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Rangers commercial chief James Bisgrove aiming for off-field status of Euro heavyweights.


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32 minutes ago, MorelosRangers said:

The full article is on off the pitch. This is just a snippet

 

Here you go!

 

James Bisgrove is happy with the progress so far, but he is far from satisfied.

Despite the club increasing the number of commercial partners from 10 to 30 in the last year and a half –  a development the commercial and marketing director expects to almost double commercial partner revenue – Bisgrove wants the club to realise their commercial potential on a much larger scale.

The director of the Scottish giant is fully aware that there is a serious gap to be closed after being away from the biggest football scene for a few years.

In 2012, Glasgow Rangers were relegated to the Third Division in Scotland due to financial issues, and they did not return to the Scottish Premiership until four years later.

spacer.png

Photo:  James Bisgrove (centre) presenting the new deal with kit supplier Castore.

And despite being a world-known club – and brand – such a crisis means a lot of income goes down the drain. Revenue has to be rebuilt. Pound by pound. Obviously there is a solid platform to build on due to the great history of the club, but rebuilding revenue streams is hard work after being forced to spend four years far away from the Scottish top flight.

13.jpg

Final phase of recovery period

The raw numbers in the accounts tell a significant story about the journey that Bisgrove and everyone at Rangers FC is on. Back in 2016, the club managed to record €1.2 million in commercial revenue. If you compare that amount to arch rivals celtic FC, who in 2016 had commercial revenue of €16.8 million, it is clear just what a mountain executive management at Glasgow Rangers had to climb.

Despite growing annual revenues to £59m in the 2020 accounts, Rangers were still behind celtic who recorded revenues of £70m, but the gap is closing. Looking at the commercial income Rangers recorded €8 million in the 2020 accounts, where celtic had commercial revenue of £22.1 million. It should be noted though that the commercial figures from celtic also include their retail income.

Rangers commercial chief talks up digital as club seek slice of untapped Indian market

But next time Rangers fans glimpse the accounts from the Ibrox club they will see Rangers looking like a “pacy winger” with commercial revenue significantly improved.

“The club is now coming to the final phase of the recovery period. Where we have been, we had to recover, but we have been incredibly fortunate that we have had a committed group of investors such as Douglas Park (Chairman) and John Bennett (Vice Chairman) who have invested so heavily in the club, which has allowed us to kick on and focus on both domestic and international growth. Make no mistake, we still have a long way to go, if we want to realise the club's full commercial potential, but I feel that we have executed our strategy in an effective manner and maybe a little bit quicker than we thought.

“But there is no one at this club standing still. I would say that what you have seen lately on the pitch (where Rangers are top of the table) is reflecting what we try to achieve off the pitch as well,” says Bisgrove, who joined the Glasgow club in June 2019 after six years at UEFA and their commercial agency TEAM Marketing based in Switzerland, where he spent three years as Head of Sponsorship for the UEFA Champions and Europa leagues.

Not there yet

Who do Glasgow Rangers compare themselves to? How high are you aiming in terms of where you want to be as a club long term?

“Firstly, we have to acknowledge the variations in the broadcasting landscape and the very big differences in these revenues. If you end bottom of the table in the English Premier League you will receive around €100 million. If you end up winning the Scottish Premier League you would receive around €4 million. I guess that tells a story about what we are up against, and it also tells us why qualifying to Champions League is so important for us due to the revenues we could receive.

“But we benchmark ourselves to the top European clubs. And, in the short term, I am not talking about Real Madrid and Barcelona, but perhaps the likes of Porto, Ajax and Dortmund. We are not there yet – but we are on the way back as one of the biggest clubs in Europe,” says Bisgrove.

12.png

He is very persistent in explaining that everyone at the club is aware that it takes time to get back to that position – and details the long-term commercial initiatives that should lift the club in the future. As he said before in an interview with Off The Pitch, Rangers very much believe in gaining a solid place in the international landscape.

The connection is simply deeper

To this end, the Scottish footballing giants have developed relationships with academies and clubs in China, including Shanghai, and most recently a tie up with the Indian Super League champions, Bengaluru FC. Later on they also linked up with Orange County from California.

“We are pursuing this international strategy because we don’t have the automatic global profile like English Premier League clubs, who are being exposed to viewers all over the world several times every week due to the broadcast landscape. We must activate and pursue an international strategy directly and that is what we have sought to achieve through the strategic partnerships in India, in Bangalore, and in North America with Orange County. They give us a wider base and a platform to grow our wider commercial revenues,” Bisgrove explains.

