What do you think of Hearts putting Save the Children on their shirts? Perhaps more appropriately, how will Hearts fans feel about their club this morning? When the next invitation to buy a season ticket, or shop for merchandise email arrives, what’s going to be the instinctive reaction?
Hearts fans are an unpredictable lot, but if this was Celtic, first to grab the headlines on Living Wage, then following up with a charity on the shirt, we would be bursting with pride, or what marketing people call brand affinity.
A football club affinity is a choice. Most of us were handed our team before we were out of nappies but we still choose the extent of our affinity – to buy the next ticket. Celtic fans have a notion that we are more of a Movement of people than a typical support – I am only here because I subscribe wholeheartedly to this notion.
For this to make any sense, we need Celtic to be the most ethical football club on the planet.
World leadership sounds ambitious, but the market for ethical football leadership is a bit thin. Between organised criminals, thuggish bullies, kleptocratic politician-owners, tax cheats, money launderers and what can only be described as disorganised criminals at one particular club, the market is wide open. This is Celtic’s natural territory. And it’s profitable!
We buy into what we see as the sentiment behind a football club and if we see Celtic championing ethical wins, we feel connected to the club.
Let’s be clear: Celtic ARE one of the most ethical clubs on the planet. The Foundation is not the biggest in the world, but it is supported by fans and club alone, not petrodollars looking for a home. Celtic FC Foundation feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, aide the needy, include the excluded. They do this in your name and it’s an integral part of the club’s mission.
We are part of the story too. You and I are part of the Foundation but Celtic fans also evangelise the ethics and standards of our club in our own small ways. What Celtic fan groups have achieved is staggering.
We have a backstory which any brand in business would kill for. Formed to feed starving children! What a story. It you planned the profile of the most ethical football club in the world you couldn’t dream up a better beginning, a better corporate story, or a better community engagement. The ingredients are all there.
Hearts fans will WANT to buy into what their club is doing this morning because their club has become ethically aspirational over a short period of time. Hearts haven’t began to scratch the surface of Celtic’s ethical marks. We are peerless in UK football – and that’s not an idle boast.
So why am I boring you with all this stuff you know already? It’s time we started to wear our colours on our sleeve, if not our chests.
‘We are Celtic, born to feed the hungry in 1888, today we not only feed the hungry, we do so much more. Come and join us.’
Make this our mission. Commit wholeheartedly, lead with it. Always. Every contact I have with the club should remind me why I’m a Celtic fan. Be confident of its resonance with fans, and all the business objectives we worry about achieving will fall into place.
On the subject………
We are close to our target of paying for another school kitchen in Malawi for Mary’s Meals, this auction will push us over the line…………
All day Hospitality for 4 based at the Eden Mill Distillery for the Open Golf Championship at St Andrews on any day to suit from 16 to 19 July 2015. Auction in aid of the Celtic Quick News (CQN) appeal to build a fourth school kitchen in Malawi for Mary’s Meals.
Shuttle transport for the five minute journey to and from the golf course as needed
Beer, Gin and Whisky tastings throughout the day with the master distiller.
The chance to create a unique CQN single malt whisky cask worth potentially £5000 for future CQN charities.
A bottle of this very special single malt whisky to commemorate the great day when it is bottled in several years.
Eden Mill is Scotland’s newest and most innovative distillery and brewery incorporated in February 2012!
Located just 2 miles from the famous Old Course itself it provides a perfect base for hospitality for yourself and 3 friends on a day of your choosing at the forthcoming open golf championship on July 16th to 19th.
But this is so much more than just a day’s hospitality at the home of golf. Before taking to the course to watch the you will enjoy a breakfast roll or two and discuss your perfect single malt whisky with the master distiller.
Whilst you and your friends are enjoying the golf he will seek to surpass your favourite whisky by using the best barley to create the right wash and recommending the right type of barrels for our very own unique CQN 1/4 cask of single malt. A cask which will mature and provide over £5000 of future funding for our charities in a few years time.
You will return to the distillery by shuttle bus for lunch and an optional beer tasting and then for afternoon tea with a tutored gin and whisky tasting with the owner capping off a memorable, unique and very special day for your group and for CQN.