JDG Sport Shorts #1

In a new series, every fortnight we’ll bring you a few sport shorts based around what we come across in the industry both working for our clients and publications.

Clubs are publications now too

If you’ve any interest in sports journalism, you should have come across William Watt. He has been covering the, shall we say, rollercoaster journey of Blackpool FC in recent years and has enough bizarre football media anecdotes to last a lifeline.

He has taken the decision to leave the Blackpool Gazette for a Head of Comms role at Fleetwood Town FC. Clubs are getting more and more savvy with their media and marketing, realising that they now are publications within themselves.

Recruiting bonafide journalists and experienced media people, such as this appointment, is the next step for some clubs. These people know what the media is about, they know what fans want to read and most importantly, can come up with good content that engages fans – not the permanent community and commercial claptrap that some clubs get an office assistant to churn out.

What working relationship?

We ran a story recently on one of our publications that wasn’t received particularly well by the club in question. I won’t mention the club, but their exact words were “we don’t want this to damage our working relationship.”

This is a working relationship whereby we don’t get responses to emails or calls requesting player interviews, no invitations to press conferences, no press releases and no general co-operation with enquiries. Perhaps if some clubs realised that dealing with the media is a two-way process, then maybe we would be more appreciative of their concerns when they are raised.

Room with a view

And finally… following the delights of non-league football means you come across a variety of bizarre grounds. One thing that is regularly commented on is why people who live in houses adjacent to grounds, with a view of the pitch, are never seen watching the game.

As a sports nut, I can’t think of anywhere else I’d want to be when a game was on (apart from in the ground of course). Well it seems one Featherstone Rovers fan has sensed an opportunity, and is offering tickets to watch their do-or-die match against Bradford, expected to be a sellout, on Sunday from his house. Check it out on Gumtree.

We’ll try and give a bit of an insider insight to the wonderful world of sport every few weeks in this column. Stay tuned.

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