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"We may be the first Sports Club in the World to offer this Kind of Platform"

Once again the Wolves proved that they are one of the most innovative football clubs in the world. As the first club they introduced a self-service ad platform last week. Of course we needed to talk to their Head of Digital, Richard Pepper, about this new solution.

You recently introduced a self-serve ads platform for the Wolves website. I never saw this at a football club before, are you the first?
Yes we believe we may be the first sports club in the world to offer this kind of platform, we certainly couldn’t find any others whilst researching the project.

Why did you choose to offer this solution, what’s the intention?
There’s a bit of a vacuum at the moment for smaller businesses who’d like to reach our supporters, they’re currently priced out of traditional sports sponsorship packages. We were keen to find a way these businesses could connect with our supporters based on their own budgets.

Did you define goals for the tool, any KPI’s you are looking at?
Clearly all these businesses will be advertising using traditional social ad platforms so one of the main goals was to create a familiar experience to make things as simple and easy as possible.
In terms of performance we have set goals for the % inventory to sell.

At the moment it offers only one placement on the website. Do you think this could be extended to more items and different platforms as well?
Absolutely, our aim is to expand the inventory available on the platform to offer as much choice as possible without flooding our platforms with advertisements.

Do you think this is something for every football club? Or do you see any limitations, for example to reach a certain number of website visitors to be attractive enough?
I believe a self-service commercial purchasing platform like this is absolutely something every club could make use of, although the implementation will change depending on inventory available and current commercial commitments.

What do you base the prices on?
We use a CPM price model comparable to other online ad networks which we plan to review regularly. Prices are higher on matchdays to account for the prestige and added engagement we see on those days.
The beauty of the platform is that we have full control over price models and take 100% of the net revenue.

When did you start developing the platform and how long did it take?
We began developing the platform in November 2020 and the site was fully launched in early February so around 3-4 months.

Did you create it in-house?
The platform was developed in partnership with a development agency that forms part of our ownership group. This gave us a good level of control to get exactly the platform we needed in an extremely quick turnaround.
For our partners they now have a platform that can easily be reskinned for other clubs and organisations anywhere in the world that has a desire to sell advertising online.

What are the next steps? I’m pretty sure you will expand the offer, right?
Yes we are already working on phase two of the project to include targeting options and an expanded inventory.

Finally, you are Head of Digital at the club, what else can we expect from the Wolves in the future? Any other projects you are working on?
My main focus through my work at the club is on improving experiences for supporters at home and at Molineux through our website and app. We’ve got a number of ambitious features we’re hoping to launch in the next 12 months to really offer a unique matchday digital offering to complement the experience of watching on tv at home or in person at the stadium.

Have a look at the platform: https://ads.wolves.co.uk

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