Whilst everyone will spend today talking about Real Madrid losing and Messi getting yet another hat-trick, there is another Spanish club that is being talked about almost as much as the La Liga giants.
CD Torrevieja of the Tercera Group VI play their football down in the South East of Spain, on the famed Costa Blanca. They are not a fallen giant, they are not owned by an Arab sheik or Russian billionaire and they haven’t suddenly uncovered the next global superstar player so why are they suddenly the team on many people’s lips?
Chris Darwen, author of the football books series “Johnny Cooper, Championship Manager” has just joined the club to assist them with their commercial and PR activities. Since getting involved he has helped the club increase their membership base for next season increase by 50% and have forged a link with the previously untapped market of football fans – players of the cult computer game Football Manager.
“Most people that start a Football Manager save in Spain will most likely fire up Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico, Real Oviedo or one of the bigger names, but in the last week there must be literally hundreds of people that have started to manager CD Torrevieja – it’s amazing” said Chris.
Chris has been working closely with an official fansite of Football Manager, www.footballmanagercentral.com, and on Friday night the online collective ran a fundraising event for the club. Many of their 3000 members have signed up to become members of the first ever online CD Torrevieja’s history and many of the new CD Torrevieja fans tuned in to watch the Pena’s President, Paul Wandless, stream himself playing Football Manager live as the Costa Blanca team’s manager. The event was a massive success with over €400 being raised in 12 hours.
All these things are part of a new initiative within the club as Chris Darwen explained. “I was really excited to start getting involved at CD Torrevieja. Having been involved with the Real Oviedo Shareholders Trust I know what clubs mean to everyday football fans, and when I started telling people that they could get really involved with a professional club they were really excited. Clubs like CD Torrevieja need a good membership base to compete every season as they provide the majority of our revenue.
So, to be able to tap into a truly international market place through things like Football Manager communities, fans in different countries that are looking to come and watch a team in a different part of the world and fans that just want to say the are part of something a bit different gives us a real chance at being financially self-sufficient.”
It’s an exciting time at the Vicente Garcia, and the club are planning lots more initiatives to get both locals and international members involved. With emails arriving from Australia, USA, Mexico, Venezuala, New Zealand and Norway to name a few then this is a club that will have a truly international flavour.
If you would like to learn more, or become a member go to www.chrisdarwen.com or drop him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org