Tag Archives: Arsenal

Boos for Money-grabb-or…

The guy who sits next to me at The Emirates works as a printer. He makes a banner for a lot of the games. Yesterday he was in ‘The Mail on Sunday’. Here is the picture. It seemed to  perfectly articulate the thoughts of every Arsenal fan in the stadium that day…

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Early Season Honours…

It was pleasing to hear that Arsenal.com has been named Best Sports Website at the 2009 UK Website of the Year awards. The official website received the highest average rating for content, design and navigation in the sports category. More than 850,000 votes were cast as UK web users selected their favourite websites in 22 categories.

It’s nice to win stuff whatever it may be – I enjoy the fact that we always win the groundsman awards and random stuff like that that shows the club looks after more facets than most.

I actually visit the official site relatively rarely – to purchase away tickets and very occasionally for some injury news. The partisan nature of it doesn’t really interest me. I’ve seen us play the most appalling game of football and lose and then read the match report at Arsenal.com suggesting we were somehow robbed and focussing on the one time that we managed to string a couple of passes together. I also can’t compare it to many other clubs. I’ve seen the Man City site which is highly regarded (I think Poke created it?) and it is quite nice but I value the health of my computer too highly to venture near the Spurs or Chelsea sites… It seems most sites are much of a muchness – in fact they seem to follow the same template designs…

It made me think about what the site could do to make my experience more enhanced. I’m not sure the club would like ceding control of the brand in the following ways – but personally, here are a couple of thoughts that would enhance my user experience…

  • How good would it be if Arsenal.com contained a section of the site that acted as an aggregator for content across all the blogs and media content that goes on out there? From one perspective, it would be utterly terrifying for the club to link through to content where Arsenal fans unleash diatribes on every element of the club – but this could be offset by a disclaimer saying these views don’t represent those of the club and would in some ways demonstrate that the club is ultimately constructed by what Arsenal fans think of it. I love this ad agencies site that does exactly that with all it’s clients.

 

  • I’d love to know the twitter usernames of other Arsenal fans so I could follow them easily (rather than stumbling across them…

 

  • How about a twitter feed on various topics or even an official arsenal twitter feed that tells me when away tickets go on sale or team news as it happens?

 

  • A bespoke email service that recognises how many away credits I have and sends me an alert to say that the booking period is coming up so I never miss out?

 All in all though – the user experience is pretty good. I read someone suggesting that the online supremacy of the core site could in some ways be driven by the media savvines of Arsenal fans in general. Certainly, the club has some great blogs and without the balance of perspective – they are clearly the best out there! I’m not sure this bears any relevance though on the official site.

 So, a nice win for the Arsenal. Hopefully the prelude to the main prizes on the pitch come May…

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‘The Spirit of Highbury’

Great time lapse video of the new Arsenal fixed structure featuring every Arsenal player to ever grace Highbury. This was created by W&K…

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Having the final word

Here is my article on Arsene Wenger that featured in the matchday programme last week to celebrate his 13 years as ‘Le Boss’
Final Word - Arsenal Programme - Matt Kandela

Final Word - Arsenal Programme - Matt Kandela

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Arsenalisation of ‘The Emirates Stadium’

Over the last few weeks, there has been much talk of the ‘Arsenalisation’ of ‘The Emirates Stadium’ – home of my beloved Arsenal FC. I didn’t expect much to be honest. I thought this would mean a few large prints inside the stadium and a lot of talk. After all, making the stadium look great doesn’t make money for the club and Arsenal as a business are notoriously frugal – just look at the net transfer spend over the last 10 years.

So, imagine my suprise when I attended the game against Wigan last week and saw what had been done. It is absolutely fantastic and makes me even more proud to be a fan. Arsenal are a club with a rich history, and this work demonstrates that nicely. 

Arsenalisation of the Emirates

Arsenalisation of the Emirates

 

Arsenalisation of The Emirates

Arsenalisation of The Emirates

Arsene Wenger - Invincible quote

Arsene Wenger - Invincible quote

Arsenalisation of the Emirates

Arsenalisation of the Emirates

I attended my first game at Highbury in 1992 as a twelve year old and have barely missed a match since then. I loved Highbury so much and thought that ‘The Emirates’ would never feel like home. When I walked into Highbury, you could feel the history. The Emirates on the other hand felt like a great big soul-less bowl. It’s taken time but finally it is beginning to feel more like a proper home and this work adds to the attachment that we supporters feel for the club.

