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The Terrace – the saviour of football retail?

Founded in 2018, The Terrace has become one of the fastest growing sporting retail companies in the industry.

The organisation’s company ethos is “more than just an order number” and their hands-on interaction with fans is proving to be a hit so far.

In their first 17 months of operation, the company has sold over 10,000 units of merchandise to a worldwide customer base.

Seen by over five million people worldwide each month, The Terrace have also entered licensed partnerships with various Premier League and English Football League clubs.

“We are delighted to partner with The Terrace to bring supporters a fantastic range of official licensed retro products,” Sean Davies – the retail and licensing director for Fulham FC, told FC Business.

“The Terrace team have been great to work alongside and this exciting new licensing partnership is one we expect to grow and develop quickly over the coming season.”

So, what is the secret behind their rapid growth? To put it simply, the products that they produce are innovative, creative and appealing to a broad market.

For example, one look at their online store will show retro West Ham merchandise, ranging from pint glasses to Santa sacks, as well as couch cushions designed from previous kits in the club’s history.

In what can be quite a stale market with extremely similar templates across the board, The Terrace has created something fresh.

The clubs they are in partnership with continue to benefit from these diverse product designs.

“Many of our fans will be familiar with The Terrace brand already and it’s great to be able to endorse a range of quality products with an official partnership,” said director of retail operations at Ipswich Town, Lee Hyde. “It’s a very exciting licensing partnership for both parties; one I can see growing quickly.”

The organisation’s plan is to further improve a sports retail industry that has stalled, by giving customers a larger array of options.

An in-house design team bring their nostalgic ideas to life through an exceptional eye for detail, which give fans the chance to reminisce about their sporting teams’ favourite moments through kit culture.

The Terrace operates a print on demand service for customers wanting to buy merchandise. As a result of this, there is no stock risk or potential for wasted investment.

The products provided, such as phone cases, blanket throws and towels are items club shops don’t invest heavily in or stock. This is therefore an attractive proposition for clubs to partner with the company, to help them fill a gap.

The Terrace director Carl Swell states: “The Terrace has become a successful and trusted retail platform for fans, but from the very start, Paul [co-director] and I have firmly stood by the principle that you can still earn a living whilst remaining loyal to your core values; those being that sport is a community, a passion, and a lifestyle.

“That’s why we proudly became a charity partner to CALM, the men’s suicide prevention charity, to help raise money through sales for such a worthy cause; sponsor grassroots football teams, from supplying kits to installing much-needed improvements at grounds; and sponsoring fan-led ventures as much as we can. As part of a community, we look after our customers because they look after us.”

This year the company aims to increase the volume of sales for the 20,000 unique visitors they have on a weekly basis. Faster delivery times are also a strong focus, refining the customer experience.

They hope to at least double their licensed portfolio by the second quarter of the year, opening the door to all sporting clubs that are interested. With the success they’ve had so far, it would be hard to believe they would be short of any suitors.

Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game. Follow him on Twitter @PhilipPanas

City of Greater Geelong Council injects $350,000 into Corio Soccer Club facilities

The City of Greater Geelong Council have announced an initial funding grant of $350,000 into improving Corio Soccer Club’s facilities.

As a part of the Hume Reserve Master Plan, gender neutral change rooms will be developed on the site, as well as an upgrade to the team’s clubrooms.

Hume Reserve is considered one of Geelong’s largest soccer facilities. The reserve is home to three soccer pitches, two of them with lighting.

City of Greater Geelong councillor Eddy Kontelj was excited to commence the works, which have been in the pipeline for the past few years.

“Located in the heartland of soccer in Geelong’s northern suburbs, the Corio Soccer Club is steeped in soccer history and epitomises multiculturalism. This club and its community, that has contributed so much to Geelong, is about to get some back,” councillor Kontelj said.

“As a Geelong councillor, it has been extremely exciting to be working closely with club president – Mario Gregorio, the committee and also the Bell Park community over the past 3 years, to finally bring this extremely progressive and inclusive club room, gender-neutral change room development, plus the Hume Reserve Master Plan to commencement stage.

“The City of Greater Geelong Council’s $350,000 injection is a tremendous boost to kick start this ~$1 million project.

“Hume Reserve is set to be a first-class soccer facility as well as a really inclusive area for the broader community to use. Born and bred in the area, I could not be more pleased and proud of this development,” he concluded.

