Sunday, 28 April 2019

Using Premier League football to sell an entire city

When Norwich City clinched promotion back to the English Premier League over the weekend with a 2-1 win over Blackburn Rovers, the entire east of England city was celebrating business opportunities.


Norwich's team was relegated from the Premier League in 2016 and has played in the second-tier Championship ever since, reducing global visibility and business options.

The Eastern Daily Press newspaper is reporting on the new opportunities the increased exposure will bring both Norwich and the county of Norfolk, one of the least populated in England.


“I have hotel clients who saw an upturn in overnight stays when we were in the Premier League previously," public relations expert Suzy Pettican told the newspaper.

"It will be fantastic for the city - and businesses should capitalise on the increased exposure.

"It is such a good opportunity for the city. It's the story of the underdog, the spirit of this city and a club which is so well-supported and loved by the fans operating with smaller budgets than many richer clubs.

“Now – we all hope – they've risen to the top and will be watched all over the world on various media platforms.”

Pippa Lain-Smith, managing director of Norwich PR agency Plain Speaking, said the story of Norwich City was given a global frame of reference thanks to promotion.

“The Premier League is the best football league in the world," she said. "Norwich City Football Club's promotion could bring a wide range of PR and marketing opportunities for Norfolk businesses if they are creative and smart.

“If you are marketing your business to a national or international audience, to people who might not even know where Norwich is, being able to use 'home to Premier League Football club Norwich City', immediately provides a point of reference that a lot of people will understand.

“Paid PR partnerships, sponsorships and promotions with Norwich City Football Club provide the opportunity for brands to reach millions more people. But activity has to be well-planned and executed and possible return on investment carefully considered.

“Norwich is already a fantastic city and being home to one of the 20 best football clubs adds a new dimension – businesses can now say with confidence that they are based in a premier destination.”

Andy Newman, managing director of Newman Associates PR, has identified some longer-term projects which Norwich could concentrate on during the attention.

“There is good evidence that having a Premier League football team leads to increased applications for places at a city's universities, assists businesses to widen their reach and it will certainly boost Norwich's position as an important tourism destination,” he said.

“Perception of a city is so important and there is considerable evidence that cities with a Premier League football team tend to be thought of as 'premier league' themselves – more cosmopolitan, more dynamic and a better place to do business.

"The team has done the hard work on the pitch. Now it's time for the rest of us to follow behind and take full advantage of Norwich's Premier League status.”

Mark Loveday, an owner of the Last Wine Bar, said: “The football club has such a huge following in the city that when the team is doing well, there is a palpable feel-good factor around Norwich, which extends beyond those who go to the matches – the whole city has a buzz about it.

"For restaurants like us, that means that people are more inclined to go out in the city, and to forget for a few hours all the uncertainties which are currently part of all of our lives.

“Being in the Premier League will mean a much higher profile for the city both in the rest of the UK and indeed across the globe. That translates into more visitors, which in turn means more people eating out, using the pubs, bars and restaurants in the city."

The wine bar is planning a special German dinner in honour of manager Daniel Farke and the German players who have contributed to the club's success this season.

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