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Northampton programme

The programme tonight was an 8-page effort but only cost £1. For me it’s the way clubs are going to have to go in the lower leagues.
The Southern League clubs seem to be going en masse for online programmes with possibly a teamsheet available at the ground. Personally I hate it but maybe the solution is an 8-page match programme on the day for £1 but a match magazine online that is available 3/4 days before the game. If it’s interesting enough (& free to read online) it may entice a few more to the game.
Personally, I’ve stopped buying programmes @ £3 or £3.50 each. More often than not they are colourful but a very moderate read. And I really haven’t got any more room to store the damn things! Clubs have to move with the times & if the Internet is making local papers obsolete then the time delay producing 64-page programmes is doing the same.
I don’t mind paying £1 for what is basically a glorified teamsheet & stats page and it has the advantage of not taking up too much space to store it.

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Comments

  • Inclined to agree.

  • Pen pictures of opposition players is the feature I think I’d miss most. Refer many times to those pages during the course of a game.

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  • @micra The centre pages of the Northampton programme tonight were devoted to pen pictures of the Wycombe players so that (important) feature doesn’t have to be discarded in an 8-page issue.

  • What are the relative costs of producing an 8 page or a 32 page programme? What advertising revenue can you get from each? What sales can you expect from each? Which option therefore makes the most money?

  • Thanks, Andy.
    I’m too tired to contemplate the cost/benefit analysis suggested by @DevC .Apart from anything else there are too many imponderables in the calculations required. And, in any case, our League match programmes have 64 pages.

  • I personally would have thought there was more profit in the catering at football matches than a program providing you get if RIGHT

  • Perhaps a programme you can eat?

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  • @ValleyWanderer That would at least solve the storage problem. Read & eat - very eco-friendly!

  • The only problem with your suggestion of fewer pages is that I'm a greedy bu99er and will need more than one! What would a Blues programme taste of do you think?

  • Looking forward to getting some progammes in the post any day now, thanks @railwaysteve Good to see the club having an open night for prospective f&b folk soon too. Just started a new job or i’d apply myself (albeit a bit of a commute!)

    Seems like plans are afoot for an exciting impetus on the catering front and I hope for an audience prepared to wait in order for long term change to be effected.

    As another aside, the flack some we’re giving the marketing team seems unfounded with new sponsors coming on board again lately.

    Onwards and upwards, this winning feeling is too good to give up so COYB!!!!

  • @DevC said:
    What are the relative costs of producing an 8 page or a 32 page programme? What advertising revenue can you get from each? What sales can you expect from each? Which option therefore makes the most money?

    You really do fancy yourself as a bit of a lower league Alan Sugar don’t you?

  • @A_Worboys said:
    @ValleyWanderer That would at least solve the storage problem. Read & eat - very eco-friendly!

    I've never considered eating the programme on the terrace before, cheers, no doubt better value, can't taste much worse, unlikely to go off, could be on to something.

  • @OxfordBlue

    Somebody posted the other day, very wisely I thought, that as supporters of a fan owned club, we have a higher responsibility to think financials.

    Andy has asserted that a smaller programme is "the way clubs are having to go in the lower league". He seems to have failed to ask himself the obvious questions about his scheme that I have outlined above to determine whether that is a good idea. Surprising from someone who I understand works/worked in a business role.

    Programmes are indeed becoming a bit of an anachronism in a modern world. Where once most would buy one, now far fewer are tempted. But does Andy honestly not think that those with the numbers at their disposal have not run an exercise at how to optimise returns from the programme asking themselves exactly those questions that Andy appears to have glossed over.

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  • @DevC "where once most would buy one" - is that true Dev?

    Did the club print 3000 programmes and 2700 would buy one?

    "Now far fewer are tempted"

    What percentage decrease have we seen Dev? From "most" to "far fewer"?

  • I don't know peter. A purely empirical observation. Would you disagree with it? Would those who make the decision not have the facts available on this?

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  • https://www.thesportsman.com/articles/stop-the-press-football-programmes-could-soon-be-a-thing-of-the-past

    A quite interesting article. Seems to support a decline in sales (although no figures) and that a smaller programme sold cheaply is a more cost effective solution (due to decreased advertising revenue).

  • At £1 for 8 pages (12.5p per page) I thought the Cobblers programme was a complete ripoff. Compare that with our normal £3.50 for 64 pages (approx. 5.5p per page), or our smaller version used for the Carabao Cup which is £1 for 16 pages (6.25p per page). And the Cobblers pages are around 10% smaller than those of ParkLife.

