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JHRover

Matchday Programme

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The only reason I wouldn't actually do that Tony is if the situation is as Parson says, some kid with zero experience and no deep understanding of our club is trying his  level best in demanding circumstances. 

I wouldn't want someone at that stage of their career being humiliated when the blame lies a little higher. 

Parson has mentioned we have a head of media. He's been here quite a few years now but it's a fair bet 95% of fans wouldn't know his name or recognise him in the street. 

I'll make no further comment! 

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14 minutes ago, meadows said:

The only reason I wouldn't actually do that Tony is if the situation is as Parson says, some kid with zero experience and no deep understanding of our club is trying his  level best in demanding circumstances. 

I wouldn't want someone at that stage of their career being humiliated when the blame lies a little higher. 

Parson has mentioned we have a head of media. He's been here quite a few years now but it's a fair bet 95% of fans wouldn't know his name or recognise him in the street. 

I'll make no further comment! 

That is fair enough Jim but if nobody complains then the club will just carry on producing an inferior product which doesn't appear to represent value for money. Maybe one for the Fans Forum to bring up.

Do you know if the club make any profit on programme sales?

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11 minutes ago, arbitro said:

That is fair enough Jim but if nobody complains then the club will just carry on producing an inferior product which doesn't appear to represent value for money. Maybe one for the Fans Forum to bring up.

Do you know if the club make any profit on programme sales?

I wouldnt think they make anything on the actual sale of the programmes but will make money on the adverts that are placed in it.

In the Championship we only produced 3000 programmes per match. Will be even less now.

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Lets suppose that out of the 3,000 they produce that 2,500 are sold for £3 each with the other 500ish given out to corporates/players or not sold.

The club will make something on a programme sale. It won't cost £3 per unit to produce a programme. I'd be surprised/bemused if a programme cost more than £1.50 to print/assemble although I know very little of the printing industry. Lets suppose the club 'only' makes £1 per programme sale. If they sell 2,500 per game that's £2,500 before any sponsorship receipts. Over a season that's £60,000.

I don't think it is unreasonable to expect the club to employ someone on £10-15,000 a year to take responsibility to produce a proper programme. One a fortnight shouldn't need a full time employee. I'm sure there are some Rovers fans who would enjoy preparing a programme if they were paid to do it.

A wild idea I know but maybe if the programme was actually worth reading and contained interesting things then maybe more people would buy them thereby increasing revenues?

I know it got mentioned at a Fans Forum meeting the other year that people weren't happy with the standard of the programme so instead of taking steps to improve it they suggested reducing its size and price. Seems they've managed to reduce the size, but have overlooked a price reduction.

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1 hour ago, HowieFive0 said:

I wouldnt think they make anything on the actual sale of the programmes but will make money on the adverts that are placed in it.

In the Championship we only produced 3000 programmes per match. Will be even less now.

When I was working I dealt with a few different printers for labels and forms and the biggest cost was in setting the printing presses up. I always got a better price for buying larger quantities i.e. £100 for 1000 and £50 for every 1000 after that. I would expect the Rovers programmes to be the same otherwise somebody isn't doing their job properly.

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50 minutes ago, arbitro said:

When I was working I dealt with a few different printers for labels and forms and the biggest cost was in setting the printing presses up. I always got a better price for buying larger quantities i.e. £100 for 1000 and £50 for every 1000 after that. I would expect the Rovers programmes to be the same otherwise somebody isn't doing their job properly.

The biggest cost is the price of paper.Printing presses are ready to rock n roll whatever the job put on them.

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5 hours ago, Parsonblue said:

Not everybody uses apps J*B.  I believe some clubs do offer it as an app as well as a paper copy for the 'traditionalists' - a polite term for old gits like me. Ultimately, the product is garbage no matter how it is delivered.

