Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Manchester United - first time VIP

When I was in my second year at university I worked for a while in the executive lounges at Old Trafford. I remembered wondering why people spent so much money to get fed a meal and watch a Manchester United game, when I though the real atmosphere and excitement of going to a game was going like a regular, true fan - dressed up, drunk, cold, singing and without having to worry about leaving ten minutes before the games finishes just to miss the traffic.

Last night I was fortunate enough to get invited to go to the game, for free, VIP style. I think I now have a better understanding, for the most part, why people fork out over £3,000 per person for a season at the suites instead of the £600 or so needed to get a Stretford End season ticket.

Captain's Lounge - Old Trafford
The decision is, for most people, purely a business one. Get a table of four for £15,000, and you get:
  • To watch the game, with tasty food, a free programme and gift, entertainment, great seats and a place to chill out afterwards if you are driving and want to wait for the traffic to pass.
  • A place to host potential clients
  • Incentives you can offer to employees who perform well
  • A great way to develop or sustain good relationships with suppliers, key clients or important contacts in your network.
  • The cost is probably tax-deductable while I doubt you can pull that off with standard season tickets.
I think for any mid-sized company with owners that are Manchester United fans, executive tickets for every United game is well-worth the money.

One thing I would do though, no matter what, I will have a system in place to make sure that there is always someone at my table if I can't make it - too many seats are paid for and empty. Even if its just a little thank you for your business (clients) or hard work (employees), I am sure there are people in your network that would appreciate the gesture - after all, its all already paid for, and for goodness sake, its tickets to a Manchester United game, the greatest team in the world.

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