Big ad; football club seek sponsor for lasting relationship.
The St Kilda Football Club has taken a fair bit of flak (774’s John Faine verbally hounded club Chief Exec Archie Fraser) over its decision to take out full page ads in The Age and today’s Financial Review, advertising for a major sponsor. Having had substantial sports PR experience from back in the UK, I initially thought ‘what the…??’. But then I decided to look at it again.
Selling the club to prospective sponsors – domestic and international – statistics on TV exposure and club membership are cited in the ad. The club’s previous two big sponsors, Vodafone and Bill Express, didn’t renew their contracts after some emotionally deficient, public tantrums by a ginger boardmember proved an image-denting turn off. Throughout this episode, the Saint’s incumbent Chief Executive Fraser seems to have remained stoic in steering the club’s onward course (well he is originally Scottish). Tho, in the face of media, and Executive, provocation his media delivery (esp with Faine) sounded a bit weary. Fraser kens a fair bit about his unusual marketing strategy, and is all too aware that many internal stakeholders will have got a bit of a boost from the high profile ad, especially after the club’s reputation came under serious assault. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see movement real soon; I’m gonna keep my eye on this sponsorship situ. Unusual, but will it work?