I do realise that, but an app would offer much more interactive reading at a fraction of the price. Its the way the world is going and unfortunately is a case of get on board or stay at the station. Eventually it will happen and I see no reason why it shouldn't happen now. A subscription service at say £1 per home game for all programmes or £2.50 one off download - brilliant, read it on the way in, pre match, half time, full time, whenever you want. It would also reduce the pressure on the writer as you could include content e.g. interviews, training ground footage. Its really simple stuff, but unfortunately as a club we seem to be happy to be left behind. See 'Radio Rovers' which could have been retained for hardly any cost and made accessible via an App also. Make it a subscription service and start bringing money in for once. 

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You can do all these things and retain a fine, award-winning programme. There's a great example 15 miles up the M65 at Burnley. 

 

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32 minutes ago, J*B said:

I do realise that, but an app would offer much more interactive reading at a fraction of the price. Its the way the world is going and unfortunately is a case of get on board or stay at the station. Eventually it will happen and I see no reason why it shouldn't happen now. A subscription service at say £1 per home game for all programmes or £2.50 one off download - brilliant, read it on the way in, pre match, half time, full time, whenever you want. It would also reduce the pressure on the writer as you could include content e.g. interviews, training ground footage. Its really simple stuff, but unfortunately as a club we seem to be happy to be left behind. See 'Radio Rovers' which could have been retained for hardly any cost and made accessible via an App also. Make it a subscription service and start bringing money in for once. 

Whether to offer an interactive service is another issue. To begin with we need to get our house in order and offer a programme that is worth buying/reading. The current 'effort' is the culmination of years of a couldn't care less attitude whereby even the basic things of matchday such as the programme and entertainment are falling well short of what should be expected.

Until there is acceptance at management level that the existing programme and content is frankly an embarrassment for a club of this size then efforts to transfer it to digital format will be a waste. Nobody bar those who collect or have a habit of buying programmes will part with £3 every game to read that rubbish.

I understand that these days of internet, twitter etc. that a matchday programme no longer offers the breaking news and inside track on club activity as it might have done 20 years ago but it doesn't excuse a complete lack of effort or imagination. I suspect the individual who has been handed this responsibility isn't really up to the job but like with other things at the club its a make do and mend patch-up job rather than going out and finding someone to do the job who will actually be good at it.

I've always seen the matchday programme as an opportunity to showcase the club. It is the one thing away supporters will buy and take home with them to read through and learn about this club. I therefore would like to see a professional effort where supporters of other clubs are impressed with the standards we offer. There are clubs I have visited over the years and I buy their programmes and some are packed from front to back with interesting information contained in a smart, professional design. At least we've moved on from the cartoon days where the programme looked like a 'Match' magazine but the content has dropped instead. Visiting supporters will get arguably the worst value for money product in the league, vastly inferior to those seen at most League Two clubs. As our customer base is multiple times larger than clubs in this league I refuse to accept that it cannot be done if the club want it to.

It also irritates me when I see our honours as 1x Premier League title and 2x First Division title. It should be 3x Premier League/First Division.

Edited by JHRover

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1 minute ago, meadows said:

You can do all these things and retain a fine, award-winning programme. There's a great example 15 miles up the M65 at Burnley. 

 

You can't do the interactive content e.g. visual interviews, training ground footage, simulations of tactics, replays of previous games, old footage in any programme at all. It has to be interactive and used alongside a phone. People read less and less, its the wrong way to go.

Blackpool have just released a new programme which uses QR codes to bring up footage but that relies on immediate internet signal, something that isn't always accessible at Ewood. To get around this you release it in a similar way as a Podcast, downloading the programme every Saturday morning whilst connected to WiFi.

I would bet, with any sort of decent technical nouse; The total amount of programmes sold would grow, the production costs would be lower and the profit would be higher.

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1 minute ago, JHRover said:

Whether to offer an interactive service is another issue. To begin with we need to get our house in order and offer a programme that is worth buying/reading. The current 'effort' is the culmination of years of a couldn't care less attitude whereby even the basic things of matchday such as the programme and entertainment are falling well short of what should be expected.

