GWS is genius. Seriously. I know that I always say that they should hire me (which they should) but there are certainly clubs in the AFL that need me more (Brisbane, North, Melbourne, and especially Port for instance) because GWS is blowing my mind with their marketing techniques. Shall I demonstrate.
At the beginning, they had Israel Folau. Regardless of what you have to say about Folau’s ability you have to admit that he was a big draw for GWS. I’ve done two posts (here and here) that discuss his value to the team and I think that now, looking back, we can say that although he wasn’t a tremendous player he was certainly a great marketing technique. We don’t know how many people attended games just to see Folau play but the jersey sales speak for themselves (72% of jerseys sold were number 4 – Folau’s number). But we’ve talked about this before – so why am I writing again?
Because Kevin Sheedy threw down the gauntlet, that’s why. On Twitter, he issued a challenge to the Gold Coast Suns, Bluey McKenna in particular, for who could reach 10,000 members first. They responded in kind and the terms of the bet are that the loser walks on the beach (a busy beach, I’m guessing) in a budgie smuggler with the other team’s logo/colours. THIS IS GENIUS.
First off, this is the perfect rivalry. I know that some people want there to be a Sydney rivalry between GWS and the Swans, but this is certainly not the time for that. The Swans are premiers and GWS are too green (ha ha, green giants, I crack me up) for this rivalry to work just yet. But GWS and GC? It’s perfect. They’re both new teams with young guys and legends for coaches.
Secondly, the fans can really get involved. If GWS milks this (which they should) then it provides a perfect opportunity for fans to get involved with their team. Even though I live 2 hours out of Sydney, I am THISCLOSE to buying a membership to help GWS make this happen (although, I must admit, it would be AMAZING to see Sheeds in a Gold Coast budgie smugler – decisions, decisions). I can promise I’m not the only person who feels that way.
And finally, GWS benefits. This is a win-win situation. If GWS beats Gold Coast, then they get 10,000 members. Obviously a good thing. And if they lose, then Kevin Sheedy will show Australia, yet again, how awesome he is. No one would think less of him for rocking that teeny bikini – they’d think he was awesome.
Not only does GWS benefit, but Gold Coast and the AFL benefit (sorry, I guess there was one more thing!). Gold Coast gets the same advantages (more members or the chance to be called ‘mad’ by the Australian population) and the AFL has financial perks. They likely won’t have to pump money into the expansion teams, plus they get more exposure (without having to do anything) and involvement in Queensland – which is one of their “problem areas.” Good work, Sheeds – you’ve done a good thing all around!
GWS – your marketing rocks my world. This may not have been intentional, but everyone is going to get some serious exposure for this. Just make sure the AFL puts it on it’s home page.
I almost forgot – if you want to help GWS win, go to their membership page here. And if you want to help Gold Coast win… well, you can find it yourself 🙂