Hull City FC is bidding to build on the club’s success following the recent takeover by media entrepreneur Acun Ilicali,.
The club has formed a partnership with digital performance marketing business 43 Clicks which aims to increase revenue from memberships, merchandise and match-day ticket sales.
Mike Ellis, managing director of 43 Clicks North, said the deal strengthens the company’s expanding activities in the world of sport and will also support his efforts to develop Hull’s pool of digital talent.
Jamie Thomas, Hull City’s marketing manager, said the club has started the new season brightly on and off the pitch.
Sales of memberships have climbed to 12,500 from 8,500 last season and average attendance for the first three home games is more than 17,000 compared with 12,000 last season. Merchandise sales have also rocketed, with fans clamouring to buy replica kit including the “blackout” design shirt, which use has been extended a further season due to its popularity.
Thomas said: “We have seen a huge surge in interest for memberships and match-day tickets since the end of last season and we want to push that a bit further if we can. With retail the chairman has made a big investment into the amount of stock we have ordered to avoid some of the slight issues we had last season with unexpectedly high demand for certain items. Credit too to Corendon Airlines, the new front of shirt sponsors who agreed to continue the blackout design and for allowing us to use a monochrome version of their logo. The new home kit has gone back to a retro feel and has been well received, as has the away kit, which pays homage to the strips of the 1980s. It’s always a nervous time launching a new kit but this is one of the most successful we have done.”
He added that the club is also exploring international markets, including the new chairman’s native Turkey as well as areas such as the US, Australia and the Nordic countries and western Europe. Expanding into new markets is another target of these digital campaigns.
“Our membership subscription model is only operated by one other club in the EFL but 43 Clicks North have experience of it from their work in other sports,” Thomas said. ““We’re acutely aware of the need to balance expanding the club’s brand recognition globally with still being a cornerstone of the city that we represent. This includes continuing to work with local businesses such as 43 Clicks North.”
43 Clicks North agreed a deal earlier this year to promote match ticket sales for Leeds Rhinos and will now use its skills in paid social and paid search to engage Hull City’s online audiences and provide them with the best experience possible.
He said: “The purpose is to provide digital performance marketing for businesses and it’s not just about the bottom line. It’s about trying to unblock the challenges to a business and drive real, measurable performance by creating new customers and increasing customer retention across the board.”