Campaign Everton Two, Liverpool One
Client Everton Football Club and Kitbag
PR team Mere PR
Timescale January-August 2009
The club and Kitbag asked Mere PR to launch the new kits, the refurbished club store at Goodison Park and a brand new Everton store in Liverpool One shopping centre.
The club and its fans historically felt second best to neighbour Liverpool FC, which has had a commercial presence in the city centre and recently opened up a new club store in the huge Liverpool One shopping development.
- To build excitement for the new kits
- To drive footfall to new stores and increase sales
- To maintain interest through the summer season break.
Strategy and plan
News stories were 'drip-fed' to target media about the appointment of Kitbag, the new store and the refurbished store and the creative branding around them. Teasers giving glimpses of parts of the new shirt were fed to fan sites and the local press, and competitions to win the new shirts were placed.
The new kit was unveiled by Howard Kendall, who managed Everton during the 1984-85 season. A giant hoarding featur-ing Phil Jagielka, Everton's player of the season, was placed at the entrance to the new city centre store a month before opening.
Direct mail detailing the new kit was sent to more than 100,000 fans on the day of the reveal. Life-size cut-outs of Jagielka wearing the new kit were placed in locations throughout Liverpool and a 'Where's Jags?' competition ran on fansite Bluekipper, inviting fans to take photos with the cut-out.
The refurbished store, named Everton One, was launched with Jagielka as a special guest. Radio City hosted the event, which was followed by a free four-day exhibition on Everton's FA cup history.
The new city centre store, named Everton Two - so its address becomes Everton Two, Liverpool One - was launched by Everton manager David Moyes and centre forward Yakubu, alongside Graeme Sharp, centre forward from the 1984-85 season. The new all-black away kit was launched just before the start of the season by Polynesian dancers performing a 'haka' to Everton chant 'It's a grand old team'.
Measurement and evaluation
The campaign generated more than 100 pieces of media coverage in local, regional and national newspapers, on Sky Sports, BBC Radio 5 Live and online at fansites and on YouTube.
Kitbag was approached by both Manchester United and Chelsea FC and asked how Everton had achieved so much coverage for the new kit.
Sales figures at stores exceeded like-for-like sales from previous years by 200 per cent and opening targets were beaten by 20 per cent. Match day sales figures continue to exceed previous years by up to 15 per cent.
Second Opinion - Rachel Froggatt, Director of sport, Braben
This campaign had a gold mine of PR collateral associated with it and Mere PR seems to have used this well.
The Everton Two, Liverpool One store address is inspired. It is a gift in terms of football PR, where fan rivalry is key - just look at the way Manchester City picked a 'fight' with Manchester United this summer, cheekily creating a poster to welcome cross-city transfer, Carlos Tevez, to Manchester. The use of life- size cut-outs, in this case featuring Phil Jagielka, seems to have again proved its strength as a solid tactic for engaging fans with a brand.
As a sport and media PR agency, we identify closely with the power of heritage and local pride in appealing to the hearts and minds of fans. Mere PR seems to have used this fairly well, although the Everton-Liverpool rivalry doesn't come through as strongly as I would have expected.
The link to the New Zealand All Blacks and the haka to promote the new Everton away kit is interesting. It certainly achieved media coverage, but did it add value? Linking Everton to a uniquely rugby-oriented piece of theatre seems out of sync with a local heritage-focused campaign.
Overall, this campaign looks good, but there did not seem to be much digital content. Given the collateral available, there was a lot of opportunity to share content via digital or social media tactics. This would have really helped push the Everton-Liverpool rivalry aspect.