Until there is acceptance at management level that the existing programme and content is frankly an embarrassment for a club of this size then efforts to transfer it to digital format will be a waste. Nobody bar those who collect or have a habit of buying programmes will part with £3 every game to read that rubbish.

I understand that these days of internet, twitter etc. that a matchday programme no longer offers the breaking news and inside track on club activity as it might have done 20 years ago but it doesn't excuse a complete lack of effort or imagination. I suspect the individual who has been handed this responsibility isn't really up to the job but like with other things at the club its a make do and mend patch-up job rather than going out and finding someone to do the job who will actually be good at it.

I've always seen the matchday programme as an opportunity to showcase the club. It is the one thing away supporters will buy and take home with them to read through and learn about this club. I therefore would like to see a professional effort where supporters of other clubs are impressed with the standards we offer. There are clubs I have visited over the years and I buy their programmes and some are packed from front to back with interesting information contained in a smart, professional design. At least we've moved on from the cartoon days where the programme looked like a 'Match' magazine but the content has dropped instead. Visiting supporters will get arguably the worst value for money product in the league, vastly inferior to those seen at most League Two clubs. As our customer base is multiple times larger than clubs in this league I refuse to accept that it cannot be done if the club want it to.

It also irritates me when I see our honours as 1x Premier League title and 2x First Division title. It should be 3x Premier League/First Division.

I disagree with 'couldn't care less attitude' as I know its not the case, I know the marketing people at Ewood and know they'd love to create a brilliant programme, but budget cuts are all over the place and things like programmes are first to go, especially when readership is so low. It wouldn't surprise me if for your average league game the programmes actually make a loss, so of course its going to get cuts - which is in turn going to reduce the quality (whether thats physically or in content). 

All it takes is the club to hire someone (that costs) or trust the existing marketing team to create something different and modern. Theres money to be made for anyone who can execute a brilliantly interactive digital download programme... or should I say convince Pasha that its worth doing. 

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7 minutes ago, J*B said:

I disagree with 'couldn't care less attitude' as I know its not the case, I know the marketing people at Ewood and know they'd love to create a brilliant programme, but budget cuts are all over the place and things like programmes are first to go, especially when readership is so low. It wouldn't surprise me if for your average league game the programmes actually make a loss, so of course its going to get cuts - which is in turn going to reduce the quality (whether thats physically or in content). 

All it takes is the club to hire someone (that costs) or trust the existing marketing team to create something different and modern. Theres money to be made for anyone who can execute a brilliantly interactive digital download programme... or should I say convince Pasha that its worth doing. 

My point is how/why are budget cuts affecting production of a quality programme when Rochdale etc. are able to do it perfectly well on much lower revenues? Each programme sold must make the club some money, so surely it is in the club's interest to sell more by offering a better product?

If our programme is a loss maker then is it the case that all league club programmes are a loss maker? If not then what are they doing differently to us?

All it takes is to pay someone who is retired/semi retired with an interest in Rovers/football who can spend the fortnight between games compiling some interesting facts and typing up some interviews, ringing opposition fans for their views etc. Everyone else manages it apart from the lazy club who treat such things as an irritant. The 'reports' on recent games are a joke. I could do better over my lunch break.

Edited by JHRover

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A bit like the old "vinyl is dead" argument.  

Try getting a download signed by two old guys 50 years after they played in the cup final  or pulling a download from an old box and instantly being transported back to 1969 or 1987 by the smell & feel of it

 

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1 hour ago, J*B said:

I do realise that, but an app would offer much more interactive reading at a fraction of the price. Its the way the world is going and unfortunately is a case of get on board or stay at the station. Eventually it will happen and I see no reason why it shouldn't happen now. A subscription service at say £1 per home game for all programmes or £2.50 one off download - brilliant, read it on the way in, pre match, half time, full time, whenever you want. It would also reduce the pressure on the writer as you could include content e.g. interviews, training ground footage. Its really simple stuff, but unfortunately as a club we seem to be happy to be left behind. See 'Radio Rovers' which could have been retained for hardly any cost and made accessible via an App also. Make it a subscription service and start bringing money in for once. 

