What Silvertails provided to the club on memberships, marketing and media

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Journey Man

This submission has been put together very quickly, by professionals busy with other things. Therefore our emphasis has been upon simplicity, with the possibility of particular emphases discussed at the face to face meeting. We don’t want to be guilty of information overload.

Input has been received from people in the following fields:

• Journalism (three)
• IT Development
• Banking (two)
• Financial trading (two)
• Middle Management (three)
• Senior Management (not-for-profit sector working with volunteers)

Rationale for focus:

In many respects the three areas of membership, website strategy and media are interlinked.

All three are vital in the following areas:

1. Marketing the club and controlling public perception.
2. Creation of an insular community of Manly fans.
3. Gaining profile for the club and giving maximum return for the sponsorship dollar.

Rationale for marketing:

We’ve proceeded on the following rationale:

1. Given that the average “consumer� is targeted by more than 1000 advertising messages a day we’ve deliberately steered away from information overload and/or clutter. The assumption is that there are only seconds to “make the sale�. Therefore the emphasis is on simplicity and style over substance.
2. There is no singly identifiable “target market� or demographic for memberships in particular. Therefore there are numerous suggestions with an emphasis on guerrilla marketing to various demographics and markets.
3. The “selling points� on the membership packages has been changed from the current theme of “what you get� as we contend they don’t offer value for money. The new emphasis is with “community� and “vibe�, a vital aspect of marketing to under 35s.


Our aim is to make suggestions that will create the following (all postmodern catchwords for human desires in the Twenty-first Century):

1. A “vibe� about the club’s future and the desire to be a significant part of it.
2. A “sense of community� with the Manly football club as the fulcrum.
3. A clearly enunciated “vision� for the club, communicated regularly (daily) for positive re-enforcement.
4. A “sense of ownership� of said vision and tangible steps by which the individual can contribute

1. Current membership package structure:

Some feedback we’ve come across is:

• “I don’t get enough for my money� (Gen Y especially).
• How much goes to buying the club back?
• Little ‘cut-through’ promotion of the various options.
• Doesn’t seem to be tied to season seating packages.
• The junior package is good value for money and the birthday card signed by players is a masterstroke.

Major suggestions:

• Create a new, low priced, no frills, “opt in� package to engage membership at the bottom end. (Suggested price $40). The aim will be to “up-sell� from this package.
• Tie membership to the purchase of season tickets and promote the season tickets with membership included. (Immediate buy-in of 2-3,000?)
• Make more of the tie-in of female packages with the Eagles Angels. Currently this seems incidental but it would be a key attraction for 50% of the potential market.
• Abolish the gold membership and replace it with a high-end corporate package that offers much for the corporates but will, in reality, cost the club little to deliver. (Tied to corporate boxes?)
• Make changes to the out-of-town, bird of prey membership to deliver more that is tangible to the remote supporter.
• Make post match functions at the club for members only.
• Establish the MSE web-site forum areas as a place for members only (let other unofficial web-sites cater to those that don’t wish to be members).
• Establish Steven Menzies as the “face� of the membership packages and promote the packages around Menzies and the slogan of “we need you�.
• Establish Sarah O’Hare as the face of the Eagles Angels packages and use her to promote to the female demographic (the power of celebrity).
• Use ex-players in sound bytes on the ground scoreboard in between games and in breaks of play.
• Have past players promote the membership scheme on-ground at half time. (Eg a “Crusher Cleal� talking about how much the club means to him and how good it is to have a formal connection to it.)
• Distribute information on membership packages using simple D5 Postage Paid postcards distributed by the Fuji Sea Birds and injured players.
• Have membership packages sold at the ground by the Fuji Sea Birds and/or injured players (not by current volunteers unless they are specifically gifted in the area of sales).
• Members only at post-match function with guest passes provided to members. (Might need negotiation with the Leagues Club!)

Some options for a new structure of membership packages is discussed at Attachment A.

More ideas and background on the marketing of the Membership packages is provided at Attachment B.

2. Web-site Strategy:


The major feedback is as follows:
• Outdated
• Static
• Lack of relevant content
• Message Boards are insular and not serving their major purpose.
• Graphic design archaic.

Major suggestions:

• A complete re-vamp of the web-site is urgently required.
• Make the Message Boards for Football Club members only.
• Have coach, players and senior admin contribute regularly to message boards (for Members only access). Eg. A “weekly whisper� from Des Hasler.
• Daily updates from media manager posted to the home page.
• Provide news feeds from NRL.com and other sites on the main site
• Create an XML feed of the MSE news so other sites can syndicate it automatically.
• Create a fan submitted image gallery.
• A members’ only message board will mean each member is easily tracked and accountable for their comments. This will hugely reduce the need for moderation and negate the need for people to do it in a voluntary capacity.

