Saturday, 12 November 2011

Naming the Asda:bowl

There have been a couple of interesting stories in the last couple of weeks in which Franchise's Sales and Marketing Director, Andrew Cullen, has been quoted, and in which he's used some very odd phrasing about how money goes to Franchise FC. Most recent was a story about selling the naming rights to Winkelman's stadium:

Cullen is quoted as saying,  "It’s no secret that the club would be seeking a naming rights deal, especially as revenue generated from such a partnership would enhance the competitiveness of MK Dons Football Club." Now that's odd for two reasons - 1) The football club doesn't own the stadium and therefore it's not the club that has the naming rights, and 2) What is this odd phrase "enhance the competitiveness"? If he means 'will get money from', then why doesn't he say that? How else is changing the name of the stadium supposed to 'enhance the competitiveness' of the football team that plays in it? Is calling it the Superpoopermarket Winkybowl, or whatever sponsor they get for it, supposed to fire the players with enthusiasm or make the crowd louder? Clearly not, so why the odd choice of words from Cullen?

I think the answer is obvious when you consider point 1) above. The football club doesn't own the stadium, its parent company InterMK does. Certainly InterMK could direct any monies received from naming rights to the football club, but for accounting purposes that money will have to go to InterMK. Indeed, it's not unreasonable to suggest that with an ownership structure such as Franchise has, they have to be very careful not to misrepresent matters such as this so that they can't be accused of fraud. If naming rights were sold on the basis of the money going directly to the football club, when in fact they went to InterMK, then that would be fraud, so you can bet your bottom dollar that Winkelman's not going to make that mistake. 

Cullen's careful use of words to describe dealings regarding the stadium can also be noted in his response to an email from one of the Franchise customers:

In his response Cullen uses the key phrase, "we want to encourage as many supporters to use red dot bar as money spent there will trickle down to the club". "Trickle down" - yes, that does mean exactly what you think it does, the football club will only see a fraction of the money from the bar, if anything at all. Cullen's response also confirms my earlier posting on the status of the hotel bar's ownership: There's no guarantee that a single penny spent in the hotel or bar would ever end up with the football club.

On a thread discussing the naming rights issue, just one of the Franchise customers manages to spot the key fact that the club doesn't own the stadium, but it's lost in the welter of poor saps falling for the classic Winkelman "enthusiasm" about Milton Keynes: 

Will the Franchise customers ever wake up to what's actually going on? I doubt it. They've swallowed the Winkelman hype wholseale for 9 years, so I see no reason for that to change now. However, there are the initial rumblings of dissatisfaction about lack of money spent on the team. How ironic it will be if the customers finally get up in arms about something if it's based on all the money InterMK has been or will be making from the property deal and stadium, money which they think has gone to the football club! They aren't all that dumb - or shall I be kind and say 'misinformed'? - but there are enough of them calling for Winkelman to dip into the £56m from the property deal ( to suggest that understanding who owns what still isn't very high on the priority list for many Franchise customers. Well, what else can you expect from customers? It's not like they're bothered about which football club it is playing in Winkelman's stadium, any Football League club would have done.

No comments:

Post a Comment