Aston Villa’s Preseason Commercial Dilemmas
If the Premier League season of 2022/23 finished on a high for Aston Villa, with the Unai Emery resurgence leading to European football once again, the preseason has thrown supporters all kinds of curve balls to process. First came the departure of outgoing CEO Christian Purslow. Villa elected not to replace him, instead they elected two presidents – one to take care of the football side and one to oversee business operations.
While Villa await the arrival of Monchi from Sevilla to relink up with Emery, after just four weeks in the job, President of Business Operations, Chris Heck, has already caused a stir amongst the fanbase by halting the full new badge rebrand.
As part of the Fan Advisory Board, MOMS, met with Heck this week to get his thoughts on the decision and more.
The legacy shirt sponsors BK8 and Trade Nation were before Heck’s involvement, but it is understood he’s not too impressed with the deals, in terms of their lack of scope in providing a partnership to give the club global reach.
The badge though is the big talking point. The new badge that was created under Purslow will be rolled out on the shirts, but held back from any other branding. In short, Heck isn’t too impressed by the potential of the badge and its lack of uniqueness compared to the rest of the Premier League.
MOMS was involved in the ‘consultation’ process for the badge and despite a very constructive first meeting, it was downhill from there in terms of the Villa marketing department being open to input given at that first meeting. The final design seemed to walk into the concerns MOMS had raised during that same first meeting, with the club ending up with a badge that is very similar to Chelsea and shares the same style as Brentford and Brighton.
While the badge is fine on a 7/10 kind of level, Heck and the owners are very much looking at the big picture. It is not exactly differentiating the club as unique or special to a potential new international fanbase.
Heck stated in the meeting he wanted to see how the badge was received over the season, before making any moves. The fact that the North Stand rebuild hasn’t started yet, perhaps has influenced the decision. After all, if you had to do a full rebrand now, you would have to refit the current North Stand with all it’s offices, hospitality and concourses etc, only to then demolish it. That’s a serious wasted outlay.
On the latest episode of the My Old Man Said podcast we look back at the meeting with Chris Heck and go into the method behind the perceived madness of two badges. We also discuss the low-key kit launch, the two sponsor announcements that have provided a mixed reaction amongst the fanbase, and look at the fixture list too.
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David Michael – @oldmansaid
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