Leading communications around the launch of the QPR bond, which raised the maximum £6.8m in just ten days.
Championship football club Queen’s Park Rangers had been seeking planning permission for a new training ground for almost a decade. Once permission was granted and work could begin, they decided to part-fund the training ground through a QPR bond, launched through investment platform Tifosy Capital & Advisory.
Tifosy Capital & Advisory is FCA-regulated, and through the platform fans and investors alike could invest into the bond in increments of £500.
Before we launched to media, there were historic reputational challenges we had to confront. To much of the wider sporting public, QPR were perhaps still known for a period of overspending on transfers to try and sustain a place in the Premier League, and a subsequent Financial Fair Play fine.
We needed to reassure supporters and media on several key points: that the days of financial mismanagement were in the past, that the ownership were committed to the club in the long-term, why the club was placing so much emphasis on redeveloping its training facilities, and how the bond itself would work.
We agreed with the club to take a proactive, transparent approach. The owners admitted mistakes had been made in the past, but could point to a change in strategy that was reaping better results in recent years. By confronting any potential issues head on, we took the sting out of any potential criticism, and ensured that coverage was positive and focused on what came next.
We targeted journalists who we had strong relationships with early on, with the idea being to create positive momentum early on that would begin to foster support. Finance in football is a charged subject, so educating these key contacts was a crucial first step.
We issued a launch press release to generate initial interest, then used an investor event as an opportunity to conduct a media blitz, lining up interviews with key national, international and local outlets for owners Ruben Gnanalingam, Amit Bhatia and Tony Fernandes, and Director of Football Les Ferdinand.
The result was that we generated more than ninety pieces of media coverage, with twelve interviews secured for key club spokespeople. Positive coverage appeared in outlets including: Sky Sports, The Times, the Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, Sky News, Forbes, the Daily Mail, The Athletic, the Evening Standard, and City AM.
The QPR bond raised £6.8m from more than 1,500 investors in just ten days, making it the biggest online bond in UK football history. Our strategy ensured that the news was reported widely, with balance, and with almost all pieces positive in sentiment. Work on the training ground is continuing apace.
Raised from 1,500 investors in just 10 days
Pieces of coverage secured
Interview opportunities for key spokespeople from the Club