Everton gave an update on the club’s international strategy, including the Blues’ continued expansion into the United States.
The club provided a detailed update earlier in the week on several aspects including season ticket prices and the prospect of increased business opportunities at Bramley-Moore Dock.
But also covered was the very latest in terms of Everton’s international strategy.
Richard Kenyon – director of communications, revenue and international growth for the Blues – revealed the importance of the club’s offices in the United States in helping them have a presence overseas.
He said: “We spent a lot of time designing our international strategy and we wanted it to be something sustainable and long-term.
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“You can create a lot of engagement, a lot of connections, with supporters and brands using technology and doing it virtually, but we thought it would be important for us to be in those territories.
“We have a presence in Miami, where we have a team based in the United States, and that has worked really well for us so far. Again, it’s about having a presence there that can drive growth and engagement around fan clubs, around our affiliate program, and our football schools program, and also help us in terms of prospecting for potential partners and servicing existing partners.
“Having people in these places where we are working very hard to grow, we thought was really important and so far in the first year of operation it has certainly been justified.”
Focusing more on the United States, Kenyon also revealed the latest news on the football schools launched by the club just before the pandemic hit.
The Blues chief admitted there had been very good progress on that front to get younger players involved in the game and to have an early affiliation with Everton.
“We had that as one of the pillars of our international strategy, to grow and develop our young fans in the United States, and the soccer camps were a way to do that. We started that in earnest last year,” Kenyon added.
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“It was really a pilot year and we were really, really happy with the result. We had thousands of kids playing recreational football in about 15 states in the US, and it was a really good first year.
“These were recreational programs – so the young players would come and have a good time playing football and learn a bit more about Everton and engage with Everton at the same time.
“It was a good way to reach people who are interested in football, football, the Premier League, at a very young age and to try to become aware of Everton and integrate it into an affinity with Everton and the support of Everton.
“We were really excited about it and again, it’s a really good engagement tactic for us, but it’s also revenue growth that we can reinvest in the program, grow it and grow it even more. “
Everton’s affiliate program has also been an integral part of the club’s international strategy in recent months and years.
Many clubs have already signed up and Kenyon stressed the importance of building a network and meaningful relationships between teams, while not primarily being set up to identify potential talent for the Blues.
He added: “The affiliate program is generally aimed at older, more elite players and again it has worked very well for us. We have had several affiliates based in the US, we also have in Ireland, South America and Australia.
“We signed another one this week in Florida, which came straight from our visit to the Florida Cup last year. It’s also a source of income for us, and it’s a really good way to connect trainers from all over the world.
“So it’s really about building meaningful relationships with the football club that we hope will last a long time. It’s not set up from a talent identification perspective but, we you never know, it’s an advantage that could benefit Everton and our affiliate clubs around the world.
“But, really, it’s about building a network, building that engagement with Everton on the pitch, and that’s worked really well for us over the last 12 or 18 months.
“As restrictions start to lift and travel will get easier, we are really excited to be able to do more this year and certainly on the football camp program in the United States we are already seeing a lot more interest in that and it’s going to be a very exciting summer for Everton in the United States, I’m sure.”