The big football clubs all over the world have to become more visible towards their fans and supporters. Professional football is now longer just about 22 players on a football ground. Its about entertainment on a wider level, and therefore clubs are growing up to be entertainment organizations arranging not just football matches but also concerts. That’s the situation for UK clubs like Manchester and Chelsea, for clubs in Germany, USA and in Denmark for FC Copenhagen with Parken, and Brøndby, which are working with entertainment beside the football game.
And now a new Danish club is working to be an important entertainment organization after one year of planning. In August the football club, Odense Boldklub, took some big steps into the European entertainment business by buying one of the biggest Danish music festivals, Midtfyns Festivalen. After a shorter negotiation with the owner of the festival, Nina Færgemann, the football club could put its name on a contract, just under the very nose of three Copenhagen top chiefs from the internet company Jubii, who also were interested in the 26 year old Funen festival.
Wanted A Generational Change
The owners of the festival until August, with Nina Færgemann in front, wanted to sell the festival, which were established in 1975 by her husband, Peter Færgemann. In 1991 Peter Færgemann died suddenly, and afterwards Nina Færgemann decided to take over in order to secure the existence of the festival. And now she had hoped that she could make a generational change with her children, but that wasn’t possible. Therefore she decided to find some other owners.
Kim Brink is the director of Odense Boldklub, and he admits that the buying of Midtfyns Festival is a very essentially and strategic move in proportion to the realizing of the club being an important Danish entertainment organization.
– We believe that in buying the festival there are some possibilities by saying that when we already supply sporting service products to interested people, then we can as well make an effort to find associated business areas here on Funen.
– Making Odense Boldklub into an entertainment organization is a strategic maneuver, which we have been working on during the last year. And the possibility for us to be the owner of Midtfyns Festival came into being, because Nina Færgemann wanted to sell. She was looking for possible buyers, and we could see an idea in continuing the negotiations, and after 14 to 18 days we came to an agreement about price on the festival, says Kim Brink.
Many Things To Decide
What the club has paid to be the owner off the Funen festival is a secret. Not until October it will be decided what future musical profile the festival will get, if the cooperation about bands and artist with DKP will continue, and on what time of the year it will take place, and finally not before next month it will be official where on Funen the festival will be held in both the near and far future.
– About the placement of the festival, we haven’t decided yet where it’s gonna be. Right now we have just decided to say, that we are open for all possible placement. But in proportion to the organizing of next years festival we have to work very fast now to get everything ready, Kim Brink says.
The club is now searching for a new leader of the festival, but according to Kim Brink the club still wants to work together with the 4000 volunteers in 90 clubs and societies, which are connected to festivals every year. And it will also be the present Midtfyns Festival organization, which will arrange the future festivals, Kim Brink nails down.
To the question about how important it is for a club like Odense Boldklub to be a organization, which can offer more entertainment than just football, Kim Brink says, that it is very important to follow the development, that’s takes place in football business today.
– Football clubs have to be more visible towards their fans and supporters than earlier. We have to make associated experiences for them as a part of a branding strategy, which shall make us more than a football club does.
– We know very well, that right now we don’t have the same physical facilities like FC Copenhagen and Parken in the capital Copenhagen, but we believe, that if we collect some interest on Funen, our organization will be strong enough to succeed, says Kim Brink.
The Odense Boldklub is working on a company construction, which will look like the organization in FC Copenhagen and Parken, and the working title for the new Funen entertainment organization is for the present Odense Elitesport and Entertainment.