Appointing a new manager is a pretty big deal for football clubs, and as such gets a lot of attention from the press. That’s why clubs have whole strategies around announcing such news. There’s the photos to plan and the press releases to write, and that’s without the moment when you actually release the news itself.
For that final, crucial, point in the plan, the powers that be at Crystal Palace – for reasons that remain unknown – decided to turn to the club’s shirt sponsors Neteller to break this very important news.
— NETELLER (@NETELLER) August 27, 2014
Not only did the news not go down too well with fans – who rightly feel the club should really be the ones to put this kind of thing into the public domain – but it seems even the club’s own comms team are aggrieved at being overlooked with a few hastily-removed tweets explaining that the decision was out of their hands. With all of the eyeballs and attention Neteller are now getting for breaking the news, the decision appears to have been purely commercially driven and potentially included as an add-on to their sponsorship of the club.
Player and managerial announcements generate easy positive headlines for clubs and are often accompanied by images of their new charges. When Angel Di Maria signed for Man United this week, for example, the club’s tweet was accompanied by an interesting shot which was dissected by marketing and commercial strategy consultant Ben Wells:
— Ben Wells (@Ben_Wells1) August 26, 2014
Attempting to monetise announcements is an interesting move from clubs, and not too dissimilar to the decision made by Newcastle United to apparently only allow selected media partners access to club staff.