The implementation of the Hume Reserve Master Plan hopes to reinforce “its role as an important local level soccer facility and valued community open space,” according to the City of Greater Geelong website.

The City of Greater Geelong’s extended plan for the reserve can be viewed here.

DAZN to exit deals as Twitch launches sports category

DAZN is set to exit multiple soccer broadcasting deals, while Twitch has launched a sports category and partnered with several elite soccer clubs.

UK sports streaming service DAZN is set to exit multiple soccer broadcasting deals, while Twitch has launched a sports category and partnered with several elite soccer clubs.

SportsPro has reported that DAZN will end its contract to broadcast the UEFA Champions league in Asia.

DAZN owns the rights from 2018 to 2021 for the Champions League and Europa League for Japan, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Taiwan, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.

Bloomberg reported that COVID-19 and the major changes to the schedule caused by the pandemic are the main reasons for DAZN seeking to back out of the agreement.

DAZN only ever launched a platform in Japan. The company ended up sublicensing the rights to other providers for the other nations. Both Bloomberg and SportsPro suggested that DAZN has made a loss on this broadcasting deal.

DAZN has also exited its deal to broadcast Serie A in Brazil, SportBusiness has reported that the streaming service has cancelled the arrangement despite there being another year left on the agreement.

The English Premier League, Ligue 1 and Major League Soccer are also broadcasted by DAZN in Brazil.

Meanwhile Twitch, a live video streaming service known for Esports and gaming, has signed strategic partnerships with Real Madrid, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, and Arsenal.

Each club will have their own channel and create content for the platform such as streaming press conferences, friendlies, or youth matches.

Twitch also created a new sports category, meaning users will be able to find all of the sports streams in one section on Twitch.

These elite European football clubs are not the only sports teams or organisations to have deals with Twitch. Some English Premier League games were streamed on the platform last month, while the Ultimate Fighting Championship, National Hockey League and National Basketball Association were also broadcast on Twitch.

Twitch also has deals with England’s Rugby Football League and America’s National Women’s Soccer League.

These sporting organisations provide a range of content for the platform – whether it be live games or reruns of famous matches such as the NBA’s ‘Top Ten Games of the Season’.

Football players across Australia to #PlayinPurple for pancreatic cancer

Football players in Australia will be pulling on their purple socks next month to help raise awareness for pancreatic cancer.

The #PlayinPurple campaign was started by Isabella Di Manno in 2015, after the death of her fiancée’s mother due to the illness.

Pancreatic cancer is projected to claim more lives than breast and prostate cancer with around 80 percent of diagnosed patients to die within a year.

In 2019, over 3500 players around the nation wore purple socks to raise awareness for the disease, with the campaign raising funds for research, improving diagnosis and treatment.

“The campaign continues to grow from strength to strength each year, drawing much needed attention to pancreatic cancer,” Di Manno said.

“It’s wonderful to see the participation grow across clubs, codes and regions and reading the testimonials and talking to players, it’s clear the campaign unities communities through active participation and acts as a positive talking point between people who might not necessarily know the outcomes of pancreatic cancer.”

Avner Foundation CEO Michelle Stewart added: “We are excited to see playing fields Australia-wide turned purple for pancreatic cancer, and awareness on this scale is exactly what we need to help shine a light on this disease.

“This campaign is a wonderful opportunity to increase engagement between clubs, players and the community, all participating for a very important cause – pancreatic cancer awareness.”

The campaign has been supported by Football NSW since its inception, with CEO Stuart Hodge proud to promote the cause.

“Football NSW are proud to be supporting a wonderful community initiative, combining the wonderful code of football with truly ground-breaking campaigns such as the: #PlayinPurple – Football socks campaign for the Avner Panceatic Cancer Foundation.

“We kindly encourage our football family to do their bit in getting behind this amazing initiative.”

The Manly Warringah Football Association and Sutherland Shire Football Association have also thrown its support behind the initiative.

“The Manly Warringah Football Association is proud to support Purple Sock Day to help raise awareness for pancreatic cancer. Grassroots football plays an important role in our Community and we encourage as many teams and clubs as possible to get behind the #PlayinPurple campaign,” MWFA CEO David Mason said.

“Pancreatic cancer is on the rise and SSFA is proud to support this important awareness-raising initiative again in 2020. The spirit of sportsmanship is wonderful as local football fields become awash with purple socks, and I encourage associations across the state to participate,” claimed SSFA General Manager Jeff Stewart.

More information about the campaign can be found here.

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