17.12.14 – Athene Communications’ hard work over the last few months has paid off. Having been commissioned in the summer by Norwegian technology company ABAX to orchestrate the renaming of the Peterborough United (Posh) stadium, the Athene Team, headed by Rachel Wild and Mark Pearson, worked to ensure the new ABAX era at Posh got off to a flying start.
Witnessing the preparation by Rachel and Mark, it is clear the initial reaction to the renaming of the stadium to ABAX Stadium (a potentially contentious issue with the club’s fans as it is the first time in Posh’s history the ground has changed names) was not only a success but a great project for Athene to work on. From numerous teleconferences with our Norwegian colleagues, to design meetings with our consultants Speed Design, no stone had been left unturned in preparation for the ABAX Stadium launch week.
Here’s a look back at how the week (24-28 November 2014) panned out.
Launch week at Athene began with Rachel and Mark having their regular Monday morning phone call with Sandra Lindberg (ABAX Marketing Director) who is in ABAX’s head office in Larvik. This is to keep her abreast of the preparations for media and match day launch. Once this meeting had finished it was straight into the Athene weekly team meeting to give the rest of the Athene team a brief overview of plans for the week ahead.
Tuesday began with a 9am meeting with Frank Ystenes (ABAX UK Owner and Director) and Chris Miller (ABAX Quality Manager) to brief them ahead of their ‘meet and greet’ with representatives from the three Peterborough United supporter clubs. After an hour long question and answer session, the meeting was a success with the groups giving positive feedback to the new partnership and even inviting Frank and Chris to the fans pub of choice, Ebeneezers, for a pre-match pint!
Back at the Athene office, the team welcomed the arrival of the match day flags and brochures which will provide the fans with a brief insight into ABAX’s and Frank’s background. With the first pieces of merchandise meeting our approval, we waited with high expectations for the scarves and mascot Alviss! All due to arrive on Thursday.
Wednesday was the day of the press conference, with Frank and Chris prepped and both the local and national media alerted of a big story, everything was in place for the official announcement of the renaming of the Posh ground to ABAX Stadium. Once the media arrived it was all go. The press conference began with Frank, Chris and Posh Manager Darren Ferguson accompanied by Bob Symns (Chief Executive of Peterborough United). With the introductions out of the way, Bob immediately announced the club’s new partnership with ABAX and the renaming of the stadium. Bob’s enthusiasm for the partnership and the potential opportunities that it could bring to the club were evident in his answers to questions from Sky Sports News, BBC, ITV and other journalists… Now it was official… Posh’s new home was the ABAX Stadium.
Thursday was another pivotal day in the ABAX launch journey, the day began with the official photo for the business press release at the newly named ABAX Stadium, attended by Athene’s Richard Astle and Becky Gower. Back at the Athene offices, excitement mounted as we took receipt of the ABAX mascot, Alviss! To be worn by our very own Ryan Hyman – he’s always ready to go the extra mile, even when dressed up as a giant letter A.
Match day had finally arrived and the Athene team were out in full force. Mark met with Frank and Chris at BBC Radio Cambridgeshire to support Frank’s interview with Paul Stainton. The whole office tuned in as the interview got underway. We were left very pleased with the outcome as Frank’s charismatic personality shone through. Attentions then turned to match night that evening against Bristol City.
We asked pupils from our partner school Nene Park Academy to help us hand out the flags and scarves on the evening. Waiting at the ABAX Stadium reception with our all access passes were Mark and Rachel. Once we had been assigned to our turnstiles it was a case of handing out the ABAX Stadium memorabilia. Much to our delight, the merchandise had all been snapped up within the first hour – with the scarves proving very popular. It was then over to the Motorpoint Stand to cheer on Posh – a game also live on Sky Sports.
By 10pm the match was over (Posh lost, but spirits weren’t dampened too much!) and it was up to the sponsor’s suite for a celebratory drink with the match sponsors. Despite the result, the launch can be considered a great success. The ABAX contingent from Norway left in good spirits.
With the dust settled over the launch week, Athene now turns its attention to phase two of the ABAX plan, as we look to promote and enhance the ABAX brand across the UK.
- Athene is a place where everyone gets their chance and we asked our newest recruit Chanpreet Singh to turn his hand to writing up his experiences of our work with the ABAX Stadium
- Images copyright Joe Dent (Peterborough United)