An open letter to Sr. President Antonio Salvador, SC Braga and S.A.D.

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Offline Karl

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A direct insult to SC Braga - A city known as the hub of innovation in Portugal

Dear Mr. President,

It is with great honour that I am a supporter and member of this fantastic club. However, it is with great sadness that brings me to write this letter.

Before I begin I wish to congratulate you on the great service you have provided to our club. Firstly in setting about and achieving the financial stability of the club to which the "so called" big three must be truely envious considering their current financial uncertainty. For me this financial stability is of paramount importance before any success can take place on the field of play. As a result of this I must also congratulate you on all the achievements and historic chapters over the past few years. When I became a member in it was not to chase glory but to follow a football dream. You have helped make many a Braga fan's dream become a reality. Congratulations again.



Having no intention to insult but to clarify a feeling amongst supporters of the club of which we are not a small minority but a vast group that as each day passes is shocked at certain things that happen. Of course we also applaud the many fantastic things that the club has done over the years and we support wholeheartedly iniciatives and innovations that has taken the club to a new level in professionalism alongside the traditional big clubs in the country. It must be understood that we want our club to grow and prosper and I do not write this as a means of degrading or undermining any of the great strides the club has taken over the past 10 or 11 years. Secondly the club must understand that we as supporters are entitled to our opinions should we think that certain actions are not in the best interests of the club.

Braga as a city has become a huge source of pride over the past few years in terms of development, innovation and forward thinking and it is a city that many other cities in Portugal of its size aim to emulate. It has it's weak points but generally steps have been taken in the past or are being taken to improve upon these 'weak points' and position Braga as a forerunner in Portugal in many areas which has given it Worldwide prominence.  Both past and curent Presidents, even with their critics, strived and strive to put Braga on the map. It is a city that has no equal in Portugal.

I wrote this small piece on Braga to compare it to what I see in relation to our club that we all love and only want to see prosper. To list all of the positive things over the past decade would take me all night and to discuss negatively certain aspects may seem harsh but to give a proper critical analysis one must lead with the head and not the heart.

I have not been university educated in the skills of marketing but as a consumer, as we all are, I can easily make a snap judgement on what I see right before my eyes. When I think about "Marketing" in relation to our club I could go in any direction. There is no given formula except the creation of innovative ideas that catch the imagination of the supporters in the hope that they will both adhere to the ideas and spread the word, increasing the catchment area and thus step by step building a support base that acts like a snowball and gathers force as it moves forward. People that work in "Marketing" generally are very creative and new ideas and initiatives are constantly spilling out of their minds onto a design table where the advertising geniuses and website designers add their own brand of creativeness. We thus have a plan, or the base of a plan that would greatly enhance the enjoyment of the consumers. In this case, we as the supporters are the consumers.

Getting to my point is not an easy pathway as the above explanations and groundwork is need to prove that the road taken this week by the club was one which should never be taken again. Our club if I am not mistaken takes its "Marketing" advice from an internationally reknowned company. This being said I would expect only the best, the cream of the crop and nothing less.

So why then did I feel a sickness at the pit of my stomach with what happened today? I will come to this point at the end of the letter as it is the reason that drove me to write this letter in the first place

Why since the release of the program of the "presentation night" have I felt an unease surrounding the whole debacle? It seemed like a rush job with no proper planning or consideration to the real fans.

Why did I get upset with the announcement of Emanuel? Considering right now that Braga is full of up and coming talented bands who would have been both cheaper(or free if you had sold the idea correctly to them of them getting to perform in front of 10-15,000 spectators) and there would have been a greater connection with the youth attending the game you so wish to align with the club. Local and genuinely youth orientated music, local youth, local club. Create the idea than it is a communtiy event rather than bring in a musician that would generally only attract emmigrants and the older generation. Emanuel is not Braga and Braga is not Emanuel even if he wants to write a song about the club. Sorry about being blunt and it is nothing against emmigrants who continually sustain the tourism industry in Braga year after year. 

Why did the design of the advertising of the event give me the idea that it was designed by a six year old learning to use Photoshop? The use of many different fonts and so many different sizes of lettering lead me to believe it was created by someone not normally associated with this type of work. The instant it appeared it looked wrong. Aesthetically it was just all wrong. EMANUEL has a bigger font than SC BRAGA which doesn't make sense in any man's language. There are so many "Advertising" errors it is difficult to know where to begin to start explaining.

And why do I get the feeling that a 2 hour meeting was planned on (let's say for example) 16th July to discuss ideas about the presentation night?  Too many things that could have ben done but were not. The presentation had been planned yet the radio station relaying the game had not been informed when the game would start. I actually laughed as they scrambled to apologise for the delay and reassign a new kick off time in various manners. It seemed that the ideas were thrown on the table to organise the event and due to familiarity it would appear to the majority attending that it was a vastly superior experience to what they were used to.

