Berwick Rangers’ Commercial Director Graham Bell recently spoke to Berwick Rangers Supporters’ Trust to build a piece for their quarterly magazine. The club are delighted to bring fans the piece which offers an extended insight into Berwick’s newest director’s role thus far.
“Since joining the board towards the end of last year my remit has been to develop the commercial area of the club,” opens Bell. “Particularly through use of digital platforms.
“The club has always performed well in this area, generating around a quarter of our turnover from commercial deals. However, it was recognised that we were failing to take advantage of digital opportunities, which is where the future of commercial activity lies.
“The reality is that the club currently depends on a successful Scottish Cup run to move into profit. Performance in this league, or indeed the league above makes little difference to our revenue.
“By utilising digital platforms to remove the barriers in supporting the club in a manner over and above gate receipts, we enhance the opportunity to increase the commercial contribution to our turnover. By doing this, the club can move from a financial position whereby we are overly reliant on good fortune, to becoming self-reliant and of a more financially stable ilk.”
Expanding on the methods of which the club has used to attempt to make the theory a reality, Bell continues: “The first challenge was to develop a print and digital version of a Commercial Opportunities Brochure.
“This highlights a number of ways fans can extend their support of the club, emphasising every opportunity, from an extra £1 per week through a Weekly Scheme entry to our main sponsorship package. It’s important we offer something for everyone.
“By uploading this to the web, we hope that many of our exiled supporters will be able to back the club from afar. Recently, we’ve also added a new online store, with products ranging from stationary to season-long sponsorship deals; so again, we’re meeting the desires of all.
“Elsewhere, we’ve built a database of over 1000 supporter email addresses, which has allowed us to increase and improve communication. We’ve introduced regular newsletters which allow us to highlight special offers.
“We’ve also built separate databases of current, lapsed and prospective sponsors who can be contacted individually or in groups with use of a piece of software called MailChimp.
“For the first time, we are attracting sponsors of our social media platforms, with blue-chip companies such as Newcastle International Airport showing their support.
“However our greatest successes continue to derive from our own supporters recommending Berwick Rangers to friends & business colleagues. You can help by picking up a copy of our brochure from the club shop or downloading from our website.
“I’m more than happy to visit any potential sponsors either with you or on your behalf. Just email me at email@example.com or call me on 07773 311 156.”