Manchester United - Clients get star treatment

Corporate boxes are big business, be they at horse show grounds, racecourses, rugby grounds or football stadia. They can be eye-wateringly expensive, however, and the decision by businesses to entertain clients in this way is not one that is taken lightly.

Challenge

Even a football club as successful as Manchester United - the 2008 European Champions League winners - needs marketing to close the sale of corporate packages. These range from tables in the Old Trafford ground's restaurants to eight-seater executive boxes.

Strategy

The club has around 2,100 seasonal hospitality clients who receive marketing in the run-up to the football season. Around 80 per cent of hospitality clients are male, ABC 1, aged 25 to 55, and a large proportion of them are corporate customers.

"It's important that clients receive something physical from us, given we're asking them to renew facilities that can cost anything from £2,000 to more than £100,000," says Manchester United venue marketing manager Sharon Burns.

A lavish mail pack was put together by TBWA/Manchester, offering individuals the option of renewing their package for the forthcoming football season. The pack featured images of star players and depicted memorable moments from the previous season. Quotes were also included from manager Sir Alex Ferguson and former manager Sir Matt Busby, reminding the recipient of match highlights.

This was the first time the club had produced such a detailed and personalised pack. "In the past our communications to this audience haven't always reflected how highly valued these clients are to Manchester United," says Burns.

The club also introduced a client relationship team to give every recipient a personal contact at the club, giving them an opportunity to discuss their renewal or any other issues before the season started.

Execution

An email campaign was sent to propects ahead of the mail pack to raise awareness of the renewal date.

The pack included a personalised renewal form for customers, detailing the price of their facilities next season. The campaign was followed up with a phone call from the personal contact named in the mail pack.

Burns says: "As a significant number of clients are spending a large amount of money with us, they were all contacted by telephone by their client relationship executive to check they received their renewal pack and were happy with everything inside it."

Results

Manchester United was reluctant to discuss results, as Marketing Direct went to press ahead of the season's start. But it says the campaign has been well received. "Clients were impressed with the pack and felt privileged to receive it, and so we deem the campaign to have been a success," says Burns.

Brand: Manchester United
Client: Manchester United
Brief: To encourage businesses to renew their hospitality packages
Target audience: Individuals who had a hospitality package last season
Budget: Undisclosed
Agency: TBWA/Manchester

TXT2EMAIL

- You can send a copy of this article to a friend's email account by texting 'MxD 1153 recipients email address,' to 86222. Text messages are charged at standard network rates. Power by Shift Click.

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Oasis #springasmile digital campaign gets people doing good deeds
Coca-Cola: 'Don't approach bloggers with a fait accompli'
Tesco CMO Matt Atkinson: 'It is so important not to stereotype mothers'
McDonald's gives Ronald a new look ahead of global 'Fun times' social media push
In pictures: BrewDog opens first craft beer shop BottleDog for 'beer aficionados'
Facebook ad revenue leaps $1bn as it invests in targeting
Malteser or Maltesers? Mars takes Hershey trademark dispute to court
Apple Q2 profits top $10bn as iPhone sales soar
Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers