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Newcastle & Brighton: Who's Really Top Of The Championship?

Thu 30th Mar 2017 | Money & Finance

The following is a guest post by CEO of DiscountIF, Lewis Holland. He and the team at DiscountIF have continued to analyse the merchandise space and identify who’s doing their job well and who needs help!

I recently published an article about settling an office debate on which club was the real 'United' (between Leeds United & Manchester United) when it comes online merchandise. I found that based on conversion metrics, Leeds United is achieving better digital conversion than Manchester United, see our recent post here.

It was great to see that as a result of the article, one of the directors from Leeds publicly shared some of their innovative digital initiatives at the club. This gave us some further insight into clubs making investment into their digital assets. Other football clubs should follow!

Who is really top of The Championship between Newcastle & Brighton?

We were swiftly asked to do some further comparisons between other clubs. So for this next 'dual' we decided to see who is really top of The Championship between Newcastle & Brighton.

Given their main shareholder is also owner of Sports Direct you'd think Newcastle would surely be better than Brighton at online merchandise right!?

The two teams have been switching the top spot for the last couple of months in the real table. As it stands Newcastle are currently at the top. Given their main shareholder is also owner of SportsDirect you'd think Newcastle would surely be better than Brighton at online merchandise right!? Well, think again.

Top of The (Online Merchandise) Championship

Much to our surprise we found that Brighton score better than Newcastle in our online merchandise conversion metrics.

discount1 (nufc vs brighton.png)

My take on the results were as follows;

  • Both online merchandise stores have decent website traffic, when compared to their club website. Both clubs are getting to rates close to 10%, though here Brighton wins.
discount2 (nufcsite.jpg)
  • Nothing particularly stands out on either of the club websites to direct you to the merchandise store, though the 'store' button on Newcastle's website is not very visible.
  • We compared the metrics for a period of 6 months (Sep. 2016 to Feb 2017) and observed that for most months Newcastle was better than Brighton, though Brighton had an INCREDIBLY good December
  • When we take their £££ per social media fan. Newcastle have significantly more fans, and due to them being recently relegated there might be some correlation to less traffic on their websites (though people still keeping their like or follow of the club's social media pages)

Once again I'm keen to hear your thoughts, any other points worth raising when comparing the two?

Scoring system & caveats

*For the sake of people who did not read the first article we have used the following metrics to compare the two clubs

Club to Store Conversion % - Measures the amount of online traffic on the merchandise store as a % of the Clubs main website online traffic.

Merchandise stores are usually separate websites so this would give us an indication of how much traffic is being 'sent' to the merchandise store from the main club website. 

£ per Social Media Fan - Is the revenue* from the merchandise store divided by the number of social media fans.


*Since we did not have online merchandise revenue we calculated revenue as follows.

(Merchandise Website Visitor Traffic) * (Website conversion) * (Avg. Basket Value).

Yes, this is a 'broad' metric, but in a certain way it's an 'all encompassing' metric. There is a lot of talk about fan engagement, but not a lot about fan monetisation. A social media like or follow shows some form of 'interest'. Having a person showing 'interest' is the first stage in a sales funnel. 

Give us a shout at contact@discountif.com if you have any views on the topic! We’ll be more than happy to discuss further.

Written by CEO of DiscountIF, Lewis Holland

Posted by: Aaron Gourley 

If you have any football business related news stories you’d like to share then please contact us – agourley@fcbusiness.co.uk

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