Marketing Director Matt Everett writes:
It’s been a while since my last update, and with us (already!) hitting early June it seemed a good time to fill fans in on some of the work going on behind the scenes at the club once the season stops.
Of course in the immediate aftermath of the season it’s important that everyone takes some time out – last season was my 14th working in football and each one seems to go quicker and the pre-season get shorter!
But as well as things changing on the playing side, it’s also an invaluable time behind the scenes to take stock and identify the best way forward – and have chance to put plans in place to improve what we do the following season. I know from my previous role at an agency looking after many clubs that far from going ‘quiet’, this is the time of year when the proactive ones really get going – we used to look forward to the season kicking off and the matches starting again!
Commercially, all of our packages are in place for the coming season. During the tail end of last season members of the Commercial Team made sure that they visited all of our Box Holders, we had a feedback session with our Associate Directors and we hosted a very successful Business Members morning at the Training Ground just prior to the Doncaster game. We also hosted VIP dignitaries from Thailand called Goodboy FC for a friendly match at the Training Ground on behalf of Singha Beer, which was an honour.
I’m also personally delighted with the announcement this week that Polythene UK have agreed an extension to their sponsorship, taking them to ten years sponsoring the club (and many more supporting). As I said at the time, whilst looking after brands like Singha is very important to show our potential, to me as a fan as well as in my role it is also vitally important that we retain the long term support of the local business community – and Polythene UK’s support, as well as Lan3 continuing to be our shorts sponsor, along with all of our other partners and Box Holders shows that we are doing that. We are very grateful for all of that support.
On the marketing front, I am sure fans will have seen our recent kit launch and be aware of the forthcoming season ticket deadline on 14th June as well as hopefully spotting or hearing adverts for season tickets in the Oxford Mail or on Jack FM. I felt it incredibly important that we had an accessible entry level price and at £299 for an adult season ticket in the East Stand, alongside our fantastic pricing in the Family Area, feel we have achieved that. Matchday tickets will also start from £20 for adults next season, which I feel is a really significant move as we look to continue to build our support. Sales so far have been really encouraging. It would be fantastic to beat last year’s season ticket total and we will keep fans updated on major milestones as we pass them. It has also been encouraging to see a number of new season ticket holders. Like the corporate clients, thank you to everyone who is backing us for the coming season.
On that note, this will also be my last “Commercial” Update. Over the coming weeks, there will of course be significant signings on the pitch but there are also significant signings and improvements happening off it. Last season was a tough one and as an off-pitch team we have worked incredibly hard to identify areas which we felt we needed to strengthen, and a change in structure will help us to achieve that. I felt that we needed more focus on marketing than we were able to have as things were and as such my role has changed as of 1st June.
I will continue to be involved at the club but will be focussing purely on marketing strategy and growth. This I can do alongside a new venture for me helping other clubs to do the same. As you’ll see over the coming weeks, we are growing our off field operations team to allow for this and with more time to focus on campaigns and growth strategy I hope fans will really start to see progress and I will be able to support more initiatives like the recent kit launch.
So I will still remain involved, albeit from a consultancy angle rather than a full time employee of the club, and I hope to be able to make more of a contribution and impact on the marketing side of things moving forwards once that is my sole focus.
I know we have spoken about this many times over the season, but Oxford United really does have fantastic potential. I feel privileged to have played a small part in it, and am grateful for the opportunity to continue doing so moving forwards.
Matt Everett Marketing Direct