Everton has announced plans for the next phase of its international growth strategy – which will see the Club further strengthen relationships with its growing fanbase and strategic partners in North America.
Everton’s International Team will be supported by Jurgen Mainka, former CONCACAF Chief Commercial Officer, to further develop the Club’s presence across North America.
Mainka and his team at Miami-based Pulse Sport and Entertainment, which will include a dedicated Brand and Business Development Manager for Everton, will act as an extension of the Club’s UK-based international team and provide an on-the-ground presence across North America. They will primarily support brand and business development projects and the Club’s engagement strategy with its expanding US fanbase.
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The Club has delivered a series of activations and digital engagements in North and South America, Australasia, the Far East and the Middle East over the past two years – with expansion continuing despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Everton’s six-pillar international strategy includes fanbase growth, strategic partnership, brand and business development and the launch of an international academy - while continuing retail expansion and international pre-season tour plans for the First Team, Everton Women and Under-23s, guided by the strategy.
Mainka has held senior positions at four Major League Soccer clubs, having worked in the game for more than 25 years. At CONCACAF, Mainka played a key role in the organisation of the Copa America 100th anniversary tournament, held in the United States in 2016.
Before establishing Pulse Sports and Entertainment, Mainka was Chief Business Officer at Inter Miami, where he was a central figure in the Club’s stadium and training facility development and shaped the David Beckham owned club’s commercial and marketing strategies.
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Ahead of starting his new role, Jurgen Mainka said: “Everton is a unique club and has a strong familial bond with its fans. It has an illustrious history and an exciting future, with a new state-of-the-art waterfront stadium on the way, and I am proud to be part of telling the Everton story across the Americas.
“Building a deep connection with soccer fans across the US is a key part of Everton’s strategy and while the Club’s US base will be in Miami, we’ll also be keen to meet fans and prospective partners where they are – both physically and in terms of sentiment and understanding of the Club. That personal interaction is what Everton is all about. I can’t wait to get started and I am proud to be part of the Everton family.”
Mainka and his team will build on the significant inroads that Everton has already made into the US over the past few years.
These have included the Club:
- extending its strategic partnership with US company Fanatics, a global leader in licensed sports merchandise
- delivering partner activations in the US with international brands such as Fratelli Beretta
- launching exclusive US and Spanish-speaking Club social media accounts
- appointing Everton legend and USMNT hero Tim Howard as an Everton Ambassador in October 2019.
Everton has ensured former player representation at NBC’s Premier League Mornings Live events and has held special fan get-togethers in Washington DC, Boston, Austin and Miami in the past three years.
The Club made a splash in both Miami and New York in September 2020, when it announced the signing of Colombian superstar James Rodriguez on billboards at New York’s Times Square and on an advertising vessel that sailed through Miami Beach, South Beach, Nikki Beach, and round South Pointe Pier on Labor Day.
Richard Kenyon, Director of Marketing, Communications and International at Everton Football Club, said: “We have invested significant time and effort over the last two years researching and devising a long-term international strategy and, despite the ongoing challenges brought about by the pandemic, it has been great to get this underway and to take these steps forward over the last few months.
“North America is one of our key target territories and we are pleased to have reached an agreement to work with Jurgen Mainka who – along with other colleagues working in Miami – will be working with us to secure strategic partnerships and develop associated opportunities.
“At the same time, we are continuing to build our International Club Affiliate network after a successful pilot period and will be launching soccer camps in the North East and Mid-West of the United States for this summer which will see thousands of young soccer fans attending our programmes. We are also looking to expand the programme in our other target countries.
“These important steps are part of a long-term plan for the Club which has North America as a priority region – but other opportunities in other parts of the world have also been developed by our International Team and further exciting announcements will be made soon."