Selling the proud history of Newcastle United?

Posted on November 21st, 2009 | 21 Comments |

NUFC working with the experts?
NUFC working with the experts?
I recently wrote a short piece on the announcement of Newcastle United having made a deal with Merseyside based marketing company, Ampersand. Anyone who read it will know that it was tongue in cheek, although I did make references to the timing of the announcement being so close to the renaming of St James’s Park and begged the question of how much influence this company may have had on it.

Ampersand have since sent us an email explaining their background and position, and their objectives for and influence on Newcastle United and it’s Marketing direction:

“Ampersand is a PR, Marketing and Design agency based in Merseyside. The company is a full service agency and works with a number of different clients in all three capacities. Ampersand was commissioned by Newcastle United to design and produce a piece of printed marketing material that would serve as a brochure detailing the clubs history, traditions, uniqueness and proud position on football’s world stage. Ampersand is not involved in any decision making process, nor has it advised the club on its current or any future stadium name. As the club is presently seeking a naming rights partner, our remit was to create a piece of marketing collateral that would offer a tangible resume of the club and a means of presenting the club to potential partners both nationally and globally. We are working with the club in a design capacity, drawing on our marketing insight to ensure the work produced is to the highest standard and representative of Newcastle and its first class footballing history.”

So it would seem that my question has been answered and they have clarified that they had nothing to do with the renaming decision but only in the endeavours to find the right renaming partner, now that decision has been made. It’ll be interesting to see this brochure when it’s published, I guess it’s difficult sometimes to convey the the true history and traditions of a football club. Maybe there are plans to speak with fans, as they are the consistent fabric of the club. Could it be a chance for a few of us to say what our club means to us? At the very least, we might get a sneak preview!

I’d like to think if Ampersand prove themselves in the Marketing and Design field, which are presumably the capacities required to produce this material, that Newcastle would then move to utilise their PR expertise. Lord knows that club could do with some help in communicating properly with us.

NUFCBlog Author: bowburnmag bowburnmag has written 234 articles on this blog.

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21 Responses

  1. “our remit was to create a piece of marketing collateral that would offer a tangible resume of the club”

    These people are supposed to be ‘experts’ in communication?

  2. The layman’s version, Worky: “Create a shiny brochure stuffed full of…ahem…facts and figures (and bulls**t) about the club so that lovely Uncle Mike can set about conning….I mean attracting potential investors.”
    Typical crappy adspeak from a “regional” (i.e. cheap) agency I (nor anyone I know) have never heard of.

  3. Will Pancrate walk into the team?
    Could he become St.Pancras? (Pancrate?)
    Yes, it’s tenuous.

  4. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    November 21, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    “Seems like you need a of bit sun,
    to clear up that jaundice excelsior.”

    He does have a point about “crappy adspeak”. Though Ampersand are actually a top company supposedly, and not “cheap” at all, even the top ones just seem to spout complete and utter drivel nowadays.

  5. Worky, you are dead right, newspeak/adspeak pisses me off too.
    Just thought it was a bit snobbish to think a co. was pap cos they hadn’t heard of it, which in it’s self is ever so slightly snobbish.

  6. Tis fighting talk indeed, from the bloggers. To be fair, if anyone from Ampersand has any issues with the comments, they are more than welcome to register and tell the guys what they think.

  7. You got that right Workey,   if that`s  their best shot at saying, here`s a prospectus and brief history of the club,  then  NUFC  could do better by looking elsewhere.
    Sound`s   more like an attempt to impress as  wordsmiths.
    Both the terms collateral and resume are questionable when used in that particular context.
    Eh, whadayougonna do !

  8. … and as BBM slopes back into his cave backtracking all the while – with his face slapped and a lesson learned from forming opinions based on nothing at all. Take it he had to publish this for fear of libel – and the tongue in cheek comments are disingenuous.
    Some things never change I guess.

  9. Having experienced some of the screwed up decisions made by the present ownership and having just re read the statement from Ampersand, looks like another screwed up decision has been made.
    That is unless they were hired for their obfuscation or gibberish producing skills.
    Eh !  Whadayagonnado ?

  10. Sorry my view seems so jaundiced to you Clint. This is my area, I know a great many agencies both here and abroad…i’d just not heard of this one. That coupled with it’s regional location (and regional business base) lead me to believe the decision to hire them was financial rather than work based.
    The club badge features prominently of their (admittedly temporary) website, along with Evertons. They’re anxious to show they’re working with us; the deal was only done “five minutes” ago and yet there we are….being waved around like a cool girlfriend at a geeky party. The elevation that Ampersands profile receives from this deal will be as important to them as the money. I hope we get more than a glossy brochure out of it….my suspicions are that we won’t. If that makes me “snobbish” then so be it.

  11. BTW Advertising is a bitter, jaundiced business to be in. Having been in it’s thrall now for 23 years my original “Every kind thought is the hope of the world” ethos has been ground down into something more prosaic….less starry-eyed. Face value is merely that….if you buy into it then you can’t complain about what you get.

  12. Excelsior – I spend a great deal of time in the City with Marketing, Advertising, PR, Networking and “Strategic Alliance” Club type companies .
    To be fair one thing is certain when you are down there – they are 5-50 times the cost for no more guaranteed success. They demand more money implying that money alone is the answer. It is not, nor is location.
    Talent exists all over the UK, and just because you have not heard of them, nor dealt with them – does not mean they do not have talent.
    In fact your statements are the same ones I hear at every pitch for my business – is based on cowardice and a fear factor. Ampersand won the contract on their own merits – its poor poor  form to put down a regional success based on capital snobbery. Utter tosh my friend – utter tosh.

  13. Quite right too Stardust, a reputation is merely that….reputation. The proof of any pudding is in the eating. You’re also right that talent exists all over the country; the thing is the majority of that talent finds it’s way to the capitol; leaving the regional agencies to manage with what’s left (wanna-be’s and faded stars); I don’t KNOW whether Mike has done this for financial rather than talent reasons but, based on everything he’s done at the club thus far, I’m guessing he has. I should’ve known you’d be an expert in the ins and outs of the heady world of advertising…something made it inevitable. As I said I hope we get more than just another shiny brochure to show for Mike’s faith and…ahem… investment.

  14. Stardy
    Think you are playing “the devils advocate” here,   if so please go back to their statement and tell me that`s a good example of communication.
    It`s  really a poor attempt, being overly wordy and would receive a “C” if written as part of any high school essay.
    For instance when did you ever hear the term resume used in regard to anything but an individual, do football clubs have resume`s ?
    So believing they were hired on ability , hope it was before they came out with the above statement.

  15. I do know that should this name change be more perminent then should England win the right to hold the 2018 world cup then out stadium wouldn’t get a look in. FIFA won’t allow games to be held at stadiums where the naming rights have been sold off. There’s more to it but I’m posting on my phone and can’t be bothered to look it up

  16. So, Sardust has spent a great deal of time in the City with Marketing, Advertising, PR, Networking and “Strategic Alliance” Club type companies . 

    Wow!  Is there no limit to his talents?