Everton FC today announced the selection of Pulse Sports and Entertainment as their U.S. based agency to support the development and implementation of the team’s international strategy.
The English Premier League side, founded in 1878 is focused on reinvigorating their engagement with their global fan base, allowing for a deeper, more meaningful relationship and better service to the ever-growing Evertonian supporters’ network.
“We are truly honored to have Everton FC as the first client at Pulse Sports and Entertainment,” said PSE’s CEO, Jurgen Mainka. “When we learned about the club’s values and their grassroots approach to the marketplace, which always lead with the fan as the main point of consideration, we knew we had the knowledge and the people to assist them in this unique journey.”
PSE’s team will work directly with the different functional areas in the club ranging from Marketing, Digital, Content, Communications, Business Development, Fan Engagement and others. It will also assist Everton on the organization of the club’s preseason tours in the American continent.
EVERTON FOOTBALL CLUB REVEALS NEXT STAGE OF INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY
- North America identified as a key growth market for Everton as part of six pillar international strategy
- New soccer school programme to launch across 15 US states this summer
- Inaugural Everton USA Live event will bring North American supporters closer to the Club
- Everton creates new International department and engages Jurgen Mainka – formerly Deputy General and Chief Commercial Officer for Concacaf, Chief Business Officer at Inter Miami CF – to grow new strategic partnerships and further develop Everton’s presence in the Americas
English Premier League Club Everton has announced plans for the next phase of its international growth strategy – which will see the Club further strengthen relationships with its growing fanbase and strategic partners in North America.
The Club has delivered a series of activations and digital engagements in North and South America, Australasia, the Far East and the Middle East over the last two years – with expansion continuing despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Club’s six-pillar international strategy includes fanbase growth, strategic partnership, brand and business development and the launch of an international academy – while continuing retail expansion and international pre-season tour plans for the First Team, Everton Women and Under-23s.
Building on its significant work in North America – which has seen the launch of supporters’ clubs in every city-state in the US – this week sees the announcement of three initiatives which will be delivered by a new expanded international team working alongside marketing, engagement, commercial and brand specialists across the Club.
- The Club will launch a new international Soccer Schools programme (EISS), which will run alongside the recently established Everton International Academy Affiliate programme (EIAAP). The two initiatives will be accessed using a new Everton International Academy web platform.
Everton’s International Soccer Schools (EISS) programme will begin with a series of soccer camps across 15 states in the Midwest and Northeast regions of the United States over the next four months. The activity will be led and shaped by Everton coaches, and supported and delivered by US-based Community Athletic Solutions (CAS) – the first stage in a plan to develop the programme across the whole country in the coming years.
The soccer camp programme follows the launch of the Everton International Academy Affiliate Programme (EIAAP) in 2020. Columbus United (Ohio, USA) and Schulz Academy (Florida, USA) became the first two US members of the EIAAP in June 2020, alongside clubs in Australasia, South America and Europe. The EIAAP initiative provides clubs at all tiers of the game with access to the finest coaching knowledge from Everton’s renowned Academy to support the growth of each club – a level of support that sets it apart from more traditional models.
The EIAAP programme has been delivered virtually during the pandemic. When travel restrictions are lifted, Everton Academy coaches will visit the clubs signed up to the programme and staff from US clubs will also visit Everton’s state-of-the-art USM Finch Farm training facility in the UK for education and training. More new US EIAAP members will be announced soon.
- This weekend (Saturday 17 April) Everton’s Fan Engagement and International departments will stage the first ever virtual event exclusively for US fans.
EvertonUSA Live – developed in conjunction with the blossoming US affiliated Supporters’ Club network – will allow US Evertonians to get closer to their club through the day-long virtual fan festival. Attendees to the online day of activity will hear from players and coaching staff and have the chance to connect with players from Everton’s past including current Everton Ambassador in the US Tim Howard – as well as having the opportunity to ask key figures from across the Club, such as Director of Football Marcel Brands, questions.
The event will also address how the Club will aid Supporters’ Clubs to continue to grow their membership, and participants will have the chance to take part in a quiz offering money-can’t-buy prizes. Streamed live across the Club’s official social media platforms, the event will be the first of its kind for North American fans.
This creative and collaborative approach to fan engagement in North America is a focal point of Everton’s digital engagement strategy. As a result, the US audience for the official Everton YouTube channel has increased by 743% in four seasons – and there has been a 54% increase in official US account followers on Instagram and a 35.7% increase in official US account followers on twitter.
- Looking to the future, Everton has announced its International Team will be supported by Jurgen Mainka, former Concacaf Deputy General Secretary and Chief Commercial Officer, to further develop the Club’s presence across North America.
Mainka and his team at Miami-based Pulse Sport and Entertainment, which will include a dedicated Brand and Business Development Manager for Everton, will act as an extension of the Club’s UK based international team and provide an on-the-ground presence across North America. They will primarily support brand and business development projects and the Club’s engagement strategy with its expanding US fanbase.
Mainka has held senior positions at four Major League Soccer clubs, having worked in the game for more than 25 years. At Concacaf, Mainka played a key role in the organisation of the Copa America 100th anniversary tournament, held in the United States in 2016. Before establishing Pulse Sports and Entertainment, Mainka was Chief Business Officer at Inter Miami, where he was a central figure in the Club’s stadium and training facility development and shaped the David Beckham owned club’s commercial and marketing strategies.
