Last week, there were so many stories about Ange and his trip back home in the media that you’d have been forgiven for thinking that there was nothing else happening over there and that he had been on every TV show giving interviews.
And you know what? Every channel certainly.
He is a national hero over there and the move to Celtic has only exploded his popularity further. Ange proved again that not only is he an outstanding manager of men but that in terms of Brand Celtic he is far and away our strongest asset.
Celtic must be benefiting mightily from Ange’s popularity over there, and whilst at first it was annoying that so many of them asked him about interest from England – they all obsesses over the EPL as much as some of our hacks do – I think the important thing was that Ange said all the right things about being happy at Celtic and how big a club we are.
That has to be getting through even to people who would normally not show the least bit of interest in anything that happens in the Scottish game. Every time he talked down a move to England, every time he expressed his contentment here, there must have been people who said “we should find out more about this club he’s at.”
Ange is a superb ambassador for Celtic, and this will only increase the demand for tickets when we’re over there. This will only continue to grow the brand and make the name ring out all the louder, especially if we perform well and show Australia what he’s built.
I was slightly surprised, in light of this, to find that we aren’t planning to tour Japan any time soon, because that seems to be the obvious next move. Our global footprint has grown in Asia since Ange was appointed and we signed these guys, and it’s only logical that we want to use this guy and the players he’s brought here to grow it further.
At the centre of it all should be Ange himself though, because of how he carries himself, because of his warmth and charm … and because of how he sells Celtic.
Darren O’Dea’s recent interview confirmed the boss as the most prominent figure at the club, and the centre of the whole operation. He speaks so well in front of the media and he represents us so brilliantly that it’s only natural that he should be at the heart of how we market ourselves.
The commercial department has to know this … and they have to be laying their plans accordingly. Making Ange the man we build it all around isn’t just savvy from a business point of view; it makes the man feel valued, appreciated and at home.
And that will keep him here as long as we want him.
There’s no downside to this at all.