I am on a time crunch this morning, but I have to bang this out, we need to get back to normality, and you need a daily helping of Arsenal goodness. The Premier League is coming back and I can’t wait. I wish the press would offer up more of a solutions-oriented approach to journo-ing than continuing to highlight individual moaners. Germany has led the way, they are the responsible adult in the room at all times. If they can do it, we can do it and if it all goes wrong: Blame Germany. Simple as that. That’s 21st-century leadership right there.
The Premier League isn’t fucking about. They’re sending secret police to training grounds to check clubs aren’t going past their allotted 75 minutes of training. I find rulings like that kind of absurd.
‘You can breathe, clatter, and sweat over each other… but keep it to 75 minutes, gotta play it safe’
Players are going to be heavily tested, with debate currently underway with the clubs over whether they should be in hotels for 7 or 14 days prior to games. There are still risks associated with this. Hotel workers aren’t often paid the best, they sometimes work other jobs, all it takes is one rogue person to bring in the virus and a whole club is wiped out.
Still, I think we’re at the point now where we’re going to have to work with this. There’s no such thing as ‘totally safe’ and the continuation of the game as we know it. I think that’s the stark reality society is facing up to. You can’t cripple the world forever… because we won’t have much to go back to if we take that stance… and the people that get hurt are not the rich ones. It’s the small independent businesses and jobs that make a city a city.
The bigger concern is that the Premier League clubs are being told that social distancing will remain in force for 6-12 months. I’d take that as 12 months and longer unless this summer rains UV hell on the virus, or people just take off their gloves and get brave with their health. Long and short… the Premier League is not going to have real fans in place for a long time.
This is both a curse and a gift. The curse, Arsenal are going to have to find £93m. The gift? The Premier League is going to have to get creative. I think Charles Allen; exArsenal marketing man, has it right.
I guess the question is what are fans prepared to pay for? Galleries and Museums are faced with exactly the same question. There will be a lot of very good innovation. Great time to be a marketer, even better if you are a digital marketer!!
— Charles Allen (@CharlieAllen66) May 19, 2020
Clubs have roughly 10 games left. Now is the chance to do something crazy. If it works, maybe it carries over into normal times?
I think the biggest innovation has to be digital season tickets. Every single game left this season should be available to purchase. How that’s delivered is a tougher question. The simplest mechanism and the easiest would be to give it to the BBC. Problem with that idea, though wonderful, is it has no future business value. You don’t learn anything from giving it away free. Sounds beastly, but clubs need to learn how to make up lost revenue, not how to get applause from The Guardian.
I’d explore working with someone that’s cash-rich, nimble, and plugged into the internet. Amazon is perfectly poised to pick up all the match and sell them back to the fans.
Covid-Pass Gold: Access to all the games that aren’t free to air for the rest of the season.
Club-Pass: Access to all games that aren’t being aired on the other channels by club.
Game-Pass: Slightly more premium model, where you can dip in and buy an individual game.
Make all of the above global. TIE IT IN WITH GAME DAY FOOD PACKAGES. Imagine getting Camden Hells, a salt beef bagel, and bag of slightly dodgy sweets wrapped in cheap sandwich bags. It’d be epic. Maybe some hotdog stall fragranced candles?
I also wonder whether it’s time for the Premier League to explore a better Game Center type model. America does this so well. You have Jeff and the gang… but with actual goals and moments. How are we in 2020 and we have to get our football rocks off by watching a Chris Kamara reaction on a Saturday? It’s bollocks. The football isn’t exactly a spectacle without the fans, I’m not sure the Premier League is going to win over too many new ones during this period, so why not experiment with tried and true methods that help bring the casuals in?
Maybe clubs could completely lose their fucking minds and do something with Occulus. Imagine integrating Premier League football into VR? You could set cameras up in the stadium that allow fans to sit all over the stadium in virtual seats. I would do that. It’d definitely be more dignified than Pornhub VR.
Anyway, I have to go, but today, I am asking YOU a question… what is your football innovation?