Last Saturday in Tychy, it was possible to watch Michael Owen, Alessandro Del Piero, Marco Materazzi and Luis Garcia from the stands. It must be admitted that this is a badass list of names. What, you didn’t know? Okay, don’t worry – few people knew.
At 1:30 p.m. the stars organized a demonstration training with the youth, and at 3 p.m. they played a match against the Polish Business League. The great figures were complemented by the heroes of our fields – including Szymon Marciniak.
So there is no doubt – the cast was assembled in such a way that, despite the November weather, the turnout could be really solid. Well, it “could”, but it wasn’t, because the stands during the event looked like this:
There is a good chance that if Owen and Del Piero were put on a bus in Tychy, more residents would see them during one loop (even if it was a night bus). The last match between GKS and Lechia attracted nearly four thousand spectators, but when Radecki and Śączka played there, not the Ballon d’Or winner, world champions and Champions League winners, who were watched by – according to, let’s call it, witnesses, a maximum of 500 people.
So where was the problem?
As already mentioned, few people knew about this event. Przemek Michalak, our journalist who lives in Tychy, says:
– Zero promotion, no banners in the city or e-mails to the editor, nothing on the Internet, no spots. It was only literally a few dozen hours before the event that press releases were published in several places. Overall, the worst promotion I’ve ever seen, more chatter than going outside, as if some business club was having a party at the stadium. If someone didn’t find out behind the scenes in advance or by total accident, they had practically no chance of being there.
And one of the lucky ones, “Arcadio – o football”, who appeared at the stadium – which significantly increased the attendance – wrote on his fanpage:
– It was extraordinary to bring such stars and gather an audience like at a district game. I’m just wondering now whether it could have been advertised so clumsily unintentionally, or whether no one really cared about promoting such an event well? It just happened that a group of businessmen rented a stadium, invited the stars, played football with them, and then they all went to a banquet together. And lest anyone say anything – some kids also came. Unfortunately, everything can be taken that way. (…) The stars participating in the event did not mention anything about the match on their social media (apparently they did not have such a record). The city of Tychy did not join the promotion, and the event did not have any major media patrons, although it is good that at least one entry about the event appeared on some larger sports portals. Only three days before the match, but that’s good, because otherwise there would probably be 100 people at the stadium.
You will find a lot of entries of this type today – that is, far after the fact. People would love to go to this match, but in order for them to do so, they should know about it. Let’s admit it: this is quite a key element when planning your free time.
Go to the event website – MeczLegend.pl. It looks like a third-grade paper for computer science in primary school. You want to click on the “event plan” subpage – you can’t. In “media releases” – it’s impossible. You can’t go to the “VIP zone”. However, you can see how Materazzi, Owen and Del Piero invite to the match on the organizer’s fanpage, which is followed by 1,570 people. So it’s as if world football stars spoke only to the population of Zakliczyn (near Tarnów, 1,656 inhabitants)
Secondly, the attendance could also have been influenced by the ticket prices, which were not the cheapest – PLN 100 for children and school youth, PLN 200 and PLN 250 for the rest. Sure, it was a lot, but still: if someone knew about this match, they might have jumped. And if it was possible to set the entrance fees at two and five zlotys, the attendance would not benefit significantly.
Interestingly, in the original version, Roberto Carlos, Fernando Morientes and Luis Figo were supposed to come to the match, but apparently the parties did not reach an agreement. Moreover, the lack of information is such that some media even today mention Radosław Majewski among the participants, but Majewski was not even there.
Absurdity follows absurdity.
What is this all about? The match was organized by the Safe Server Solutions Foundation. In one of the few press articles they reported: – The match is a project of the Safe Server Solutions Foundation, which focuses on supporting young players practicing underfinanced sports disciplines in Poland. With your support, we will be able to create better prospects for these talented young athletes, enabling them to develop in the sports they love.
We called Łukasz Krasiński, CEO of Safe Server Solutions, to talk about the whole matter.
Do you know what the turnout was for this event?
NO. A lot of things fell out – there were supposed to be other players, we had to quickly arrange a replacement. This was the first event that started the series. The media could start with information late. We treat all this as a test, a larger event will take place in April.
But no advertising campaign? Honestly, I haven’t heard anything about this match.
A week ago we were on TVP, TVP2, TVP3, they talked about it in the dailies. You can also see information about the event on YouTube. I don’t know where you looked for information, because it depends on who is looking for it.-
After all, I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know about it – many people point out the lack of information.
The basic question: where was anyone looking? We had television, Silesian portals and newspapers available. There were plenty of articles.
All right. Could high ticket prices also be the reason for the low attendance?
Certainly not. Bringing in such valuable players costs millions of zlotys. Tickets for the National Stadium also cost PLN 250, but for me there are no stars playing there. Here we talk about footballers who won the World Cup or the Ballon d’Or. Are there such people in Poland? I don’t see any like that. We want a good message for kids, we want to show them the players who achieved the greatest successes. With all due respect to our players – there are none in Poland.
Yes, but PLN 200-250 is a big expense for the average person.
I think you are wrong. Putting together a team of such players costs millions, and someone has to pay for it. The next event will look different, but the prices will be similar. And if you call then, I can guarantee that the stadium will be full. In December we will start with full marketing, we will present two stars and in my opinion they are the two biggest stars of that decade.
This event is in April, right?
Yes. Overall, there will be three or four next year, the first one is planned for April.
Since you’re announcing the first stars in December, does that mean you’re drawing conclusions?
So you agree with me that the marketing of Saturday’s event was not good?
It was too late, but it finally happened. We cooperate with TVP, we establish cooperation with Grześ Krychowiak. We must take into account that we are doing this for the first time.
Who sponsored this event?
All funds were donated by Safe Server Solutions.
On the one hand, you can understand the organizers who had to replace Carlos with Owen at the last minute and it was difficult for them to inform who would play in this match. On the other hand, Carlos was changed to Owen, not Arak, while marketing – even instant marketing – did not exist at all. Krasiński says that there were plenty of articles, but we bet that more people did not know about this event than there were these articles. Moreover, the website was created regardless of the presence of Carlos, Morientes or Del Piero and Owen. And in the end it looks tragic anyway, so Safe Server Solutions completely put an end to this topic and that’s it.
There will be another event in April, so we can only wish the team good luck and hope that the team will draw conclusions. The assurances are that the event is financed entirely from private funds, so we do not complain about extravagance, but the gentlemen probably do not want to party as a group of five. If such stars come again and the event is properly promoted, we will have a great party. And that’s what it’s all about.