Wealdstone blog: Is the Wealdstone Raider positive or negative exposure for the club?
PUBLISHED: 10:40 19 December 2014 | UPDATED: 10:40 19 December 2014
The Wealdstone Raider is a figure you have probably heard of, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past 18 months.
What was recorded as offhand comment during a game against Whitehawk in March 2013 has gone viral on the internet. The original video has now passed more than five million views and for some clubs you can’t buy exposure like this.
Whilst I’m happy now when I mention Wealdstone people know who I’m on about, it saddens me that they only know the club because of the Raider. Is this a poisoned chalice or the bad side of fame?
When speaking to Wealdstone supporters about Gordon Hill – aka The Wealdstone Raider, you will get split views. Some think it’s the best thing ever to happen to this club and others would prefer if this wasn’t associated with the club.
It’s a hard thing to deal with, some people have never seen or dealt with the exposure something like this can bring, but it is vital that it’s handled in the right manner so it doesn’t damage the football club. After all it’s the entire football club which is affected by this situation as the original video was filmed at a Wealdstone game and negative connotations from this could hurt the club commercially or attract the wrong sponsors.
The whole thing to me seems to have got a little out of hand, I was at a game recently and every time I looked over to Gordon Hill, he was being asked for his autograph. It seemed puzzling and overwhelming for me, to see him being distracted minute after minute for his autograph.
It just gives a rather weird experience when watching games now, instead of fans focusing on the players and the game; they are focusing on events off the pitch. While I understand the media exposure the raider gives the club, could it not have a negative effect when trying to attract new players?
For instance if we are trying to attract a player who has been released by a team a division or two above, would the player be interested in the club to meet the Wealdstone raider or to play for the club?
While I’m sure this has been looked at behind the scenes, it is a point of interest not only for myself but other fans within the club.
We shall have to see what 2015 brings for both parties I’m sure plans are coming together behind the scenes to give this colourful character more exposure, let’s only hope that more of the Raider can also bring around good times for Wealdstone in their fight against relegation.
It’s been an interesting 18 months for the club, lets hope for positive exposure in the New Year.
Follow Craig on Twitter @craigw87
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