Why was there just a release of an alternative jersey and not all three? It seems bizzare and was questioned by many members. Is there a major problem with the supplier? It just does not correspond with the stature of our club. This is a long standing sore point with me. The Jerseys should be released around the 15th of July every season without failure so not just to alleviate the fans apprehension but also to catch as many emmigrants who wish to return home with their favourite teams colours. It is a matter of pride for them. I know, because it is the same feeling I get when I but on my Braga jersey.

There were indeed some great ideas of what was in spirit a family day which SC Braga have not undertaken previously and they should be applauded.
1. The players and direction mixing and taking photos with the fans finally created a closer bond between the two elements that had been missing. A major step forward and fundamental to the fans.
2.The family events such as the inflatables and clown(s) which gave the younger members an enjoyable time making the experience for many unforgettable and in doing so a possible future link to the club. If nothing else it will create a good lasting memory for the kids.
3. The team mascot, untiringly taking pictures with just about everybody at the game, a feature that should be used at every home game. We have talked about htis theme for years. To see it realised was another major step forward in not just the clubs image but also and even more important the image given to the young children going to the games. (I know the mascot is around a while, I was just making a point)

Getting back to the "issues" I would say the day was a success for most of the people who attended even if it, in my own personal opinion. was not a complete event in any way, shape or form. The planning of the event may have been constrained by monetary factors which is a subject we all understand and take into consideration. People invovled may feel insulted by my stating of perceived failures. If I am given a job to do I do it to the best of my abilities. If I dont have the necessary skills to complete the task but I am still designated to complete the task it is due to two reasons. One being my superiors inability to delegate properly or an "anything will do" attitude. Two being that nobody is qualified to properly do the job and somebody was chosen as"last man standing". If indeed the event was constrained by monetary issues then proper planning and a little bit of creativity by the marketing department would have led to a successful completion and pure joy would have rained from the supporters hearts. 

I believe that the club has a "marketing" department from 1st January to 31st December every year and do not just use it now and then or whimsically as and when needed so I therefore dont understand why the ten weeks from the end of the season up until the night of the presentation game were not used properly to launch Braga onto another platform. If this is the case that the ten weeks were used proactively then I would imagine that I am not the only person that thinks the event was not the highlight it should have been. For a "Marketing" department of a football club or any sports club I would imagine that the "off" season(Mid May- Mid August) is the most important period to plan any activities or to strategise the full season ahead. Not only would the presentation night be planned but a full calendar list of event for the nine months of football avtivity.

The company that is used for "Marketing" purposes, I believe, has been the same for many years so I do not understand why such an outdated event was used for a club that strives to be different and wants to move forward.

Now I move to my final point. A direct insult to our club. An insult with a true lack of respect and had it not been the same people that performed both actions it probably would have come under the terms of sort of plagiarism. I wouldn't go as far as to say the fans were defrauded but they were certainly tricked into believing that the event was unique.

"Architects strive to create new designs of beauty, a building constructor strives to build bigger and better structures with better quality each time, an artist aims to give us an image not captured before and finally a football club strives to build on success in an attempt to become the biggest team at home and abroad"

With this statement I want to show you one thing. They all move forward. They all strive for greater purposes. They do not take a step back and recreate the same design for one reason. An architect wants a deisgn to be unique. A replica design would undervalue the original. Therefore we will never have another stadium like SC Braga have by the same architect. Originality. A building constructor builds bigger buildings and with better quality or his buildings lose value for them being all the same style. An Artist designs a thing of beauty that cant be equaled as hisher view is singlular.An artist never copies a design. Art is unique. It can never be replicated properly and is only ever done through forgeries. And finally a football club. A football club changes and adapts, buys and sells players, changes jerseys yearly, updates merchandise and strives always to break records and do better than previously achieved.

And now the image sent to me by a friend. I will not denegrate the institution that is SC Braga by having an image like this on Superbraga.com so I will just leave a link for you to decide whether or not I am justified by my words.

http://sportingatmorrer.blogspot.pt/2014/08/o-spbraga-quer-ser-grande.html

I will finally finish the letter as it is 5.56am and I am due to run in a 10km road race at 10.30am as it is a holiday here in Ireland. I stayed up writing this letter after lots of consideration and felt it was of vital importance to share my thoughts. I do not and would never do anything to cause injury to the name of the great club that is Sporting Clube de Braga. I will wake up at 8.30am with a clear head (if not a little tired) knowing I have done the right thing bringing this letter to your knowledge. It is ok. I am no Usain Bolt!

