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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.

FIFA and Mexican Football Federation’s Supercopa Femenil to encourage growth in women’s football

FIFA

With the financial support of FIFA, the Mexican Football Federation has launched the FIFA | FMF Supercopa Femenil (Women’s Super Cup) as part of its women’s football development programme.

The five-day U-15 tournament (between 3-7 August) organised in Toluca, provided 206 players across 12 teams from Nuevo León, Tlaxcala, Chiapas, Mexico City, Sinaloa, Jalisco, Veracruz, Guanajuato, Estado de México, Baja California, Chihuahua, as well as a representative team from the United States, with an opportunity to have their talents detected by scouts from both Liga MX, and the Mexican national teams.

FIFA will provide technical support, equipment and funding for two years, as well as education and empowerment through seminars for coaches.

The FIFA’s Women’s Development Programme aims to provide all 211 member associations with the opportunity to apply for, and access additional resources and specialist expertise to develop women’s football at a national level.

Member associations can apply for support across eight key areas of women’s football development during the 2020-2023 period. In addition to financial assistance to cover the costs in selected programmes, the FIFA Women’s Development Programme will also provide access to women’s football experts, additional equipment and technical support within FIFA.

“The Supercopa Femenil was born from the dream of bringing Mexican youth players to a competitive showcase for women’s football in our country, attracting the best academies that are supporting the development of players in this category. This has resulted in a life-changing experience to be scouted by national team staff, and those of Liga MX Femenil teams,” Lucia Mijares, FMF Technical Sports Development Director, said in a statement.

Andrea Rodebaugh, FIFA Women’s Football Consultant, added via FIFA:

“Observing the Supercopa Femenil in Mexico has been inspirational. Its implementation is helping strengthen pathways by showcasing talent, motivating players and coaches as well as sharing knowledge and unique experiences so that growth continues where needed. There is so much talent, potential and support from everyone in the FMF. I am very optimistic for the future.”

Karl Dodd, FIFA Women’s Football Expert, stated via FIFA:

“The Supercopa has been well organised and provides a great opportunity for players to gain experience playing against top teams in their age group. It also enables scouts to watch these players, and for coaches to undertake development workshops to further improve the positive impact they have on players, supporting their personal and professional development.”

EA Sports to be the title sponsor for all LaLiga competitions

EA Sports & LaLiga

Beginning from the 2023-24 season onwards, a new multi-year agreement between EA Sports and LaLiga will pave the way for new experiences, deeper in-game integrations, enhanced broadcast communications, and commitment to grassroots initiatives.

The one-of-a-kind, multi-year partnership will allow both parties to deliver groundbreaking experiences for global football fans, with EA SPORTS FC securing title naming rights for all LaLiga competitions.

In addition, the deal will see a complete rebrand of LaLiga with EA Sports including all logos, graphics, fonts and other visual elements, while also delivering new in-game integration, broadcast highlights, and joint commitments to supporting grassroots initiatives.

This new partnership will encompass the first and second divisions of LaLiga (Spain’s top professional football competitions), LaLiga Promises (the league’s annual youth tournament) and eLaLiga.

“EA Sports FC is committed to delivering the most authentic and immersive experiences in global football. Our innovative new partnership with LaLiga further elevates that ambition and solidifies both organizations’ position at the centre of football culture,” David Jackson, VP Brand, EA Sports FC, said in a statement.

“The visible reach and scale of this partnership is deeply exciting, as is the opportunity to deliver incredible experiences for fans through in-game innovation, interactive entertainment and grassroots initiatives.

“EA Sports represents the cutting edge of interactive football experiences while LaLiga is at the forefront of actual football competitions with unmatched in-person, broadcast and digital fan experiences,” said Javier Tebas, President, LaLiga. “We have been strategic partners with EA Sports for years and this expanded agreement is a commitment to providing the next level of innovation to all football fans, a fusion between the virtual and real worlds of football.”

With this partnership, EA Sports and LaLiga will deepen their collaboration. Both LaLiga and EA Sports are committed to grassroots initiatives to grow the game which will include increasing accessibility, upgrading facilities, and many more initiatives to truly immerse fans into the world of football.

“This partnership with EA Sports is set to truly transform the way football is enjoyed around the world,” LaLiga Executive Director Óscar Mayo said via EA Sports.

“Moreover the alliance demonstrates LaLiga is a global brand, evidence of the success of our league to connect with fans internationally.

“We’re thrilled to partner with a worldwide leader in football fandom to better connect our fans to their favourite clubs, players, and LaLiga competitions,” said Nick Wlodyka, SVP & GM, EA Sports FC. “The contributions from LaLiga to our EA Sports FC portfolio will be immense, not only from a visual aspect, but across technological and game development improvements, further blurring the lines between the real and virtual worlds of football.”

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