By being present in a country through academy work, where local talents get the opportunity to come to Scotland to train, it is much easier to attract new fans. The connection is simply deeper – and local fans are keen to learn more about the club and the players.

“In the last 9 months, we have signed up nearly 30,000 MyGers members of Rangers around the world. And this is a paid membership that ranges from 15-50 pounds a year. Obviously, we have fans in the Middle East or in Australia because they have a Scottish connection, but we also see members signing up in new territories as we re-ignite our profile internationally,” Bisgrove says.

Need a global product offering

Members of the club are provided with access to a a variety of club experiences, which could be virtual Q&As with first team players or having the first option to buy the clubs new kit or limited edition whisky range.

Glasgow Rangers are proud of the club’s own OTT channel (RangersTV), he says, which has already generated some decent revenue. Some fans decide to watch a single match and pay €9.99 and others sign up for a whole year with access to every single game of the season for €250 a year.

“Having this international focus means that we need a global product offering and therefore we focus on activities in India and North America to grow our fan base there, but we also need to acknowledge that we have fans in South Africa, Romania and in Columbia, because we have some brilliant players from these countries. And we also want to make sure that we can generate revenue from fans in these countries, even though they may be supporting a single player more than they are fans of Rangers. So part of our international strategy is having excellent digital product offerings on our OTT channel (RangersTV), through our MyGers membership and on our social media platforms,” says Bisgrove.

Since he joined the club, Bisgrove has been focused on getting people on board with the right skill sets when it comes to data, brand building and a digital mindset. That focus has seen the international revenue grow – but it is also the backbone of the big rise in commercial partnerships over the last 18 months.

We knock on doors

“The data gathering and the business intelligence that we use is absolutely core when we go to the market. I believe that when we approach companies today we are much better at knowing which ones to talk to due to our insight from the data. So when we knock on doors we are confident that the person who opens the door is more willing to talk to us,” Bisgrove says, and adds:

“A key area for us is also our ability to prove the value of the partnership that we offer. Obviously the expectations from partners are increasing due to the amount of data and business intelligence being available, so we think it is important that we always show our partners, while we work together, the number of engagements they are receiving when we execute digital campaigns – or exploit other partnership rights – together. Club partners today obviously want a tangible return on their investment, and when we can prove that the things we do add value to their brand and bottom line, then that will support the conversation when we start talking about a renewal of the partnership,” he says.

Glasgow Rangers have a tiered model where they operate with global partners, who are signing six or seven figure deals, and below that group are the associate partners. In the next tier down comes a large group of supplier partners and the final tier is a new one called licensing partners.

That should never be forgotten

“That is a new segment for us – but we have high expectations. Next year is the 150th anniversary of the club so we expect the sales to see a solid boost. We’ve begun exploring a number of categories. It could be golf balls that we have developed together with Titleist, we have developed a few whiskies, highland wear, a Brian Laudrup Gin and many many more,” Bisgrove explains.

Although content with the commercial progress so far, Bisgrove does not hesitate to highlight the most important factor in these difficult times.

“We still have an income stream from around 46,000 season ticket holders and our hospitality clients. The support and loyalty of the Rangers fan base is humbling to everyone at the club. We know they cannot go to the stadium in the short term but still we have and rely on that revenue as part of our business model. That should never be forgotten when we talk about the work we do on the commercial front.”

In the club’s last accounts, matchday income was no less than €40.7 million – only €0.1 million smaller than celtic’s.

Source -  Off The Pitch

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43 minutes ago, JMac_88 said:

 

Here you go!

 

James Bisgrove is happy with the progress so far, but he is far from satisfied.

Despite the club increasing the number of commercial partners from 10 to 30 in the last year and a half –  a development the commercial and marketing director expects to almost double commercial partner revenue – Bisgrove wants the club to realise their commercial potential on a much larger scale.

The director of the Scottish giant is fully aware that there is a serious gap to be closed after being away from the biggest football scene for a few years.

In 2012, Glasgow Rangers were relegated to the Third Division in Scotland due to financial issues, and they did not return to the Scottish Premiership until four years later.

spacer.png

Photo:  James Bisgrove (centre) presenting the new deal with kit supplier Castore.