I am also deeply upset at something that happened at the stadium on Saturday but do not wish to discuss it openly in a public forum. If anybody responsible from the club wishes to contact me regarding my ideas then they can email me at donnellykarl@yahoo.co.uk I understand Portuguese perfectly and altough my written Portuguese is not perfect it is of a considerably higher standard than that of the "Google Translated" English section of the official website(I have previously offered to translate it free of charge but was told by a memeber of staff that it would take too long).

With compliments from Dublin and with lots of respect,
Karl Donnelly.

PS:  Should at any time an opportunity of employment arise in the Marketing Department I would gladly send in my Cirriculum Vitae for your consideration. Failing this I am always available by email, telephone or in person(in September 2014) to discuss these ideas openly in order to help the club in any way I can. The club can always count on my support whether I am near or far. Passion is something that is often misunderstood.

IF ANYBODY WOULD LIKE TO TRANSLATE THIS AND POST IT IN THE MAIN SECTION I WOULD BE GRATEFUL. I THINK IT WOULD TAKE ME CONSIDERABLY MORE THAN THE 4 HOURS IT TOOK ME AND WOULD POSSIBLY LOSE SOME OF ITS QUALITY IF I DID IT. THANK YOU
« Última modificação: 04 de Agosto de 2014, 07:56 por Karl »

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Offline krugger

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Re: An open letter to Sr. President Antonio Salvador, SC Braga and S.A.D.
« Responder #1 em: 08 de Agosto de 2014, 13:24 »
Muito bom Karl, parabens.

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Offline Karl

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Re: An open letter to Sr. President Antonio Salvador, SC Braga and S.A.D.
« Responder #2 em: 08 de Agosto de 2014, 21:25 »
Obrigado Krugger.

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Offline Maria

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Re: An open letter to Sr. President Antonio Salvador, SC Braga and S.A.D.
« Responder #3 em: 12 de Agosto de 2014, 10:46 »
WOW Karl!!! I hope there is someone in the Club that can read this and translate the ideas to Salvador. Braga can not always find excuses like "it's a new situation" or "we didnt have much time to prepare it". We have to be always prepared and if possible one step ahead. You pointed out many many failures and these failures could be easily avoided if there was professional people working in the marketing department (is there a marketing department?! :o)
Now and again, congratulations on this letter and hopefully someday you will be working for BRAGA. You are the kind of person that Braga needs. I "vote" for you.
GVERREIRA DO MINHO

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Offline miguel_afonso

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Re: An open letter to Sr. President Antonio Salvador, SC Braga and S.A.D.
« Responder #4 em: 12 de Agosto de 2014, 11:49 »
There are paid professionals working in the Club, the issue is what are they working on, because year after year we see limited changes and childish errors. So who are they and for what are they accountable?

Karl great words and thoughts!
« Última modificação: 13 de Agosto de 2014, 08:13 por miguel_afonso »

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Offline Karl

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Re: An open letter to Sr. President Antonio Salvador, SC Braga and S.A.D.
« Responder #5 em: 13 de Agosto de 2014, 00:31 »
Thank you Maria and Miguel. I totally agree that we should be one step ahead and constantly working on ways to be a progressive club. Of course there are good ideas that should be assimilated into the future planning of club policies and there are so many ways which are cost effective that could change the club for the better. It is these small changes that make a club effective in planning, reaching potential, changing the partners(socios) ideas on how the club is progressing. making the members feel part of the process and encouraging participation. If the partners feel that it is a closed shop policy then they sometimes accept the "status quo" and just enjoy the "ride" while things are going well. A progressive club has a 5 year, 10 year and 20 year plan. What I see are short term plans in general. There are long term plans like the school visits and the incorporation of the club mascot into match days which will pay dividendsand there are short term projects such as cheerleaders which should be continual rather than short term stop gaps. They seem small and inconsequential but create a brand if used week in week out. Club goals and projects should have a time line such as SCBraga TV which is a short term goal in a year or two and the club academy which should have a goal of anywhere between 5 and 20 years. I am all for progress but they should have stated completion dates whether it is next year or the year 2030. Unfortunately fans get caught in the "now" and because of the limited period a President has, which is a term of three or four years, the idea of long term perspection is rarely if ever used. Anyway, to bring it to a close we must be inventive and innovative in our marketing which was the original thought of the post.

Abracos e Beijos,
Karl

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Offline rb_bl_21

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Re: An open letter to Sr. President Antonio Salvador, SC Braga and S.A.D.
« Responder #6 em: 18 de Fevereiro de 2015, 16:31 »
Great article BIG KARL and interesting point of view ;)

 

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