SEGA score winning PR goal

21 Apr

2011

I'm not one for your football manager games or the interactive alternative world stuff that occupies so many people's lives; it holds no interest for me at all, but I cannot help but be impressed by Sega's brilliant approach to PR and customer care.

A colleague of mine, Nick, is a young football crazed thing and some while ago signed up to Sega's Football Manager Live. Happy as Larry, he got to choose his own team, build a stadium and play competitive games against other "live" people anywhere else in the world. Clearly Sega did not envisage Nick as being the latest Glasier or Abramovich, as it only cost him £5 a month subscription to play the game. However, after a relatively successful start to the season's campaign managing his Mansfield's Legends side, Nick found he had little time to play due to his work placement commitments, so with a heavy heart Nick contacted the Chairman of the Club and submitted his resignation; well he actually terminated his subscription with Sega but you can see where I was going with that one.

Nick thought nothing more of it until he received an email from Sega entitled; "Nick's Mansfield Legends demands the return of Sankey". The following is the actual content of the email:

 

Nick's Mansfield Legends fans vented their frustration over recent performances by calling for the return of much-loved manager Nick Sankey.

Sankey, 21 left the club in October 2010 and since then their fortunes have plummeted. One fan, John Smith, claimed that Sankey was their last chance, stating "There is only one manager that can get us out of this mess and that is Nick Sankey!".

Huge banners adorning Sankey's face and bearing the message "Bring Back Sankey" have been seen outside the front entrance to the club's stadium adorned by the thousands of supporters crowding outside.

The club are equally keen to bring the legendary manager back to The Emile Heskey Arena releasing a statement yesterday saying:

"It's been noted by many people both in the media and by fans of the club that we are in urgent need to fill the vacant manager's position here at Nick's Mansfield Legends. Nick Sankey's name has been mentioned by many as the ideal candidate to come back and lead us back to our previous glories and, although no official approach has yet been made, we would love for that to happen."

Surely Nick Sankey cannot resist the temptation to lead the club back to their rightful position at the top of the Traditional FA for much longer?

Under a separate heading the Chairman of Nick's Club was reported as saying:

In a recent interview, the chairman of Nick's Mansfield Legends denied it was lack of funds causing their recent slump in form: "Money has nothing to do with it; we've cash in the bank waiting to be spent on bringing top players to the club. There's over £12 million available for transfers, we just need the right person to spend it."

He's certain about who he feels that right person is as well: "We'd love to bring Nick Sankey back to the club. We've never quite matched our previous success, and there would be no-one better to bring us back up to that level."

The email came in the form of a sports news page with additional headings calling for Nick's return and real looking adverts.

What a fantastic example of a personalised response to the loss of a customer! Nick had not looked back over his shoulder since packing his kit bag and leaving the Club, but now what was he to do? His own fans and players were demanding he returned – and that's precisely what he did! He re-subscribed and started playing again, his team rejuvenated by his return went on to storm up the League.

Unfortunately for Nick, Mansfield's Legends and Sega their Football Manager Live looks like having lived a short life. A number of technical issues and decisions taken upset a lot of subscribers and the game is soon to be terminated. As sad as that may be for Sega and the several thousand on-line game players who will have to find something else to do at their PCs, there is no taking away from Sega the Premiership performance of the PR/Marketing team in putting together a fabulous exhibition of how to re-connect with customers.

 

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