Proposers: Niall Couper and Melvyn Procter
I have been a Wimbledon fan since the 1980s and am a Season ticket holder with my Dad and Daughter.
I am standing again to be a member of the Dons Trust board, as I want us to be the best club we can be, both on and off the pitch. So, I would like to officially dedicate some of my time to this.
I work at the University of Southampton, and currently I lead a top ten games course. I work on digital education strategy for the university and am a fellow in creative research engagement for the research institute of Arts and Humanities, and previously led our department of Art & Media Technology.
I will bring my experience to the DT board to move AFC Wimbledon forward in two key areas.
- Our Unique Selling Point (USP)
- Our Education provision
A vote for me will be another voice on the DT board that will advocate for taking full advantage of our USP, that of a fan owned club.
This to me means a club about people and planet. Why? Because this is the right thing to do.
I believe we can and should take advantage of this positioning to attract new fans, both locally and globally. I am confident we can attract new sponsors and partnerships by clearly defining our position of being a sustainable, ethical, and environmentally focussed fan owned club.
This positioning will make us attractive to a global audience and global sponsorship.
94% of our members voted that we must be fan owned, but what is more important is to take advantage of this fact to progress on the pitch.
We can do this by increasing our income by striving to be different and showing what fan ownership really means.
Once we adopt this focus, we can build out a branding around our mission and take that to ethical and sustainable companies, partners, and organisations.
Our new shirt is made with Eco8 technology from Hummel meaning each shirt is manufactured from high-performing polyester produced from up to eight recycled plastic bottles.
Sports Interactive makers of Football Manager donate from every sale of their game to war child and have provided them to date with £1.5m to support children affected by conflict.
We can leverage more of these ties by making our positioning clear. I will bring my design thinking and leadership experience to help the board and club market our USP.
In Sept 2022 the education hub will start a new BTEC in eSports, I think our education offer, apprentice schemes and university year in employment schemes could be leveraged to attract younger and more diverse fans to AFC Wimbledon.
eSports is huge new market, in 2019 42,000+ people attended live eSports events in the UK and one event in the same year, the final of Fortnite, was watched by over 2 million people.
My background is not directly eSports; however, I will bring connections and experience from the world of gaming – the biggest entertainment industry on the planet that caters to over 4 Billion players – to the DT Board, club and stadium.
I will bring my experience of working with young adults in higher education for over 20 years to the DT board.
A vote for me will mean continued advocation for young, diverse people and gaming at AFC Wimbledon to the board increasing our income.
In terms of related practical steps.
We must make joining the Dons Trust much more attractive worldwide, through our USP, but also, I would push forward a membership opt in with season ticket renewal, I believe this is in discussion and I would advocate that we must do this.
I would ask for a rebranding of the Dons Trust in consultation and partnership with our younger fans and more diverse fans to make the membership as attractive as possible.
It doesn’t seem we utilise our whole fan base expertise, including our younger fans at all, so we need to look at how we improve our club volunteer offer and rewards programme.
I can directly bring a gaming and the environment event to Plough Lane centred around Daybreak a new board game made by the creator of Pandemic.
I will bring my enthusiasm, leadership, and experience to several other key areas specifically to help support better structures at the club, the paid roles at the club and where improvements should be made. I will use my experience of free and open-source software communities to ask the DT board and club to be as open and transparent as possible and improve all of its communication channels. I will at every turn ask the club to dare to be different.
To support inclusion, I have also uploaded a recorded audio version of this text with captioning onto YouTube. dctr.pro/dtm22