tolerance attitude to bad language, while furthermore a lounge was used to run activities with attending families through a local partnership with South Nottingham College such as face painting and Nintendo Wii games. Students used the experience as part of their involvement in the 'City United' community scheme by helping run the day's activities. Doncaster Rovers were able to whole heartedly support the initiative, helping to engage their family supporter base in the lead up to the game as well as being integral to the success on the day, and providing financial support. Players from both teams also attended a signing session before the game whilst Robin Hood and Donny Dog took to the field in a mascot race held during the half term interval, and each child went home with a goody bag and a big foam hand, embezzled with both club logos. It is with thanks to a number of other partners including Sovereign Security, Print Force and the Nottingham Forest Supporters Club the goody bags and foam hands were made possible. The judging panel found this campaign a pioneering idea which had great coverage and wonderful results. The full allocation of tickets was sold prior to the day and there were no reports of bad language or other issues ensuring the day was a tremendous success.


Nottingham Forest worked alongside 'Motiv' Reward and Nottingham City Council by offering family tickets and a 'sports reporter for the day competition' as prize incentives to increase attendance in all Primary and Secondary Schools in Nottingham. The campaign involved over 100 schools and over 35,000 pupils by rewarding children who have achieved 100% attendance with the chance to win the prizes. The judges found it refreshing to see a campaign with non - commercially led objectives and motivation. It should be applauded for being a great concept with really high engagement as there are clear signs of improvement in levels of attendance in the campaign results. For example, Welbeck Primary School saw a 78% improvement in the numbers of children making 100% attendance. Offering tickets to families as a way of celebrating their child's attendance gave families and opportunity to sample a trip to The City Ground and the club the chance to encourage them to visit more often. A selection of children were invited to experience a match day in the life of a sports reporter visiting the press room, press box and meeting the BBC Sport presenter, Mark Clemmit and Forest's Press Officer before researching each team and writing their very own match report. The association with pupils striving for excellence in attendance and attainment across the schools network was extremely valuable in promoting the club on both a community and a marketing level.

Southend United recognised that encouraging supporters to buy season tickets during a difficult economic climate is tough. Therefore, they chose to capitalise on the upcoming World Cup 2010 by creating an early offer to supporters to purchase next year's season ticket promising they will get their money back if England win the World Cup! The objective of the campaign was to raise £100,000 in season ticket sales for the 2010/2011 by 21st December 2009. The scheme was launched on the same day as the World Cup draw to arouse the attention of the local press looking for a World Cup angle. The judges found the campaign very original and a really interesting idea with good use of digital marketing such as SMS and e-marketing to remind fans about the offer. The campaign results proved to be very successful as sales reached £125,000, 25% above the target set. The results seem an even greater achievement given the limited budget Southend ran the campaign on.

The 'Stand Buy Me' initiative was designed by Swindon Town FC to offer supporters and local businesses the opportunity to participate in a lottery to raise funds for the Club's Youth Development Department, but with a unique prize - the chance to have the County Ground East Stand named after them for a three-year period. The lottery was launched live on Soccer AM and was timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Swindon Town's League Cup win in 1969. Tickets were therefore, limited to 1,969 at £10 per ticket giving the opportunity for supporters and Swindon's local businesses to engage with and support the Club in an innovative, cost effective way. In terms of results, all 1,969 tickets were sold, raising over £15,000 and proving to be extremely popular amongst all those who participated. The success of the Stand Buy Me initiative encouraged the club to follow it up with the 'Your Name in Lights' promotion, where the opportunity was for the winner to be the Main Sponsor of the Swindon Town vs. Huddersfield Town evening fixture in November. Overall, the judges were particularly impressed at how well both initiatives were put together and executed and felt it was heartening to see the money raised being used for such a worthwhile purpose. Football League

Mirror/Alan Nixon - Arsenal starlet is Celtic target
- Celtic boss Tony Mowbray is chasing Arsenal striker Jay Simpson as he looks to add more pace to his team for next season.
- Mowbray watched Simpson in action for QPR - where he is on loan from the Gunners - and is keen to snap up the speedy attacker in the summer.
- Simpson was with Mowbray at West Brom last season, only scoring one goal as they battled to beat the drop in the Premier League.
- However Mowbray thinks the former England youth international is still potentially good enough to be a big hit in the SPL where his side have had mixed success up front.
- Mowbray knows it is unlikely he will be able to keep Robbie Keane next season and is scouring around for replacements on the cheap - with Simpson an attractive alternative.
- Simpson has caught the eye for Rangers at times this season but may fancy a move to a glamour club like Celtic to advance his career. His chances of cracking it at Arsenal seem limited. Mirror

Daily Mail - QPR manager Neil Warnock eyes move for disgraced ex Wigan striker Marlon King
- Disgraced: King was jailed in October 2009
QPR manager Neil Warnock will consider giving jailbird Marlon King a route back into football.
King has been in prison since October, serving an 18-month term for sexual assault and causing actual bodily harm following an attack on a 20-year-old woman in 2008.
But the 29-year-old striker is hoping for an early release and could be back in action at Loftus Road next season.
King was unceremoniously sacked by Wigan chairman Dave Whelan, who hoped he was finished in football.
'It will be very, very difficult for any club to stick their neck out and take Marlon on, I cannot really see him coming back as a professional.
'A lot of people will say you do something wrong and you get a sentence, and when you've completed it, you should be allowed to go back in. I wouldn't allow him back in.'
King was signed by Steve Bruce for £3million from Watford in January 2008 but scored just once in 19 appearances. Daily Mail

Bristol Evening Post - Johnson rues Bristol City's injury jinx as concern grows over Agyemang
- Patrick Agyemang has become the latest Bristol City new-boy to fall foul of the club's injury jinx.
Signed on loan from Championship rivals Queens Park Rangers in January, he managed just four appearances for the Robins before being struck down by illness.
And the former Ghana international striker, pictured left, has now sustained a groin injury which could keep him out of action for the foreseeable future.
City boss Gary Johnson and his medical team are so concerned that they have sent Agyemang for a hospital scan and are awaiting the results.
- Should the problem be worse than first thought, and Wolves decide to recall Chris Iwelumo after the weekend, City's manager could find himself short of attacking options.
- He will still be able to call upon 11-goal top scorer Nicky Maynard, Scottland international David Clarkson and winger-cum-forward Danny Haynes, but may no longer have the option of selecting an experienced targetman who can hold the ball up and win headers.
- "It is a bit of a concern," admitted Johnson, who has decided to keep young striker John Akinde at Ashton Gate as a precaution, rather than send him out on loan.
"First of all, Patrick had an illness which kept him out for a couple of games, and now it's an injury which is stopping him.
"We've taken medical advice, he has had a scan and all we can do now is wait and keep our fingers crossed."
Agyemang is the latest in a series of new signings to experience misfortune after joining the Ashton Gate staff this season.
- Lithuanian international forward Andrius Velicka arrived on loan from Scottish giants Rangers in August, but lasted just five minutes before rupturing his cruciate ligament after he came on as a second-half substitute in the home game against QPR.
Former Motherwell hit-man Clarkson had managed only a handful of outings before he was struck down by a mystery illness, which also affected fellow newcomers Lewin Nyatanga and Dean Gerken.
In Clarkson's case, it was December before he was fit enough to resume first-team duties." Evening Post

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