Wembley National Stadium Limited has placed Jackie Cooper PR, The Red Consultancy, Lexis PR and Shine Communications on a shortlist, with plans to hire one agency by mid-August.
The campaign’s main aim is to encourage fans to buy one of 17,000 reserved seats in the 90,000-capacity stadium that will generate the lion’s share of the stadium’s income.
Through the ‘Club Wembley’ programme, which was launched in May, fans can buy a ten-year ‘seat licence’ for an upfront fee – starting from £3,900 – that guarantees the right to buy a season ticket, which would be paid for annually, for ten years.
These season tickets would cover the top events at the stadium, such as every England home match and the FA Cup Final.
In October last year, WNSL signed a deal with Biss Lancaster Euro RSCG to drum up corporate backing for the project (PRWeek, 4 October 2002).
WNSL director of marketing and comms Jonathan Hill, who is co-ordinating the pitch, confirmed Biss Lancaster is working out its notice period on the project, adding that with corporate support now shored up, it was time for ‘phase two’ of the PR campaign, which was more ‘consumer-focused’.
Construction of the new stadium is now 25 per cent complete, with the 133 metre-high arch that will tower above the stadium set to appear on the skyline of north-west London early next year, according to Hill.
Hill said the programme was now ahead of schedule and that the PR agency would also aim to ‘generate excitement’ in the project.
The first game in the stadium is slated for early 2006.
An England friendly is believed to be a likely first major event.
Hill was appointed six months ago at WNSL, a subsidiary of the FA, from a role as football division head (Europe) at sports management group IMG (PRWeek 24 January).
The PR agency will work alongside WNSL, the FA and either Grey London, Soul, Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners, Fallon/London or one other undisclosed agency, which are battling it out to secure the brief to devise the ‘creative’ strategy.