Commercial Director on driving the Dons forward
Almost 11 years since Ivor Heller pioneered a sponsorship deal with Sports Interactive that has been fundamental to AFC Wimbledon’s success we caught up with our Commercial Director to find out more about the new projects that he is working on.
that a new commercial partnership with online booking agency Hotel Planner is set to be confirmed soon, and we today publish the second part of that feature with one of the club’s founder members. Ivor is pictured above (second from right) at the Millwall FA Cup match in 2009. During an in-depth interview for Dons Player, Ivor announced
Here’s what Ivor had to say in his interview for our premium site:
How valuable is continued support from the sponsors that have been with AFC Wimbledon for such a long time?
Without sponsorship from companies such as Sports Interactive, Cherry Red Records, and Paul Strank Roofing the club would not be where we are today. The partnership with Cherry Red Records and Iain McNay’s support has been hugely beneficial. Paul Strank’s whole family are also so behind what this club does that it is incredible. They are always trying to introduce us to potential new sponsors. Our sponsors do so much hard work behind the scenes to help drive the club forward.
What new sponsorship deals are we working on for next season?
All the sponsors that we had on board last season are set to renew for next season. We have also picked up another great deal for the club with a company called Hotel Planner. It is really good news for us because we will make commission off every booking that our supporters make with them. They are the biggest hotel booking agency in the world.
How did this exciting project come about and what does it mean for AFC Wimbledon?
This started through our contact with Sree Varma at a company called iSportconnect. They are a marketing company that we work with very closely and we were introduced to representatives from Hotel Planner through them. We invited people from Hotel Planner down to a game, they enjoyed it, and we talked to them about what we could do for them. We are one of the first football clubs that they have decided to go into partnership with. There are benefits for our fans because they should be able to book hotels at cheaper prices and for every room that is booked the club will pick up five per cent. Hotel Planner are an American company that are huge in the United States and they are looking to conquer Europe now.
While new sponsorship deals are vital to the club, just how important are the events staged throughout the year that also provide an income stream?
Kingsmeadow Live events are put on for the local community and for anyone to come and enjoy themselves. If supporters want to attend a live music event or fancy a night out then this is an easy option. It is your club and all the money that we raise from these events goes towards trying to fund our wonderful football club. Every time you pay for entry to an event or buy a drink at the club you are contributing to a great cause.
How does it feel to still be associated with a club that was formed over 11 years ago as a fans-owned club?
It was 28 May, 2002 when we got started and for this club to have blossomed into what it is now is miraculous. We have come so far and achieved so much. Yet we are sometimes highly critical of ourselves. We have made a difference to the lives of so many people and the 11 years has gone very quickly. I have had so many fantastic life experiences by being involved with this club that it is beyond belief. One day they will write the definitive book about us and we will get half of those stories in it with a bit of luck.
.Your AFC WimbledonIf you missed part one of our interview with Ivor, then please click on