Between 2000 and 2008, Aston Villa’s media and general communications’ department grew from a single individual to a team of 13. Phil Mepham was the club’s first ever media representative and in eight years led and created a which specialised in press relations, club publications, TV & Audio output and social media strategy.
Day-to-day engagement with local, national and international media required direct and regular consultation with the Chairman and board members, team managers, players, support staff and all corporate departments. Content delivery included pro-active promotional activity, match-related press conferences and interviews and reactive positioning as appropriate.
In 2006, the club, which had operated as a PLC for nine years, was bought into private ownership and all internal and external communication was required to fulfil obligations to the London Stock Exchange and in partnership with Rothschild Bank International.
Soon after, the club announced a ground-breaking partnership which handed a valuable shirt sponsorship package to local children’s hospice free of charge. The announcement incorporated project planning alongside terminally ill children who also took part in the launch event at the club’s Villa Park stadium. As a consequence, Acorns benefitted from the club’s donation of prime sponsorship space and also from the enhanced media coverage of their donor-based care services.
Phil joined Aston Villa Football Club after experience with ‘blue-chip’ companies, and committed to ensure that Aston Villa remained a market leader in Customer Relationship Management. He was instrumental in the formulation of the club’s CRM strategy and the simultaneous integration of Ascent Technology into the business.
As Head of Marketing at Aston Villa, Phil also managed the Clubs customer acquisition, development and retention programmes.
Phil’s credentials as a supporter are equally solid. He has followed the club since childhood and combined his passion for the club with his extensive marketing know-how to drive the club and its brand onto a new level.