Interviews and training ground footage are already available via ifollow which we already pay for.  There are many folk who buy the programme but don't use apps and so you would cut off a large section of your prospective buyers.  Whilst some clubs offer a choice, no club has done away with their paper programme so clearly there is a demand for a decent product.  Like Jim, I have a couple of Kindles which are now unused in the garage as nothing beats reading an actual book.

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20 minutes ago, meadows said:

A bit like the old "vinyl is dead" argument.  

Try getting a download signed by two old guys 50 years after they played in the cup final  or pulling a download from an old box and instantly being transported back to 1969 or 1987 by the smell & feel of it

 

I reckon for every signature a player must do.. 10(?) selfies? I understand there is a generation that wants vinyl and books but the reality is in 10 years they'll all be non existent, IMO, because time moves on. As will autographs. 

 

12 minutes ago, Parsonblue said:

Interviews and training ground footage are already available via ifollow which we already pay for.  There are many folk who buy the programme but don't use apps and so you would cut off a large section of your prospective buyers.  Whilst some clubs offer a choice, no club has done away with their paper programme so clearly there is a demand for a decent product.  Like Jim, I have a couple of Kindles which are now unused in the garage as nothing beats reading an actual book.

I appreciate theres people that buy the programme and don't use apps. What i'm trying to explain is that in the very close future, unfortunately, you won't have any other option but to use apps - even if you preferred the paper copy. 

Edited by J*B

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Just now, J*B said:

I reckon for every signature a player must do.. 10(?) selfies? I understand there is a generation that wants vinyl and books but the reality is in 10 years they'll all be non existent, IMO, because time moves on.

 

I appreciate theres people that buy the programme and don't use apps. What i'm trying to explain is that in the very close future, unfortunately, you won't have any other option but to use apps - even if you preferred the paper copy. 

People were saying something similar in the 1990's when computers were being poured out in huge numbers in schools.  We were told that within a decade nobody would be reading an actual book.  Last time I looked Waterstones seemed to have reduced the area given over to electronic books and was doing a thriving business in the old fashioned, proper books.  I know you are right in the long run but I suspect it will be another generation before the change is complete.  At the moment ifollow would seem to be the platform for the type of content material that you describe - it has the interviews, training ground stuff and match highlights.

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Technology isn't devouring everything equally, so how soon is in the 'very close future'?

Apps are seeing off banks from the high street, but physical book sales are booming again. I noticed on my holidays this year just how few kindles were being used - they were everywhere 5 years ago.

 

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1 hour ago, JHRover said:

My point is how/why are budget cuts affecting production of a quality programme when Rochdale etc. are able to do it perfectly well on much lower revenues? Each programme sold must make the club some money, so surely it is in the club's interest to sell more by offering a better product?

If our programme is a loss maker then is it the case that all league club programmes are a loss maker? If not then what are they doing differently to us?

All it takes is to pay someone who is retired/semi retired with an interest in Rovers/football who can spend the fortnight between games compiling some interesting facts and typing up some interviews, ringing opposition fans for their views etc. Everyone else manages it apart from the lazy club who treat such things as an irritant. The 'reports' on recent games are a joke. I could do better over my lunch break.

Think we've established it won't make a loss.

I don't see why digital content would be any better than written content if it's commissioned, compiled & produced/edited by people who aren't that bothered what the final product is like as long as it's a product. 

Your point about Rochdale's was spot on. As much loving care and knowledge went into that (presumably sales in hundreds) as goes into Man United's which sells over 100,000 globally of each issue. 

 

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 I wish I'd a tenner for every time a kid had told me something would be obsolete in a few years which is still in rude good health. 

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I'll also be very disappointed if my generation is wiped out in the next 10 years? Is mass euthanasia for those currently aged 50-60 planned?

