It was my first Premier League football press conference, but I wasn’t there to talk transfer targets, player fitness and the pros and cons of the fashionable 433 system when used against the traditional 442. No, I was here to speak about broadband, but that’s ok too.
It was a big day for Pipex, having noted online e-tailer Dabs sponsorship deal with top flight team Fulham had expired, it jumped in to negotiate the largest shirt contract in the club’s history (approx. £1m per season). As a consequence muggins here was invited to talk techie with Pipex CEO Mike Read, whilst trying not to look like too much of a nerd in front of the footballers.
The results were worth it though, as Mike gave me a full run down on Pipex’s upcoming strategies. First, we’ll get the Fulham deal out the way. The reason for the agreement, he told me, was brand awareness. “Obviously, it’s not anything like the size of the of the Samsung/Chelsea contract or the Vodafone/Man U partnership,” he said, “but it gets the company name out there and as soon as we play Chelsea or Man U and their millions of fans tune in all over the world we get just the same exposure as both of them”. As I suggested here last month, Pipex clearly has a strategy to play with the big boys.
The other, more technological, part of the deal sees the company launch Fulham TV. A subscription broadcast service for the club’s fans. It will feature game highlights from every fixture this season, live match commentary, excerpts from reserve, youth and ladies team matches and clips of classic action from the past. On top of this, Fulham TV will serve up exclusive interviews with the management and players, live coverage of press conferences and the latest club news.
On its own the package will cost £7.99 per month, but if you combine it with Pipex’s own no caps 2Mbit service in a bundle called “Fulham TV Plus”, you get both for £29.99.”It’s a better way than just doing a Satellite channel,” said the Pipex head honcho. “This way fans across the world can have access 24 hours per day” (and not further line Rupert Murdock’s pockets – he forgot to add).