July 15, 2020, 02:19:31 AM

Author Topic: More American Outreach  (Read 698 times)

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June 14, 2020, 09:25:39 PM
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Evertonian in NC


Anyway, I found this an interesting read and figured I would share.  Mods, please feel free to delete if adds no value to the site.

https://theathletic.com/1869736/2020/06/14/everton-affiliate-scheme/

January 2020. In a room at the annual United Soccer Coaches Convention in Baltimore, Everton’s delegates were outlining a key part of the club’s international expansion strategy.

After several years of planning, it had been decided that Everton were to launch an affiliate programme for teams looking to draw upon the expertise of coaching staff at one of English football’s most respected academies.

The aim was two-fold. Not only would it create an additional revenue stream for a club looking to grow their commercial footprint, with affiliated clubs paying for the service, but it also, in the words of Richard Kenyon, their director of marketing, communications and community, “means a presence ‘on the ground’ in territories where we know soccer is strong and growing, helping build affinity — particularly among young people — with Everton.”

Australia and Asia were identified as two key target markets by the club’s research team. So too was the United States — understandable, perhaps, given the North American country’s size and its links with Everton both past and present.

So the pitches made to an audience of 6,300 coaches and more than 14,000 attendees, taking place over the course of five days at that convention in Baltimore were, quite evidently, of real importance.

The fruits of Everton’s labour were announced at the end of last month, with the club confirming the launch of their International Academy Affiliate Programme. Three clubs — two in the US and one in Australia — will be part of the first wave of the scheme.

Although the programme aims to reach far beyond North America, Everton hope to use their history of recruiting and developing US talent, from Brian McBride and Joe-Max Moore in the early 2000s to Tim Howard and Landon Donovan more recently, to position themselves as America’s team in the Premier League.

It is a bold ambition, but with registered supporters’ clubs now in every US state and a host of American heroes as former players (Howard is their official ambassador in the States) it is a worthwhile pursuit as Everton look to grow their brand outside the UK.

“Focusing on the US was natural for us,” Richard Kenyon tells The Athletic. “The Premier League is growing significantly there, we have a growing network of passionate supporters’ clubs and also have many former players from the US.

“We have started investing in building greater engagement with US audiences over the last few years and have seen a strong level of affinity already there – we now want to build on this and ultimately make Everton the first choice for Americans with an interest in the Premier League. That’s the long game – and there are many elements to that plan.”

The plan includes the Affiliate Programme, for which two US-based clubs, Schulz Academy of Boca Raton, near Miami in Florida and Columbus United of Ohio are already signed up, alongside Joondalup City FC in Perth, Western Australia. Affiliated clubs will benefit from the guidance of Everton coaches — many of whom have experience working in the US and beyond — recruitment support and the opportunity for training trips to the club’s Finch Farm complex. It is available to grassroots teams, professional sides, youth academies, girls’ and women’s teams, as well as colleges and universities.


(Photo: Everton)
It is a crowded market; Everton are by no means the only club pitching their services in territories such as the US and Australasia. But as former Austria international Roland Kollmann, now the director of coaching at Schulz, explains, Everton’s success at academy level in bringing through England internationals such as Wayne Rooney and Ross Barkley, coupled with their American connection over the years, has left them perfectly poised.

“Being able to access a Premier League club’s sporting and business best practice was a real selling point for us,” Kollmann tells The Athletic. “Everton were looking to the US long before many other Premier League clubs, and we’ve of course seen Howard, Moore, McBride and Donovan play for them and really develop as players. That immediately inspires confidence in Everton’s wider ethos and deeper understanding of US soccer.

“There are a lot of UK clubs looking to link up with US soccer, each with their own models, but Everton really stood out to us. It was clear from the start that their model is different. It is very much about working together as partners. Everton’s academy, of course, has a fantastic reputation for the talent that it nurtures.”

Everton officials speak of the way in which the programme will “create new player pathways” for all affiliated members, but this is not a set-up akin to the one seen with the Manchester City-run global City Football Group of clubs. It is understood that it is unlikely – and not currently part of the model — that the affiliation scheme will lead to the formal movement of players between its teams.

Instead, after a successful pilot run over a six-month period at Joondalup, during which the Australian outfit saw a near 50 per cent increase in trial registrations, the programme will focus on learning and development.

At present, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, interactions happen over video calls, with resources for specific training sessions also at the disposal of coaches at the three clubs. When it is safe to travel, Everton coaches will visit affiliates and deliver programmes in person. Coaches from the affiliate clubs will also have the opportunity to travel to Finch Farm to learn about Everton’s approach to youth development.

“We are seeing these as long-term relationships where we will support each other’s objectives – and are signing affiliates on multi-year arrangements,” says Kenyon. “It is quality over quantity – while we know we can expand this across the globe.”

The exact value of each deal is yet to be disclosed, but a club source confirmed to The Athletic that the programme “will provide valuable direct revenue and present us with other opportunities”.

It is hoped those opportunities will be in the main target areas of the US, Australia and Asia — although not exclusively. Already, there are other interested parties. “While that’s a wide area and we have a lot of interested clubs in each – we are being careful that we manage this in a careful and sustainable way. We expect to announce more clubs later this year in each territory,” confirms Kenyon.

As has been the case throughout the first phase of the project, the search will be conducted by Tom Rowell’s marketing department, while also drawing on experiences of academy staff — many of whom played for Everton and have coached outside the UK.

With the affiliate programme off the ground and the wider focus of conquering the US in view, it is understood Everton will further expand their engagement strategy Stateside in due course.

If football-mad Americans hadn’t heard of the club before now, they surely will have done soon. The success of projects of this sort will be crucial to their long-term commercial vision.
"Pardon me, I have nothing to say." - George Carlin


June 15, 2020, 08:56:54 PM
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Evertonian in NC


Why I think such outreach is a great idea - the kinds of Americans who watch LOTS of sportsball...tend to have an undercurrent of hatred towards/resentment of "front runner" types.

People looking to "choose" someone to follow, as they fill in their Saturday/Sunday morning viewing schedule...are unlikely to pick any of the Sky Five.  But not a lot of fun for one's side to be hopeless, either.  Everton can be the pot of porridge that Goldilocks chooses.
"Pardon me, I have nothing to say." - George Carlin

July 05, 2020, 11:36:48 PM
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Toffee1

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July 06, 2020, 01:35:58 AM
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Toddacelli


Spreading like Corona!

Love it!
    

I'm only here for the cladding/Bramley Moore Dock updates

July 06, 2020, 02:44:05 AM
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Brownie

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