Focus article 2 – Making Commercial Progress
This is the second in our series of articles updating you on the progress the football club is making under your ownership as fans and giving you a further insight into how your club has progressed during the year just gone. Commercial income is a vital part of the revenue generated by Wrexham AFC and again this is an area in which we have made some significant progress through 2016 on your behalf under the leadership of Geoff Scott Commercial Manager.
We have been generating new relationships for the club throughout 2016 as well as maintaining many of the long term supporters we have in the business community across North and Mid Wales. We have partnered with 8 new major sponsors for the club in 2016, with the most significant of these the new relationship with Ifor Williams Trailers who we launched as Front of Shirt sponsor at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Flint in June. IFor Williams is one of the most important brands in North Wales and the new relationship has been a rewarding one for both parties. We also retained other important brands such as AEC Engineering who in addition to sponsoring the Football Club back of shirt are partnering with us to support sourcing of maintenance at the Racecourse even going as far as sourcing a new container for the Lex Training Ground on our behalf!
From a retail perspective we have again had another great year. The Christmas shop in the town centre as our second retail outlet over the festive period has been a major success. Predictions are that we should come in at an estimated 35% increase in revenue from our shops over the Christmas period versus the previous year (2015), which is a significant result for us. However perhaps the most amazing part of it being that the town centre shop has been staffed almost entirely by volunteers saving the club thousands in staffing costs. It is our fans ownership model that makes this possible where owners can make a direct positive impact on their club through their efforts in volunteering. From front of shop to stock preparation, pricing up and rotation, volunteers have been turning their hands to the retail environment with the help of our Commercial Manager and retail expertise on the WST Fundraising group.
In addition our relationship with Macron locally has been a major success and the supply issues of previous brands banished to a thing of the past. As owners of their football club, fans were able to choose the kit they wanted and we managed to get kits out before the summer holiday period. This season we are on track to sell 50% more replica shirts than prior year (2015) and our sales are the envy of clubs several rungs higher up the football pyramid. Go back to pre ‘fans ownership’ and the replica kits and merchandise you would see around the town were almost exclusively of Premier League sides and yet next time you walk around the town make a point of looking at the football crests on view to see the result of all this hard work as we see a huge swing to Wrexham related leisure wear with our kits being worn with pride. In addition our Macron relationship has allowed us, at short notice, to produce a third kit for Armistice day and to donate the proceeds of the sale of the shirts to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. We estimate the final amount to be around £5,000 that we will donate to this most deserving of charities.
Pitch side boards
This is another critical income area in which we have made progress at My Racecourse in 2016. We have secured a number of new supporters for boards and revenue in this area is up by 76% on prior year (2015).
Mold Road Stand:
We have introduced new ‘fans priced’ hospitality in the Mold Road 1864 suite on matchdays this season which has proved to be really popular especially on a Saturday priced at just £10 for a two course meal and entertainment from a former player. The former player guests including Karl Connolly, Robin Gibson, Billy Ashcroft, Sammy McMillan, Gareth Owen and Dennis Lawrence have been a real hit with fans and is continuing to build as the season goes. We had our first ‘sell out’ in the suite just prior to Christmas with feedback excellent from all in attendance. In fact even the Daily Post restaurant reviewer Mark Williams has visited and given a glowing report on the food and service available check out his article here http://www.dailypost.co.uk/whats-on/food-drink-news/north-wales-restaurant-review-1864-12093190
We have also increased the number of executive boxes sold this season versus prior year (2015) by one with DJD Lean Consulting being the latest to benefit from this fantastic package.
Bamfords over in the Yale Stand continues to go from strength to strength with our last home fixture on Boxing Day attracting 110 guests into the suite. An ideal experience hosted by former player Nick Hencher, Bamfords diners get to hear a pre-match team talk from Manager Dean Keates and to meet players post match as part of the man of the match presentation. It’s also a good place to catch a Director on match day for a quick catch up on all things Wrexham AFC. Again versus prior year (2015) we are on track to deliver an increased profit for Wrexham AFC this season.
There is far more to come from the Commercial team supported ably by the WST Fundraising Team as we go forward into 2017. Look out for the other articles highlighting the progress we are making over the course of this week.
The Boards of the Wrexham Supporters Trust and Wrexham AFC would like to wish everyone associated with Wrexham AFC a very happy and prosperous new year!