My girlfriend bought me a Raiders Gold Membership (I think) for Christmas – a pressie that cost a pretty penny. She bought it a few weeks before Christmas, and after a few hassles with the Raiders (including them changing their phone number and not updating their website with their new one) it arrived yesterday.
I have been a member for the past two years, and have been impressed with the Raiders merchandise for members – scarves, beanies, caps, stickers, key rings and cooler bags have all found their merry way into my house.
This year, for the low low price of $230, the merchandise pack consists of:
– 1 baseball hat, straight from the sweatshops of Vietnam
– 1 sticker
– 1 lanyard
– 1 keyring with Victor the Viking, made of the same high-quality plastic that I remember my first police badge was made out of at age 5.
– 1 “boot bag” that looks more like a clutch purse. I do not play football, and rarely find myself requiring an extra pair of shoes too often. And when I do, I doubt that this bag would be big enough to handle a pair of thongs.
The membership page on the website still listed the 2011 membership merchandise (until today, apprently) instead of the 2012 treasure trove of plastic goodness that appears was picked out by someone who has never spent a Friday night at Canberra Stadium in the middle of winter.
I don’t want to sound like a miserable, jaded old Raiders fan, but if they are serious about building their membership numbers, gaining respect and becoming a professional outfit once again, I would wholeheartedly suggest upgrading their marketing and merchandise. When asked about scarves, the Raiders response was “there’s a new NRL outlet open in Woden, you can probably buy one there.”
It’ll be sad if the Raiders can’t afford to remain in the NRL, but if they continue to treat their fans this way, they’ll have no one to blame but themselves.
PS. $40 to get into the ground for non-members? No wonder you only get 50 people turning up to games.