And despite being a world-known club – and brand – such a crisis means a lot of income goes down the drain. Revenue has to be rebuilt. Pound by pound. Obviously there is a solid platform to build on due to the great history of the club, but rebuilding revenue streams is hard work after being forced to spend four years far away from the Scottish top flight.

13.jpg

Final phase of recovery period

The raw numbers in the accounts tell a significant story about the journey that Bisgrove and everyone at Rangers FC is on. Back in 2016, the club managed to record €1.2 million in commercial revenue. If you compare that amount to arch rivals celtic FC, who in 2016 had commercial revenue of €16.8 million, it is clear just what a mountain executive management at Glasgow Rangers had to climb.

Despite growing annual revenues to £59m in the 2020 accounts, Rangers were still behind celtic who recorded revenues of £70m, but the gap is closing. Looking at the commercial income Rangers recorded €8 million in the 2020 accounts, where celtic had commercial revenue of £22.1 million. It should be noted though that the commercial figures from celtic also include their retail income.

Rangers commercial chief talks up digital as club seek slice of untapped Indian market

But next time Rangers fans glimpse the accounts from the Ibrox club they will see Rangers looking like a “pacy winger” with commercial revenue significantly improved.

“The club is now coming to the final phase of the recovery period. Where we have been, we had to recover, but we have been incredibly fortunate that we have had a committed group of investors such as Douglas Park (Chairman) and John Bennett (Vice Chairman) who have invested so heavily in the club, which has allowed us to kick on and focus on both domestic and international growth. Make no mistake, we still have a long way to go, if we want to realise the club's full commercial potential, but I feel that we have executed our strategy in an effective manner and maybe a little bit quicker than we thought.

“But there is no one at this club standing still. I would say that what you have seen lately on the pitch (where Rangers are top of the table) is reflecting what we try to achieve off the pitch as well,” says Bisgrove, who joined the Glasgow club in June 2019 after six years at UEFA and their commercial agency TEAM Marketing based in Switzerland, where he spent three years as Head of Sponsorship for the UEFA Champions and Europa leagues.

Not there yet

Who do Glasgow Rangers compare themselves to? How high are you aiming in terms of where you want to be as a club long term?

“Firstly, we have to acknowledge the variations in the broadcasting landscape and the very big differences in these revenues. If you end bottom of the table in the English Premier League you will receive around €100 million. If you end up winning the Scottish Premier League you would receive around €4 million. I guess that tells a story about what we are up against, and it also tells us why qualifying to Champions League is so important for us due to the revenues we could receive.

“But we benchmark ourselves to the top European clubs. And, in the short term, I am not talking about Real Madrid and Barcelona, but perhaps the likes of Porto, Ajax and Dortmund. We are not there yet – but we are on the way back as one of the biggest clubs in Europe,” says Bisgrove.

12.png

He is very persistent in explaining that everyone at the club is aware that it takes time to get back to that position – and details the long-term commercial initiatives that should lift the club in the future. As he said before in an interview with Off The Pitch, Rangers very much believe in gaining a solid place in the international landscape.

The connection is simply deeper

To this end, the Scottish footballing giants have developed relationships with academies and clubs in China, including Shanghai, and most recently a tie up with the Indian Super League champions, Bengaluru FC. Later on they also linked up with Orange County from California.

“We are pursuing this international strategy because we don’t have the automatic global profile like English Premier League clubs, who are being exposed to viewers all over the world several times every week due to the broadcast landscape. We must activate and pursue an international strategy directly and that is what we have sought to achieve through the strategic partnerships in India, in Bangalore, and in North America with Orange County. They give us a wider base and a platform to grow our wider commercial revenues,” Bisgrove explains.

By being present in a country through academy work, where local talents get the opportunity to come to Scotland to train, it is much easier to attract new fans. The connection is simply deeper – and local fans are keen to learn more about the club and the players.

“In the last 9 months, we have signed up nearly 30,000 MyGers members of Rangers around the world. And this is a paid membership that ranges from 15-50 pounds a year. Obviously, we have fans in the Middle East or in Australia because they have a Scottish connection, but we also see members signing up in new territories as we re-ignite our profile internationally,” Bisgrove says.

Need a global product offering

Members of the club are provided with access to a a variety of club experiences, which could be virtual Q&As with first team players or having the first option to buy the clubs new kit or limited edition whisky range.