  • Due to reasons too complicated to explain on here, I once ate the match day programme. It tasted rather betting than a valley kiosk burger

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  • I very much doubt the club make any revenue at all from adverts placed in the programmes. Far more likely the spaces are offered as part of broader sponsorship packages as a bonus. This was the case for the last programme I bought, where all the ads were either from club sponsors or EFL placements.

  • If the advertising space in the programme is being offered as part of a sponsorship package then the club is making money from it whenever somebody takes up that sponsorship. It's part of what they are paying for, just like the pitchside advertising, logos on the kit, tickets to matches, reserved parking spaces and everything else that is part of the package.

  • Although they would get the same exposure in an on-line version surely? And might prefer that given the ease with which an online reader can be driven to an advertiser's website?

  • edited September 5

    Online exposure, be that via electronically delivered matchday programmes or through the clubs website and social media feeds, is indeed another element of the overall package, and also could be sold separately. That doesn't alter the fact that advertisements in printed programmes should not be dismissed as earning no revenue for the club simply because the advertisements are for entities that have comitted to other forms of sponsorship also.

  • I'm really liking the idea of an edible programme. If someone can produce the relevant data, blah blah blah etc I believe it would be an extremely viable facility to add to the client match day experience. Put me down for a Jalfrezi for the next match. Will save me standing in a queue for 30 minutes only to be dissapointed by the lack of options on the chocolate bars!

  • @DevC said:
    I don't know peter. A purely empirical observation. Would you disagree with it? Would those who make the decision not have the facts available on this?

    Yes I'd disagree that most people used to buy a programme.

  • @EwanHoosaami said:
    I'm really liking the idea of an edible programme. If someone can produce the relevant data, blah blah blah etc I believe it would be an extremely viable facility to add to the client match day experience. Put me down for a Jalfrezi for the next match. Will save me standing in a queue for 30 minutes only to be dissapointed by the lack of options on the chocolate bars!

    How about we turn up at 2 and for a couple of quid get a peshwaari naan with the teams printed on it and a sponsors logo?

    I'm in, make it happen.

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  • I used to buy a programme at every game. Then you get really into it, and get a bit older and realise they don't half mount up!

    My big mistake was foolishly buying up programmes from games I didn't go to over the first few years of our league adventure. Idiocy, as how often do you ever go back and read stuff?
    I try and keep it to a few a season now, "big" games, or end of season ones where you have the year's stats at a glance.

  • @Uncle_T I disagree. I can't believe that the club is able to charge more for those packages than they would without the programme ads included. I appreciate that I have no proof to back this up - but in the minds of a sponsor, it's the stadium ad space and digital opportunities that'll carry weight and I doubt any would quit over loss of programme ad space.

    I'm also certain that we don't get anything from the EFL for SkyBet ads etc., although I appreciate that wasn't your direct point.

  • edited September 5

    I suspect each sponsor will have their own views on the value to them of any of the individual benefits of sponsorship, with some regarding the value of mathchday programme advertisement to be greater than others.

    The EFL sponsor advertisements are an interesting point in this discussion. I admit that I may not be fully correct on this, but, my understanding is that the previously in force mandatory requirement in EFL regulations for every club to produce a matchday programme for every match stemmed from the fact that the EFL had sold sponsorship packages on the understanding that certain sponsors would get their advertisement included in all EFL matchday programmes (among other benefits). They could only deliver on this contractual obligation by making publication of matchday programmes mandatory.

    Some EFL clubs did the maths and decided that, in their individual cases, publishing a programme for every match either was not delivering enough of a benefit to be worth the hassle or was leading to an actual financial loss. This triggered this years removal of the mandatory publication rule, which is good for EFL member clubs as they can make decisions based on what is best for them, but possibly detrimental to the EFL. To each individual club it's only 23 league programmes plus a couple of league cup games per season; to the EFL and their sponsors it's 1656 league programmes and 90+ league cup programmes per season. Even at modest sales, that's several million of copies of the sponsor's advertisement being distributed every season and must be of some value to the sponsor.

  • On a personal level, if we had someone who could write remotely like John Goldsworthys ramblings, where you could read someone's opinions that were not well rehearsed club policy, along with a history page that could get anywhere near the late Steve Maguires quirky 'back in time' page. The article was full of little known facts and strange tales, then I would start buying a proggy again.

  • I read the gasroom for ramblings, strange takes and little known facts. No need to buy a programme for that.

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