With more than 45,000 shareholders spread across more than 125 countries and five continents, with the United Kingdom being the territory with the most shareholders after Spain, Real Oviedo are a very global club and those in charge believe that the time has come to further strengthen the relationship and communication with these international shareholders. To take steps that highlight this special value that makes Real Oviedo so unique, they are organising initiatives around the 10th anniversary of ‘Proud of you’.
The ‘Proud of you’ sentiment was born in November of 2012, when the club went through a process of capital increase because the institution’s future was at stake. At that time, Real Oviedo faced imminent insolvency, and at least two million euros were needed to save the club.
There was a mobilisation of Real Oviedo fans, led by the most prominent and international academy graduates and by famous journalists. They shared the club’s story via social media, sparking a truly global movement. César Martín, the Director of Institutional Relations at Real Oviedo recalled: “Thousands of people were inspired by the Real Oviedo sentiment and they purchased shares in the club from all corners of the world, forging bonds that still last and that will last forever.”
With the club continuing a process of professionalisation in all the various departments, the Asturian institution felt the 10th anniversary of that movement was the ideal time to give a fresh boost to the way the club communicates with its international shareholders.
On the evolution in communication with the shareholders, Martín added: “We feel that our supporters are among Real Oviedo’s main assets and we owe so much to them. We know it can be difficult to follow a club from far away, so we try to break down the barrier of distance as much as we can. We want to facilitate this union between the club and the shareholders.”
For their part, the supporters have responded with great enthusiasm to this development, which will bring them even closer to their club. The director continued: “Our international supporters are grateful for all the displays of closeness that we have shown from the club over these years. This fresh boost was necessary and has been welcomed with a great deal of excitement, as those fans feel loved and valued.”
As a demonstration of the strengthening of the club-shareholder bond, a meeting was recently held with a dozen international shareholders from the United Kingdom, Ireland and United States. They were able to enjoy four days of activities, including a tour to explain how the club has changed over the past 10 years. They also visited the club’s facilities at Tensi (the sporting complex for the youth football programme), Fundoma (the training residence), the club stores and the Ciudad Deportiva El Requexón, where they attended a first-team training session. Last but not least, they took in a Real Oviedo home match, against CD Mirandés.
The importance of adapting communication to each region of the world
All Real Oviedo supporters share one same principle: the sentiment that, for one reason or another, they feel for Real Oviedo. That said, it’s true that to reach international fans, there is a need to adapt the strategy for each part of the world. That’s because it’s not the same to communicate and connect with a European fan as it is with a Latin American fan, for example.
As Martín put it: “We have to understand that not all shareholders have the same ability to follow the latest news of the club or the LaLiga SmartBank matches, perhaps because of different time zones or language barriers. It’s impossible for Real Oviedo to 100 percent meet the needs of each of these fans, but it is our obligation to do what we can to make things easier for them.”
He continued: “European fans have the advantage of geographical proximity, so our message to them is aimed at providing our first-hand ‘Real Oviedo Experience’ (which entails going to the stadium to see the ins and outs of the Carlos Tartiere, meeting the players in training or enjoying an incredible matchday experience, among other things). With the shareholders from outside of Europe, our communication has to be aimed at keeping alive the flame that made them trust or connect with the club at the time. This is done by holding regular online meetings with our ambassadors and those responsible for shareholder relations, by providing access to information and news about the club, and also by facilitating trips to Asturias through agreements with hotel chains and travel agencies, with raffles, etc.”
Real Oviedo will continue working hard and in a dedicated way to keep alive that sentiment that attracted so many foreign shareholders to the club, even though they may struggle to follow the day-to-day updates because they’re of different nationalities or speak different languages. As Martín concluded: “All our supporters should know that there will always be someone who will listen to their voice at this club.”