Glasgow Rangers are proud of the club’s own OTT channel (RangersTV), he says, which has already generated some decent revenue. Some fans decide to watch a single match and pay €9.99 and others sign up for a whole year with access to every single game of the season for €250 a year.

“Having this international focus means that we need a global product offering and therefore we focus on activities in India and North America to grow our fan base there, but we also need to acknowledge that we have fans in South Africa, Romania and in Columbia, because we have some brilliant players from these countries. And we also want to make sure that we can generate revenue from fans in these countries, even though they may be supporting a single player more than they are fans of Rangers. So part of our international strategy is having excellent digital product offerings on our OTT channel (RangersTV), through our MyGers membership and on our social media platforms,” says Bisgrove.

Since he joined the club, Bisgrove has been focused on getting people on board with the right skill sets when it comes to data, brand building and a digital mindset. That focus has seen the international revenue grow – but it is also the backbone of the big rise in commercial partnerships over the last 18 months.

We knock on doors

“The data gathering and the business intelligence that we use is absolutely core when we go to the market. I believe that when we approach companies today we are much better at knowing which ones to talk to due to our insight from the data. So when we knock on doors we are confident that the person who opens the door is more willing to talk to us,” Bisgrove says, and adds:

“A key area for us is also our ability to prove the value of the partnership that we offer. Obviously the expectations from partners are increasing due to the amount of data and business intelligence being available, so we think it is important that we always show our partners, while we work together, the number of engagements they are receiving when we execute digital campaigns – or exploit other partnership rights – together. Club partners today obviously want a tangible return on their investment, and when we can prove that the things we do add value to their brand and bottom line, then that will support the conversation when we start talking about a renewal of the partnership,” he says.

Glasgow Rangers have a tiered model where they operate with global partners, who are signing six or seven figure deals, and below that group are the associate partners. In the next tier down comes a large group of supplier partners and the final tier is a new one called licensing partners.

That should never be forgotten

“That is a new segment for us – but we have high expectations. Next year is the 150th anniversary of the club so we expect the sales to see a solid boost. We’ve begun exploring a number of categories. It could be golf balls that we have developed together with Titleist, we have developed a few whiskies, highland wear, a Brian Laudrup Gin and many many more,” Bisgrove explains.

Although content with the commercial progress so far, Bisgrove does not hesitate to highlight the most important factor in these difficult times.

“We still have an income stream from around 46,000 season ticket holders and our hospitality clients. The support and loyalty of the Rangers fan base is humbling to everyone at the club. We know they cannot go to the stadium in the short term but still we have and rely on that revenue as part of our business model. That should never be forgotten when we talk about the work we do on the commercial front.”

In the club’s last accounts, matchday income was no less than €40.7 million – only €0.1 million smaller than celtic’s.

Source -  Off The Pitch

Legend 🙂🙌

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When you think back to the people who have been in that role in the past and did not really drive the commercial revenue that much...

I imagine when James came-in, he would of looked at the commercial department and thought to himself what have i walked into, as when Scott Steadman came-in awhile back it was reported that the commercial department had been cut from 21 to 3. So i imagine James would have had to basically spend his first few months building up the department again and considering he has really only been in the post around 1 year and 8 months he has transformed things dramatically.

it is crazy to think when James Came-in we only had around 10 partners and we have over his time vastly increased this.

Wee video of him speaking in Late 2019 at a Conference

 

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Results on the park are key to any club's commercial success, but it also takes a coherent plan and strategy to sustain that. Just look at the nick of the scum and they had it easy street for eight years whilst we clawed our way back. 

This guy appears to know what he's doing as we head in the right direction. 

"One title and the house of cards will collapse." Dave's premonition is proving him to be a visionary. 

Things are looking and feeling good. 

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We are moving in the right direction and it is clear in our on the pitchand off the pitch activities. The partnerships we are creating with companies, the affiliates we have in USA and India it is certainly night and day from where we are at.

Exciting times ahead

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On 10/01/2021 at 10:57, stuart1994 said:

Surely the three clubs he’s mentioned make most of their money in developing players than they do commercially ?

No mate! 
I seen an article and it showed you the commercial (including retail) monies these club make and it’s massive compared to us. Think Ajax and Porto was something like £50 million and Dortmund £160 million.

Even the tramp have about £20 million more than us in commercial income via sponsorship and kit sales.

 

Just shows you how much of a mess we were in under Ashley, etc!

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