West Coast winning the money game

DESPITE finishing below the Fremantle Dockers at the end of the 2000 AFL season, the West Coast Eagles look set to keep winning the financial battle.

Eagles marketing manager Ross Nicholas said most of the club’s sponsors had indicated they would stay with the club.

“We would like to think our brand, which we have spent the past two years strengthening, is strong enough to survive a downturn in on-field successes,” Mr Nicholas said.

Off the field the Eagles have the second highest number of members in the competition with 38,868, behind Adelaide (42,896).

“There’s not too many more we could fit in,” Mr Nicholas said.

Conroy Marketing principal Peter Conroy believes West Coast would have to endure several bad years before it started having an impact on the club’s sponsors.

“They have a waiting list on the sponsorship side at the Eagles,” Mr Conroy said.

“On the other hand, the final result is a good boost for the Dockers. It gives them bragging rights.”

Vision Events Management director Peter Hesketh said sponsors that had stayed with the Dockers would reap rewards as the club’s performances improved.

“The public looks at a team that’s winning all the time and think that’s the one everyone wants to back,” Mr Hesketh said.

“However, there is much more brand loyalty built up for a company that stays with a team while it’s down.

“AlintaGas has reaped huge value from sticking with the Dockers – and the team have managed to attract BankWest. You can’t get much bigger backers in WA than BankWest and Alinta.

“These things come in cycles. The Eagles will come good again but it’s the Dockers’ time now.”

Fremantle marketing manager Vern Reid said, financially, the club was rated fifth in the league.

Mr Reid said the marketplace would soon provide reaction to the clubs’ performance this year.

“Our position at the end of this year could have a better impact on membership,” Mr Reid said.

“Philosophically we’re better off being 12th on the ladder than 15th, which we were last year.”

He said the club would have been in a better marketing position it if had finished in the final eight, but was still in a ‘reasonable position’ to continue progressing football in WA.

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