Ahead of starting his new role, Jurgen Mainka said: “Everton is a unique club and has a strong familial bond with its fans. It has an illustrious history and an exciting future, with a new state-of-the-art waterfront stadium on the way, and I am proud to be part of telling the Everton story across the Americas.
“Building a deep connection with soccer fans across the US is a key part of Everton’s strategy and while the Club’s US base will be in Miami, we’ll also be keen to meet fans and prospective partners where they are – both physically and in terms of sentiment and understanding of the Club. That personal interaction is what Everton is all about. I can’t wait to get started and proud to be part of the Everton family.”
Mainka and his team will build on the significant inroads that Everton has already made into the US over the last few years.
These have included the Club:
- Growing the Everton Supporters Club network globally with a focus on the US
- Appointing Everton legend and USMNT hero Tim Howard as an Everton Ambassador in October 2019.
- Extending its strategic partnership with US company Fanatics, a global leader in licensed sports merchandise
- Increasing Everton merchandise sales globally with record numbers in the United States
- Delivering partner activations in the US with international brands such as Fratelli Beretta
- Ensuring Club and former player representation at NBC’s Premier League Mornings Live events and has held special fan get-togethers in Washington DC, Boston, Austin and Miami in the last three years.
- Creating a virtual eSports link-up with David Beckham’s Inter Miami CF (July 2020) where Blues star Richarlison took on Miami forward Julian Carranza in a three-game FIFA20 tournament.
- Launching exclusive US and Spanish-speaking Club social media accounts
Everton has ensured former player representation at NBC’s Premier League Mornings Live events and has held special fan get-togethers in Washington DC, Boston, Austin and Miami in the last three years.
The Club made a splash in both Miami and New York in September 2020, when they announced the signing of Colombian superstar James Rodriguez on billboards at New York’s Times Square and on an advertising vessel that sailed through Miami Beach, South Beach, Nikki Beach, and round South Pointe Pier on Labor Day.
Richard Kenyon, Director of Marketing, Communications and International at Everton Football Club said: “We have invested significant time and effort over the last two years researching and devising a long-term international strategy and, despite the ongoing challenges brought about by the pandemic, it has been great to get this underway and to take these steps forward over the last few months.
“North America is one of our key target territories and we are pleased to have reached an agreement to work with Jurgen Mainka who – along with other colleagues working in Miami – will be working with us to secure strategic partnerships and develop associated opportunities.
“At the same time, we are continuing to build our International Club Affiliate network after a successful pilot period and will be launching soccer camps in the North East and Mid-West for this summer which will see thousands of young soccer fans attending our programmes.
“These important steps are part of a long-term plan for the Club which has North America as a priority region – but other opportunities in other parts of the world have also developed by our International Team and further exciting announcements will be made soon.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
About Everton Football Club:
One of the 12 Founder Members of the Football League, Everton has spent more seasons in England’s top division than any other Club (118) and been crowned league champions on nine occasions.
Founded in 1878 as St Domingo, the Club has also lifted the FA (Football Association) Cup five times and, in 1985, added the European Cup Winners’ Cup to its prestigious haul.
Throughout its 142-year history Everton has been known as a family-oriented Club based on proud traditions, affectionately referred to as ‘The People’s Club’. Those traditions have also encouraged innovation, ensuring Everton has remained one of the great pioneering Clubs in the history of the game. The first Club to construct a purpose-built football stadium, Goodison Park is one of the most revered stadiums in England. In the coming years the Club will be looking to maintain those traditions in a new 52,888 capacity stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, ensuring the Club’s roots remain in north Liverpool for generations to come.
As a pioneer, the Club is renowned for many firsts that we take for granted in today’s game. Everton was the first Club to see its players wear shirts numbered 1 to 11, the first Club to go on an overseas tour, the first English Club to install dugouts and undersoil heating, the first Club to feature in a televised match, the first Club to introduce a regular matchday programme, the first Club to present its players with medals for winning the Football League championship and the first Club to have a player, Dixie Dean, break the 60 goals barrier in a single league season.
About Jurgen Mainka and Pulse Sports and Entertainment:
Pulse Sports and Entertainment are strategic consultants led by Jurgen Mainka, who boasts significant leadership experience and an extensive network across the Americas.
His most recent roles include Chief Business Officer at Inter Miami CF in MLS, as well as Deputy General Secretary and Chief Commercial Officer for Concacaf.
Pulse specialises in providing strategic direction and support in creating value for sports teams looking to grow in the US market, with Everton as its flagship client.
In addition to general marketing and content guidance, Pulse is also able to advise and support with commercial structure and strategy to optimise activity in market by adding revenue generation opportunities.
Together, Everton and Pulse Sports and Entertainment’s aims are brand penetration and loyalty, developing commercial opportunities, meaningful relationships with fans and using fan data to gain valuable insights and deepen relationships.
This summer will see a new book, Toffee Soccer, authored by Dr David France, Rob Sawyer and Darren Griffiths detailing the club’s long association with North America. The hardback, must have book for any Evertonian or football historian, highlights Everton’s significant contribution to soccer in the USA and Canada over the past 140 years.
Toffee Soccer’s three co-authors have between them contributed more than 30 books encompassing some 4 million words to the royal blue canon, and in producing this work have interviewed 80 ex-Blues, including Landon Donovan, Tim Howard, Wayne Rooney and the late, great Alan Ball.