3. Media Strategy:


• There doesn’t seem to be much pro-activeness in our media management.
• The web-site doesn’t seem to be utilised as an appropriate tool.
• There seems to be little flow of substantive information that gives fresh insights on a daily basis during the season.
• Feedback from journalists at media outlets is that current media regime is deeply unpopular and defensive.
• Information from other media seems to betray that they are given little information (eg Manly is generally the poorest served in all of the club designated sections in publications like SMH, Big League, Sun Herald etc and often the pars are detrimental to the club, rather than beneficial).

Major suggestions:

• Media only area on the web-site that has ALL Manly media content, including e-mails to clubs, stories, injury news etc.
• Consider the appointment of a print journalist that can produce significant written content on ALL aspects of the club for this media only area.
• List all “club designated� sections in all publications and ensure that the media manager is pro-active about providing on-time content to each of these.
• Significantly improve the content and quality of e-mails to members and e-mail to the entire membership base on Monday mornings.
• Give greater prominence to Sea Eagle News on web-site and at ground.
• Establish co-operative arrangement with the Manly Daily involving content and advertorials.
• Link media with web-site to ensure content is up to date at all times and constantly evolving – ensures repeat hits to home base, especially from out of town fans.

Attachment A:

Suggested Membership structure:

Basic Membership ($40 per annum):

Membership card and membership number for posterity.
10% discount to match day tickets.
Access to Members Area on web-site.
Weekly e-mail from the club.
Access to post-match functions.

Menzies Membership: ($80 per annum)

Same as current Football Membership.
With access to Members Area on Web-site
Weekly e-mail from club.
Access to post match functions.

Eagle Angels Membership – Ladies Only: ($80 per annum)

Basic Menzies Membership package with:
Eagles Angels membership card
Current incentives offered through the Eagle Angels.

Junior Sea Eagle Membership: ($25 per annum):

Same as current package.

Family packages: (Several options)

• 2 adults – basic package $75 and then $20 per child for junior membership, and/or
• 1 adult – basic package $40 and then $20 per child for junior membership, and/or
• Upgrades to higher end packages assessed at package price less $40 for each adult package upgrade.

Bird of Prey – distance package: ($125 per annum):

Same as current package with:
Access to a post-match function with players in Brisbane/Townsville/Gold Coast/Canberra/Melbourne/Auckland.
Free entry to two games at Brookvale (rationale – they pay a lot of money to make the trip and will spend money on drinks and food anyway).
Access to Members Area on web-site.

Maroon and White Membership: ($300 per annum):

Same as current package with:
Access to Members Area on web-site.

Platinum Plus Membership ($2500 per annum).

Same as current Gold package.
Possibly one given out with each corporate box sold.
If not tied to a corporate box, then 2 season tickets to the grandstands included.
Attendance of a player at a corporate function.
Attendance at exclusive cocktail function with players & coaching staff in the pre-season.

Packages tied to Season tickets:

Season Sea Eagle $280 • Menzies Membership
• Season Pass to Brookvale ‘outer ground’
• Free bus pass to away games
• Buy Manly jersey from club half price (i.e. approx $80)
Platinum $330 • Menzies Membership
• Season Pass/Reserved Seat to Ken Arthurson Stand
Platinum Plus $420 • Menzies Membership
• Season Pass/Reserved Seat to Jane Try Stand

Attachment B:

Other thoughts on marketing:

Membership Marketing Strategy

Present - 2005

Current marketing message to “buy back the club� to be abandoned. It does not generate the required enthusiasm for supporters to part with their money.

Current advertising does not reach the average supporter who would consider joining. Advertisements in Sea Eagle News & announcements at ground are ineffective in encouraging supporters to join.

Club Website is out of date. Site facilitates open to any supporter/visitor to use.

Low take up and renewal rate suggests that supporters do not feel they receive any value for money when joining whether it is an emotional or material value.


New possible membership message:

“You will take us back to the Top�

“Members make the Sea Eagles Soar higher�

These types of messages provide significant more emotional pull on the average supporter. They have to be given/see a substantial benefit in joining the club and in conjunction with the above catch phrases the benefits have to be clear and defined. This would be either:

• The club surviving and being successful – winning games of football & making Grand Finals.

• Benefits that are provided can be as seen value for money in comparison to membership fee paid


1. Ads/application forms in Sea Eagle news to be retained

2. Membership to be promoted through advertising segments on “Big Screen� – players asking supporters to join. Ground announcer would only alert fans to the message.

3. At early season games a club legend with good communication skills like Max Krilich, Michael O’Connor or Ian Roberts walks on to the middle of the field. He says something like “how great it was play at Brookvale in front of thousands of supporters but now the club needs you. If you want to see your club making Grand Finals again you must join up now, your kids must join up as well to keep the club strong for the generations ahead.�

There could be other well known ex players walking around the hill and seating Areas handing out membership applications, encouraging supporters to join while the legend in the middle speaks.

4. Website would have exclusive “members only� areas – like the forum/chat room; regular updates from the coach, interviews with players, interactive features etc. This would encourage the average supporter to join the football club. In return the club would receive financial benefit on a “user pays� basis for providing the facility through increased membership as well as eliminating some issues that plague website forums and the club like unsubstantiated rumours, foul & abusive comments from nameless people etc. It should be mentioned that there are plenty of free options for supporters not willing to pay for this facility.

