I had a discussion the other day with a fellow football marketer and was pointing out how crucial it is for a football club to “take ownership” of its city. It’s even more challenging in cities hosting more than one major club. Manchester City however are showing their domestic rival that they are THE Manchester club. The voices of Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini and three of the team’s players will be heard on a new tram service.
Mancini, Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany and James Milner have all recorded announcements for Metrolink’s east Manchester line.
Their voices will be used on match days and will be heard for the first time on Sunday, when City entertain Leeds United in the FA Cup.
As passengers alight near City’s Etihad stadium, Mancini says: ‘This is Roberto Mancini from Manchester City. This is the Bury service. The next stop will be the Etihad Campus.’
He makes a similar announcement when the tram travels in opposite direction to Droylsden. City skipper Vincent Kompany also chips in. ‘This is your captain speaking,’ he says, before announcing the tram’s destination and the name of the Piccadilly stop.
The voices of Hart and Milner will be used for the New Islington and Holt Town stops on the line.
Steve Sayer, Director of Operations for Manchester City, said the new line would improve access for fans to the Etihad.
He said: ‘It’s a nice touch for the fans that some of our star players and manager will announce on the way to our home stadium to get everyone in the mood for the match.’
Peter Cushing, Transport for Greater Manchester’s Metrolink Director, said: ‘We are grateful to Roberto, Joe, Vincent and James for taking time out of their busy schedules to record these messages.
‘We know that the Etihad Campus stop is going to be a very popular destination – especially on match days – and we thought this will be an interesting addition to people’s journeys before and after’.
It’s all a matter of “marking its territory” isn’t it? A great activation where costs are not significant, and it’s a compelling way to bring an additional football experience to fans.
Some might argue that the voices are only used on matchday when trams near Etihad Stadium, but hey, it’s cool, fun and on top of that, it’s a good start before having the voices on tram lines going to…..Old Trafford?