By KWANCHAI RUNGFAPAISARN
“The football club has earned about Bt80 million annually in revenue, of which 80 per cent is from sponsors, 15 per cent from selling merchandise, and the remaining 5 per cent from ticket sales. With the three-year revamp, we want to double our annual revenue over the period, and to increase the contribution from sales of tickets and merchandises to 40 per cent,” said Miti Tiyapairat, president of Chiangrai United FC.
The scheme will cost between Bt400 million and Bt450 million. The focus is on physical assets, including the United Stadium and sports complex in Chiang Rai, and in branding and marketing activities to communicate the brand to potential fans not only in Chiang Rai but all over Thailand.
The club has appointed Jarken Group, which specialises in branding and facility management, to take responsibility for branding strategy and marketing.
Jarken will be in charge of the architectural design of the club and players’ uniforms, as well as the stadium and sports complex, and make those facilities a landmark and tourism destination of the province.
Professional management techniques will be also applied effectively, the club says.
The football club’s first concept store in Bangkok will be opened in October at Siam Square, occupying 100 square metres of retail space at a cost of Bt10 million. It will handle 100 items of the club’s merchandise and will be a market test for building the Chiangrai United brand and communicating with fans.
Miti said winning games in the field was not enough, but winning business outside the stadium was also an important strategy.
“We think it is the most suitable time for us to make a revamp, as we are well prepared in fundamental areas, including players and academy, accounting and financial support. What we need to do next is to promote the brand and marketing value of the football club,” he said.
Tanapol Viratepsuporn, vice president for marketing and public relations, said that under the scheme the club was expected to increase its fan base by 100 per cent in the same period. The club claims at least 5 million fans throughout the country, including 90-95 per cent of the 1.2 million people living in Chiang Rai.
Kuldej Sinthawanarong, Jarken Group chief executive officer and designer, said the revamp would be carried out in different phases over the three-year period.
He added that the revamp will also include the development of a new 200-room boutique hotel at the United Stadium complex, locating on 35 rai (5.6 hectares) near Chiang Rai International Airport.
The team is now ranked No 5 in Thai Premier League standings.