World ice hockey final 2014

Finland, Helsinki, Ice Hockey, Photography, Sport

Finland made it to the final of the annual world ice hockey tournament. This tournament loses value in that it is held every year, including years when the Olympics are on and doesn’t feature the top players who are appearing in NHL finals. It would be the equivalent if holding the World Cup at the same time as the later stages of the champions league.

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Still the final last Sunday was an enjoyable occasion. It seems that one Helsinki bar has worked out that a terrace + huge clear screen + rock band in Finland shirts and kilts is a winning formula. That bar was working all night and even outside the terrace, many bystanders watched the game with drinks purchased there. Would it be too much to expect the same experience during the World Cup?

The worst football violence I have witnessed

1990s, Football, Travel, Video

Just chatting with someboday and they brought up the subject of football violence. I’ve been to quite a few games and I was thinking which one was the worst in terms of violence. It was actually the first international game that I went to. Poland against England in 1993 in Katowice. Luckily, there is a video on youtube that shows some of the mayhem that went on that day.

The violence only took place among the Polish fans. The English fans were barricaded into their own section and surrounded by police. I was sitting on the other side of the stadium and I think that I spent more time watching the terraces rather than the football itself.

The game ended 1-1.

Arsenal and CRM returning £150 million from sponsorship deal

CRM, Football, Sport, Tech, Thought Provoking

It seems that Arsenal are already making back what they invested in their CRM system and Marketing Week reports that it was a key factor in the decision by Emirates to sponsor Arsenal.

he Premier League club announced plans to put a new CRM system at the heart of its marketing activity this year. Emirates, which will receive a number of additional marketing rights from Arsenal as part of its new deal, says the system will lead to more “effective” marketing campaigns through the club’s customer shop, Facebook page and stadium on match-days

It shows the increasing use of CRM by major football clubs in England and this will grow for the increasing amount of revenue that could be generated by fans who don’t attend games.

“If we stop associating members with ticket access that will change the game; it’s about fan experiences. We are investing in a CRM system to register interests and passions so we can then send those people on appropriate journeys of affinity and provide access at an appropriate level.”

The club is looking to pull together customer data from its customer shop, its 10.5 million Facebook fans and official Twitter account’s 1.5 million followers and target them with different offers and membership options as it changes its definition of club “membership”. It will also introduce social sign-ins across its digital platforms to help drive additional value through Facebook.

It would be interesting to know which CRM application they used. Probably not Siebel with all of the links to social networking that the system needs to work.

Villa Preview 2012

Football, Sport

The Guardian previews Aston Villa ahead of the new English premier league campaign. It seems quite lightly optimistic in tone but still, when compared to the years of 5th and 6th place finishes quite depressing for me. But I doubt how it can get worse after last year even if we did avoid relegation.

So, all in all, the new Villa manager has quite a job on his hands, although it is one that he should relish. The fans will be right behind him and the only immediate pressure Lambert will be under is the pressure that he puts on himself. Serve up some expansive football and avoid being mentioned in the same breath as a relegation battle and Villa, after two miserable years, will be heading in the right direction. That, together with some more good news about Stilian Petrov winning his battle against acute leukaemia, should give Villa supporters something to smile about.

Guardian writers’ predicted position 12th

Why buying shares in Manchester United doesn’t make sense

Finance, Football, Sport

Analysis from the financial side in the Guardian.

Among the many reasons not to buy shares in Manchester United in the forthcoming flotation on the New York Stock Exchange are the pure, cold financial numbers. The updated prospectus shows what happens when the team flops in the Champions League: ignoring a one-off tax credit, the club will report a small operating loss from continuing operations for the 12 months to June this year; and revenues will be about 4% lower than the previous year at £315m-£320m.

Yet the Glazers hope buyers can be found for Man Utd at a price tag of almost $3bn (£1.9bn). Six times revenues! That’s a rating associated with go-go technology stocks where income doubles every couple of years. At Man United, despite the Glazer camp’s boasts about greater commercial adventure and bigger sponsorship deals, revenues have advanced by a grand total of 14% over the course of the past three years.