A few months ago fcbusiness ran a story reporting on the conception of a new iPad application (app) specifically designed to enable clubs, completely risk and cost free, to promote and sell their matchday programmes to an eagerly waiting worldwide digital audience. We have managed to catch up with Matchday Digital’s Mark Catlin to see how the launch of this innovative new service for clubs has been progressing.
“This month alone, Nottingham Forest, Burnley, Peterborough, Colchester, Brentford, Notts County, Yeovil Town, Huddersfield and Crystal Palace, to name just a few, have joined our rapidly expanding group of clubs that are utilising this incredible platform” commented Mark.
“I knew instantly that this was going to be a popular product with clubs for a number of reasons, including the fact that there are no outgoing fees whatsoever to be part of Matchday Digital. Clubs simply provide us with a PDF of their programme and they’re ready to go. I also knew the app was going to be a hit with supporters, but the response has been incredible, just amazing. Our first goal has been to attract as many supporters as possible to download the Matchday Digital App onto their iPad. We have been extremely lucky in that the first wave of clubs we have been working with have been extremely pro-active in the promotion of the service to their respective supporter bases.
Along with our own marketing effort, this has really helped promote the product, and I would like to thank them for that support. What has surprised us is that because the app is totally free, literally thousands of fans generally have been downloading Matchday Digital in anticipation of their particular club coming on board with us, even if that currently is not the case. We have, and will continue to develop, a huge ‘ready-made’ market for clubs to sell to.”
Rod Joseph, an expert in app development and part of the team that originally designed the app, has overseen countless launches on the iPad but has been impressed by the take up from information hungry supporters. “We always knew that we had a great product, but until it’s actually launched you never really know how the public are going to react. As with most launches we have to go through an exhaustive period of consultation and interaction directly with the ‘Apple’ team, and within hours of the app going live, without any advertising or promotion whatsoever, supporters in their hundreds were downloading the Matchday Digital App onto their iPads. It was amazing, and it’s not something that we have ever experienced before.”
As a senior member ofCrystalPalace’s commercial team, Kevin Miller has been equally impressed with the app’s launch. “The feedback from our supporters has been extremely positive. It’s a great cutting edge product that we are now able to offer our fans that, for example, cannot attend a fixture. We also have many supporters from all over theUKand beyond that cannot regularly attend atSelhurstPark, but still want to have access to the match day programme. The Matchday Digital App gives us the platform, at no cost to us, to make this possible.”
Matchday Digital are also turning their attention to existing publishers of club programmes, especially those that control the ‘rights’ to them. Nick Prescott from ‘Code’ is one such publisher that has realised the opportunities Matchday Digital has to offer printers and publishers with existing club contracts. “Our club contracts give us exclusive programme publishing rights but we didn’t see that as a barrier to embracing what Matchday Digital could offer us. Both ourselves and the clubs that we represent still retain full control over what’s published, using the same pages and content as the printed versions, with the added benefit of a free opportunity to sell extra programmes through a customised digital newstand. Matchday Digital gives us access to a massive audience, far beyond what we reach with printed programmes. It’s another revenue stream for Code that requires no capital investment and no additional work.”
Mark Catlin agrees with Nick’s comments. “I can totally understand why publishers and clubs are using the Matchday Digital service. If I had a product then I would also want to try and get this in front of as many potential customers as possible. For example, if I was the publisher, or held the rights to a book, then I would want to showcase it wherever possible. Without a shadow of a doubt I would want it for sale on Amazon, in Tesco, WHSmiths, Waterstones, in fact anywhere that can generate extra sales for me. It’s the equivalent of clubs like Manchester United, Liverpool orManchesterCityjust selling club shirts and merchandise exclusively via their club shop. It would be crazy, and of course they don’t do this. What they do is sell their merchandise via as many outlets as possible. In simple terms that’s effectively what Matchday Digital is offering to clubs, the chance to sell extra programmes for no risk whatsoever to either the club or the publisher.”
For further information and/or for a no obligation talk about getting your club into Matchday Digital, please contact us via:
Downloading the brochure: http://www.matchdaydigital.co.uk/matchday.pdf
Telephoning: 0207 899 1111