Posts Tagged ‘Cardiff City’

I believe that events over the last couple of weeks have brought a great opportunity for all those involved in promoting all that Cardiff and the region offers to the world.

Estimates have been made as to the economic benefit to Cardiff and the region of our Cardiff City Bluebirds reaching the Premier football division. One figure I read was in the region of £50million!

The team made a wonderful start to their Premiership campaign by beating last year’s champions and title contenders Manchester City, and drawing with Everton last weekend. These matches were seen by a huge worldwide audience, thus putting Cardiff on the world stage.

Gareth Bale became the world's most expensive football player earlier this week - a great advertisement for Wales worldwide!

Gareth Bale became the world’s most expensive football player earlier this week – a great advertisement for Wales worldwide!

However, as reported extensively in local and international media, Cardiff’s own Gareth Bale has just become the most expensive footballer in the world, as his transfer deal to Real Madrid was concluded this week. I believe this move will bring even greater awareness of Cardiff and Wales to a worldwide audience.

Those involved in inward investment, tourism and associated sectors have been handed a golden opportunity to capitalise on this recent worldwide visibility. Let us see some really creative marketing to ensure Cardiff really does benefit from the awareness we now have worldwide, thanks to our sporting hero.

Finally, can I say how impressed I have been by Gareth Bale’s behaviour over recent days. Whlie accepting he has a great team of advisors about him, his down to earth character, professionalism and passion for Cardiff and his homeland is really impressive. What an advertisement for us worldwide!

With Hull’s victory over Cardiff City last night still a sore point for some attendees, it was perhaps less than timely that a Hull graduate should address the Breakfast Club this morning. However, Jonathan Ford, CEO of the Football Association of Wales (FAW), impressed supporters of both Welsh football and Welsh business with his inspiring and dynamic presentation, firmly demonstrating the sport’s transition from ball game to business.

The game is undoubtedly the UK’s most-watched sport, with the least-watched game in 2004 still garnering significantly more viewers than the year’s other defining sporting moment, Kelly Holmes’ Olympic gold.

In Wales, too, the default to rugby is not as clear-cut as one may assume. There are 100,000 registered football players in Wales, and 1500 clubs. In comparison, Wales has 50,000 registered rugby players, in 340 clubs. While Jonathan acknowledged rugby’s immense popularity was a particular challenge to football in Wales, interest in Welsh football is not that far behind. He praised the incredible show of support for Cardiff City’s recent Carling Cup final, and also highlighted the fact that the media coverage it received was comparable to the same weekend’s rugby match against England.

Jonathan stressed the fact that in him the FAW were appointing a businessman, not a footballer; a break from tradition in the sporting world. The business model he has put in place is reaping rewards, and is no longer reactive, but proactive. An example that sparked questions from the floor concerned the FAW’s revenue streams. 35% of the FAW’s income is generated through television coverage of games, yet coverage received is directly dependent on the team you are drawn against – a game of chance

'Innovating, evolving and getting stronger' - FA Wales

that causes significant financial “peaks and troughs”. With similar problems experienced by other UEFA countries, a centralisation process has been put in place to allow a much steadier return – and greater long-term planning and investment.

Jonathan firmly believes in the power of football to “improve people’s lives here in Wales”. FAW profits are ploughed back into the development of the game at all levels. Having “torn up” the previous strategic plan, Jonathan’s centres the new FAW around team work, communication, evolution and, of course, “winning more”. Ultimately, it is “all about qualification”, with sights firmly set on the Brazil World Cup 2014 and the Euros in 2016.

With Jonathan’s “forward-thinking, modern FAW” laying the building blocks,Wales should have no problem capitalising on our players’ undoubted talent when qualification comes. As one attendee said after the presentation – “See you in Brazil!”


The next Breakfast Club meeting will take place on the 27th of April, with Suzi Clay of Land Securities. If you would like to reserve a place, please email 

Like hundreds of thousands of Welsh sports fans at the weekend I watched the highs, lows and wonderful sporting moments given to us by our heroes of 2012 – from the superb Bluebirds to Warren Gatland’s rugby giants, and the superstar fighter Nathan Cleverly.

Caerphilly-born Nathan Cleverly celebrates his win over Tommy Karpency on Saturday

The rugby and football teams, together with Nathan and his backroom support, demonstrate how well-prepared, well-disciplined, passionate members of a Welsh team can out-perform opposition from anywhere in the world.

The media coverage of last weekend’s events beamed pictures and stories to millions around the globe, and no doubt many will ask again how this tiny nation in the Northern Hemisphere produces such successful sportsmen and women?

As we approach our annual St David’s Day let’s shout out loud and clear once again that Wales is different. I am delighted to read in today’s South Wales Echo that the Welsh Government will indeed by using the day to ‘showcase to the world the very best of what our country has to offer’.

Wales has a certain magic, that helps create great Welsh men and women. From the theatre, arts and business to sport, medicine and engineering, we continually produce excellence in every sphere.

Scott Williams' try took Wales to triumph against England at Twickenham

Well done Nathan, Sam and Mark, for being truly magnificent motivators and leaders of an inspiring group of young Welshmen who brought glory to the Welsh nation last weekend.

Let’s hope Team Wales can follow this sporting lead and start really selling Wales to the world.

'Superb' - The Bluebirds narrowly miss Carling Cup victory after 120 heroic minutes