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27 minutes ago, Mattyblue said:

Technology isn't devouring everything equally, so how soon is in the 'very close future'?

Apps are seeing off banks from the high street, but physical book sales are booming again. I noticed on my holidays this year just how few kindles were being used - they were everywhere 5 years ago.

 

Agree. The very thought of a thousand people walking along or sitting staring at a "programme app" dissecting tactics (Who the hell needs that?) is a slightly disturbing  dystopian vision 

Part of what I enjoy is the human contact of walking into the shop every home game getting my programme from Barbara & Jim in the office and saying hi. Buying my Rovers Return ticket from the same friendly bloke. Waiting in reception with Parson or whoever for a teamsheet and saying hello to the girls behind the counter.

I can probably get every single last item of Info and statistic in the Sky Sports Yearbook from my phone but I don't want to, I want the physical thing to cherish, save and collect. I want it to pick up at the side of my PC if I'm writing a piece and need a stat even though I can get the same info flicking between screens 

You can get the time off your phone but it hasn't stopped people buying watches and clicks or stopped them looking at them 

People like stuff, things, mementoes, that's why they get prints of their selfies & that's why they'll far easier get them out in an an album or box in 25 years time rather than fart about on iCloud or old SIM cards to look at them

 

  

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I must admit I refuse to use the self-service tills in shops or machines in banks.  I want some human interaction in whatever transaction I'm doing.  As Meadows so eloquently put it above - machines cannot replace everything or replace human interaction.  However, with regard to the programme an app isn't going to improve the quality of the content - that comes down to individuals wanting to produce a quality product which seems absent at Ewood but not at the likes of Rochdale or Scunthorpe.  The last Bury programme I looked at read like a small novel such was the depth of the content. 

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I got a programme for my grandson at Rochdale. I only had flick through it at half time but I thought it was absolutely excellent. Somebody had gone to a lot of trouble to produce that.

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I know it's a separate club & all that Parson but for the sake of simple argument I was looking back last week to when we played the original Wimbledon on my 21st birthday in 1980. 

In my garage I have stacks of programmes reasonably chronologically filed. In my coffee table drawer diaries down the ages. 

I got the programme for that day at the dawn of the 80s Out & My journal for that year. 

Flicking thru the program  I see who's played for the Reserves, A & B teams. What ticket & coach travel cost to the next Away.  Who's sponsoring the ball that week , who presented. MOTM the game before

What stuff cost in the club shop  

i note that the LT reporter is one who barely lasted a few months and left virtually no impression on us

Even the ads tell a story about who reckoned to be doing well and prospering in local business at the time

There are, mercifully, no "interviews from the training ground" to demonstrate that footballers were even less comfortable trotting out anything other than "Yeah we've trained well, we didn't play great last week but we hope we win tomorrow" cliches just as they have every week for 36 years since 

In my dusty diary which I look thru Jan, Feb, March April & beyond I click that I went to this game & that at PNE, Bolton even Burnley as a "neutral"

Nights out, gigs, disastrous dates. Even odd not so disastrous ones

Imagine searching out a 50-year old interactive program app with a treatise on contemporaneous 2010's tactics taking you on such an evocative journey, digging up old emotions, laughs, highs and lows

What will today's youngsters do, churn up their Facebook posts from 40 years ago? 

It will tell them how long they've been "friended" by someone they knew 10 years before Facebook was founded 

Technological trends are by definition, ephemeral with a built in obsolescence and half-life. What seems like the ultimate word in contemporary state of the art social interaction can date practically overnight

Take a look on MySpace...it's like Pompeii on there!

i won't be here to see it but I'll bet if football is played as we know it in 50 60 100 years people will still want a souvenir they can hold in their hand, take home and file away that isn't a screen or app on their phones 

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The Rovers Programme is no longer bought by those opposed to the Owners, so like the atmosphere quality has steadily declined.

Maybe 4000holes should have a monthly Journal and include satirical pieces on games and encouraging items on Under 23s and CheckaTrade Cup.

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