By Dana Baasiri
Last year, “Deadpool” star Ryan Reynolds and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” creator Rob McElhenney made headlines when they bought Wrexham Football Club, a Welsh football team that has been around since 1864. With no prior experience in owning or running a football club, the duo faced many challenges. But with Reynolds’ marketing skills, the team has seen a massive spike in popularity and fan engagement.
Let’s break down exactly how Ryan Reynolds used innovative marketing strategies for Wrexham and what other brands can learn from his approach.
#1: Clever social media strategies and unique content
Ryan Reynolds is known for his hilarious social media presence, and he certainly used this to his advantage to promote Wrexham on various platforms. He wasted no time sharing engaging content like fun images with his followers, interacting with fans, and even creating a ‘Welcome to Wrexham’ video for the team. Since its release in October 2022, Wrexham’s Wikipedia page has seen a massive jump in views and followers across multiple social media platforms. In just two months after its debut it already achieved a combined one million followers – an incredibly impressive feat for such a small club. This is even more impressive considering that other teams such as those in the English Premier League are lagging behind when compared to their viewership and social media following numbers.
#2: Opportunities for fan involvement and engagement
Involving fans in the Wrexham experience was crucial for creating a deeper bond between the team and its supporters. To generate buzz around the club, Reynolds and his team went to work creating many opportunities to heighten brand interaction amongst fans. From launching a jersey contest that allowed fans to design the team’s new kit, to listening to their ideas and incorporating their input, Wrexham fans felt catered to but more importantly, seen and heard. Involving audiences in the football club’s narrative was a surefire way of reinforcing brand loyalty despite the new ownership.
#3: Masterful storytelling and team advocacy
Wrexham FC has a rich history, and Reynolds has made sure to promote the team’s culture, values, and traditions to help carve out a unique brand identity through a docu-series called “Welcome to Wrexham.” The series showcased the club’s history, interviews with the management and players, and the fans’ passion for the team. Moreover, Reynolds encouraged the players on the team to be more vocal and speak up about the team culture, creating a sense of belonging within the team.
#4: Cross-functional entertainment and the power of celebrity
The success of this campaign can be attributed to Reynolds’ and McElhenney’s fame in the entertainment industry. Their presence gave Wrexham much-needed exposure on an international level and made it more appealing to brands for sponsorship opportunities that would have not been available otherwise. With their help, Wrexham was able to turn itself into an up-and-coming soccer club with plenty of potential for growth and development in the future. Ultimately, Reynolds’ and McElhenney’s involvement is proof that partnerships between celebrities and brands can be beneficial to both parties if done right.
#5: Diversifying revenue streams with a 360˚ approach
There is no one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to generating revenue, and Wrexham is a prime example of how beneficial it is to have a 360˚ approach. To make Wrexham profitable and self-sustainable, Reynolds had to come up with creative ways to generate revenue, including merchandise sales, sponsorships, and partnerships. From creating strong relationships with partners and supporters, to cultivating a unique brand identity and crafting partnerships that supported that messaging, it all funnels into generating revenue for the company.
Ryan Reynolds has been instrumental in turning Wrexham Football Club into an internationally recognized team. By using his creative marketing skills, investing in the community, and listening to fans, Reynolds has transformed Wrexham into a successful brand, generating diverse revenue streams and driving player and team performance. Brands can learn a lot from the Wrexham story, especially the importance of creating unique brand values, engaging with fans, and diversifying revenue streams to achieve success.
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