I’m a Liverpool Football Club fan, so really shouldn’t have allegiance with the blue half of Merseyside. On this occasion I do, and especially the marketing team.
The back story: Everton’s marketing and comms team recently sent out a survey to the club’s 30,000+ season ticket holders, as they did at the same time in 2017. However, this year, Everton on the pitch are not performing as they did in 2017. The football isn't attractive according to many. Many of the fans are unhappy with the club’s new manager; Sam Allardyce for the style of play. In Mr Allardyce’s point of view, the survey was a mistake – in fact, “Big Sam” as he is affectionally called by those who know him in the media, has received an apology for the survey being despatched from Everton FC’s Chairman, Bill Kenwright.
What has Everton FC done so wrong?
In my opinion, the club has done everything right when sticking with a pre-programmed activity designed to ask a football club’s most important customer; the fans. Due to the perceived poor style of play on the pitch, the media has asserted that the despatch of this survey now is an attack on the manager. In my opinion, the marketing team are engaging their paying fans to see how the club - on and off the pitch – can improve. Remember a similar survey was sent out exactly a year ago.
In a press conference recently, Big Sam firmly and squarely blamed the club’s Head of Marketing for his error. In football parlance, the Head of Marketing was "thrown under the bus". What has Tom Shelston, the Head of Marketing done so wrong? Nothing that I can see.
I’m always advocating to my clients to ask their customers' how they have performed, and importantly, how my client's business can improve. Customer satisfaction surveys; are a very effective way of improving any business' objectively. Ask questions where you are not scared of the answers. That’s what Everton FC has done, only for Big Sam to believe this is undermining him. A football club is now a multi-million £ business, on the pitch and in the community. Fans have a voice and they will express themselves, hopefully in a legal and lawful manner. This is an unseemly saga, and the fans suppressed. In actual fact, in recent days, the ire of fans has been stoked further because of the apology the manager has received. Unbelievable.
Mr Shelston and your team, carry on, you’re doing a great job.