On the last day at Highbury, there were a series of speeches. One of them was particularly poignant by Tom Watt. He said that of course the football memories were important, but what is more important is the sharing of moments. The highs and the lows shared with the people closest to you. The dad who takes his son…who takes his son in turn… ‘

The Emirates’ feels more and more feels like home and I can’t wait for the memories that haven’t even happened yet…

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Nostalgia – Mixtapes and Football Programmes

I found this great image on PSFK in a piece talking about how how people tend to assign and associate memories, emotion, meaning and significance to physical objects; and how this is fading with our increased reliance on all things digital…

It really struck a chord. I remember making mixtapes for friends, spending hours hitting pause between each track and cueing up the next CD before painstakingly writing out the track listing. Burning a mix CD on iTunes may be a hell of a lot easier but it’s a hell of a lot less satisfying…

Likewise, some of my prized possessions are my Arsenal programmes from when I started going nearly 20 years ago. I still buy them for nostalgic reasons but in days gone by – these were the only resource for information about tickets etc. Now, everything is online and as such – people buy them far less often. The pleasure of being able to look back in ten. twenty or thirty years and recalling a moment just won’t be available to this generation of fans in the same way…

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The Cognotive Surplus

It’s been a busy couple of weeks. A new job is always stressful and tends to take something of an emotional toll. That’s why I haven’t written anything on my blog. I’ve been too busy. I have needed to just chill out. I have needed to let my brain completely disengage.

It was after watching this video of Clay Shirky that I realised that I wasn’t too busy…and I didn’t need to completely disengage by doing nothing. The reality was that I couldn’t be bothered. I was being lazy. Shirky talks about ‘cognotive surplus’ and how everybody has time and that this time is far better spent sharing, contributing etc rather than just being a passive consumer of…crap basically!

Its really inspiring stuff. He makes a great point about Wikipedia. I like Wikipedia. I regularly use it. I have however never contributed to it. I have certain interests that I could write about. Admittedly most of my entries would be about youth players from a North London football team who play in red and white…but at least I would be contributing. And if we all contributed, imagine the increase in the level of power we would be beginning to harness.

This is the point. There seems to be a tacit acknowledgement that to relax – we need to do something mind-numbing. We need to dumb down and do nothing. The challenge I am setting myself is to do the opposite and utilise free time to make my brain work in different ways – to experience new things.

Last Friday, I went to a (like mind) coffee morning. This is where likeminded creative people have a natter over some coffee. It’s not scary and not high brow like people I spoke to thought it would be…but is fun, inspiring and relevant. I really enjoyed it because it really fits with the idea of filling the cognotive surplus with STUFF.

On Twitter today, a guy called Iain Tait, whose blog I really like was challenged online to fulfill some unusual tasks – making butter, knitting etc. He set out to achieve these things and did so. It wasn’t self congratulatory but summed up his curiousity in life. Thats my task in hand… To challenge, to think…to not simply accept…

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Edinburgh Rugby Weekend

This weekend saw me take in the sights of Edinburgh…
A lot of the sights involved me looking through the bottom of a glass but it was certainly lots and lots of fun. I was up there working on The Black Grouse (a new product from the makers of The Famous Grouse Whisky) and leveraging their ongoing association with the Scottish Rugby team. One of the very few good things about a global recession is that agencies have to be more creative and operate within lower budgets to deliver solutions that get people talking about brands. There wasn’t a huge amount of budget to play with for the Scotland vs Italy game – but hopefully, what we manged to do rasied awareness of the new product ‘The Black Grouse’, (which tastes bloody good…especially mixed with Coke and a slice of orange)
 
We created the first ever mobile bar in Scotland which had the Scottish flairing champion on it, did a series of projections around Edinburgh and then did more traditional sampling activity around the entrances with staff and jetpacks ensuring everyone got in the swing of things pre match…
 
Here’s the projection…
A Guerilla Grouse

A Guerilla Grouse

 
And here is our mobile bar!
dsc032151
 
If ever in Edinburgh, I would really recommend this place – Tiger Lillies – It’s based on George Street and does amazing cocktails. They were absolutely rammed and the food wasn’t as good as it was last time but is still very nice. We’re all booked in for the next trip up on the 14th! As well as Tiger Lillies, we checked out Opal Lounge which was lots of fun but a complete sweat box and full of the Italian Rugby Team.
 
The downside of being in Scotland was missing the Arsenal game on saturday. Thank god for this Stoke goal – we just about still have a chance to grab a CL spot – but our young players need to pull their fingers out their arses. They’ve got the trust of a manager who has been a legend but is now being made to look like a fool by a group of payers who have shown themsleves to lack the mental fortitude to compete at the top level….
 
Finally, a TED video that I mentioned drunkenly on saturday night – I think this is inspirational stuff and well worth revisiting…
And courtesy of Tass, a video extolling the virtues of ‘Donk’. Tass says that the characters are real. I don’t believe him but I hope they are because this is really incredibly funny!
 
Right – Onwards and upwards – work is aplenty
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£3 at 18/1

Last night I went to the Emirates to watch Arsenal play Roma. It was the first game that I’ve enjoyed in ages. We played really well and the crowd were up for it. For extra satisfaction, I also won £50 having placed £3 on Van Persie to score first and Arsenal to win 1-0. Mind you, we should have won about 3-0 and put the tie to bed. I was very torn in the last 20 minutes of the game – I am desperate for us to go through and as such we will probably need more than one goal. Having said that, I would have taken one nil before the game so it is a good result…and £50 is a nice little earner for doing absolutely nothing…

 

I was trying to think what the term is for when you cover off negative outcomes with financial compensation – where you bet on the opposition to win…so the worst outcome is you make some money and the best is that your team wins the game etc…

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