Explanatory Notes

This has been completed without knowledge of the financial constraints and/or benefits involving the pricing of membership categories and the cost of providing such benefits.

Research should be conducted to ascertain why supporters have joined and why some supporters have elected not to join the club. The web-site and the ground would be ideal places to distribute “customer surveys�. The above categories could be further tailored to meet the research findings.

It is expected that this structure will assist increasing the season ticket holder base whilst allowing the club direct access to a broader supporter base therefore providing an additional income stream for the club through merchandise sales etc.

Further consideration could be given to restricting the post match presentations at the Leagues Club to members only to make membership more attractive – guest passes could be provided as an additional benefit. This is something AFL Clubs such as Port Adelaide offer.


It is quite disappointing considering the trouble you obviously went to to do this, that the club didn't have the common courtesy to atleast offer you a response of some discription.


Premium Member
Quick read & at first glance very impressive. Just a couple of thoughts, "vibe?" Not for me but maybe I am just getting old.

Like the idea of attaching membership packages to season tickets, should have been done much earlier, a classic win/win scenario.

When time permits I will give some further thoughts.

PS: you didn't include winning more games, I know Ryan thinks that is the panacea that we need.


Kim Jong Dan
Staff member
Tipping Member
The first word must have stumped them

Remember we had basically 2 days to write this and get printed


Journey Man
I'm not the greatest fan of "vibe" either. I don't know what else you'd use though.

Apparently the membership packages can't be linked to season tickets for some reason.


First Grader
Staff member
My only comment would be a need to further market the club to those who do not attend games (out of towners etc - may be exclusive video casts?)


Kim Jong Dan
Staff member
Tipping Member
a lot of it was marketing to the under 35's as the over 35's have already been marketed to quite well


You knocked this up in only 2 days?!?! 8|

I think you covered a lot of ground and most of it I agree with. The only real criticism I'd have is about the "daily updates". I can see you point about "updated" info, but I'm guessing not many people have the time or the news to update daily. Weekly or every few days would be better. This is just me being picky though.

On the plus side, at least they have upgraded the website. It's 1 trillion times better than it used to be. Still not 100% there, but it's getting there.

Keep at the club with your ideas though as I think you have some great ones.

Cheers -- Stuart


Premium Member
a lot of it was marketing to the under 35's as the over 35's have already been marketed to quite well

I unfortunatley fit that demographic, but I did not know that I had even been marketed to, let alone well.


Journey Man
They'll use the ideas that is true enough. These guys should have hand submitted it, and taken it away once read.

Possibly an Inspector Gadget self destruct mechanism.


Kim Jong Dan
Staff member
Tipping Member
They'll use the ideas that is true enough. These guys should have hand submitted it, and taken it away once read.

Possibly an Inspector Gadget self destruct mechanism.

Agreed. I was against the request for an electronic copy but we provided it. In hindsight we should have given them the one print out and left it at that.


Kim Jong Dan
Staff member
Tipping Member
[quote author=Daniel]
a lot of it was marketing to the under 35's as the over 35's have already been marketed to quite well

I unfortunatley fit that demographic, but I did not know that I had even been marketed to, let alone well.


Not so much marketed to well. But you are more inclined to purchase membership etc because of loyalty and the "buying back the farm" ideal. Gen Y is slipping through the cracks unfortunately and thats where the gears need to be shifted to. However the entire plan would would have exncompassed all but just shifted some of its focus.

Darkwing - the daily updates where a way of keeping people going to the site, giving information to the press for stories and generally keeping the audience going tot he site so they could be marketed to.

Everytime you come to this site you pretty much get marketed to without realising. It should be the same for all!


Kim Jong Dan
Staff member
Tipping Member
When was this submitted? (and why? For love?

A few months back toward the end of the season we were asked to submit our marketing ideas and proposal for the website!


First Grader
Staff member
I work for a marketing company - what kind of organisation asks for an rfp with a 2 day turnaround? where is due process?
I am not shocked that the club was almost bankrupt.


Kim Jong Dan
Staff member
Tipping Member
I work for a marketing company - what kind of organisation asks for an rfp with a 2 day turnaround? where is due process?
I am not shocked that the club was almost bankrupt.

It was a challenge. There were quite a few hurdles put up for us. we had no choice but to try and leap over them or go right through them.

I am pretty proud of what we were able to put together in such a short amount of time. It also included a demo of the site structure, backend and controls as well as a complete CRM solution!


First Grader
It was great work guys I'd be interested to see what some of the "other" supporters think of it!


First Grader
Staff member
I think the actual proposal is great. I just wonder about the fact the club gave only such a short turn around time. It sounds like that was a token gesture, especially if they wanted it submitted rather than presented. They must have made up their mind before hand.

What is the actual structure of the club (in terms of a public company?) If so this process, the outlay of funds, requires some transparency?


Kim Jong Dan
Staff member
Tipping Member
They had already made their decision and it was a token gesture but we felt it was worth our while

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