Interview from the Dugout!
Today on Gunners Town we are delighted to be able to bring you and exclusive interview with Elliot Richardson the founder and mastermind behind the newest and most innovative digital football platform, Dugout.com. Dugout is a free platform where fans can enjoy exclusive videos and updates about the lifestyle, fitness, behind the scenes and fun elements of the world’s top teams and players. Also all the content from clubs and players social channels can be enjoyed all in one place away from the clutter and noise of social media.
Thanks for doing this Elliot. Before we chat about Dugout I am sure the readers will be delighted to hear that the brains behind the concept, is a Gooner.
Yes I have been a lifelong supporter of Arsenal going to my first game in 1975. My father and grandfather were/are supporters and season ticket holders. My family are from the Caledonian Road. I have been lucky to see some amazing things with this club (Anfield, WHL, Old Trafford) as well as a few lows but that’s what makes an Arsenal supporter. My all-time favourite game was the Littlewoods Cup semi-final replay in 87 followed closely by having my wife and kids with me for the Hull cup final. That was their first one and nothing beats it.
Good to hear and now to Dugout. First of all congratulations on a momentous achievement, which some of us have known you have been working on for some time.When was the moment you thought that conventional media were perhaps not doing enough for the avid football fan?
Many thanks Dave and good to speak to you. It wasn’t a question that conventional media was not doing enough, but we feel we spotted some important trends and felt there was an opportunity for a gap in the market. This was in the main down to two main trends appearing. Firstly the rise of the global digital fan who is crazy about the club but he or she will never be able to visit the team and players they love. These people have a voracious appetite for content and information.
The second trend was the growing number of TV rights being sold all over the world across multiple leagues and computer games like EAs, FIFA, has resulted in creating fans that may well follow multiple teams and players. Our research tells us that globally on average a fan follows up to 4.6 teams. We all see kids running around now with European teams kits and their knowledge of teams and players is amazing because of their exposure to these factors. Dugout has been created to cater for that trend and allow them to see all of this on one platform with content from clubs and players being seen first on Dugout. Also even “one club” fans enjoy seeing stuff like lifestyle, training, skills etc and find out how clubs tick and players spend their time away from the game.
I am aware of your day job but for those that aren’t could you describe your role and how this gave you an inside track once you have conceived of the idea for Dugout?
One of our businesses gives advice to major sports stars including some of the world’s biggest footballers on how to manage their social media profiles. It gives us a really good insight in to what modern football fans are looking for. Players want to get closer to their fans and the reasons aren’t purely commercial. They appreciate the support and we help them better engage with their fan base and show them as real people with real lives.
Of course Gunners Town is an Arsenal site and I know I and my readers will be keen to hear how supportive Ivan, Arsene and the team have been. Can you give us some insight on that and how forward thinking Arsenal are in this arena?
I can honestly say that as expected Arsenal have been first class in everything they do. I can vouch through my experience of dealing with them that all people who works for the club strive to preserve the values of Arsenal Football Club. The ambition to win is clear across the commercial side of the club as it is on the playing side.
With Dugout aiming to offer unprecedented behind the scenes access from training grounds and even player’s personal life’s can you name drop any Arsenal personalities who have signed on and who we might see early on?
We have some great individual AFC players signed including Ramsey, Cazorla, and Bellerin. They will be doing some fun stuff so watch this space. Also our Centre Backs will blow you away with some of their Ball skills in the second touch challenge.
So my friend you are living the dream and hobnobbing with the top individuals and some of the largest clubs in the world. Are there any individuals Arsenal or otherwise who you have connected with particular of indeed who have impressed you the most?
Over the last two and a half years, I have been fortunate to meet some amazing people from across the world’s biggest clubs. Some are great clubs with superb histories and others are forging new and exciting chapters with new ownership. They all though are investing in quality people and this I have seen gain momentum over the past 24 months. Clubs have so much growth potential and they are working very hard across the board to capture this. We are incredibly honoured that they have supported us in this venture and it’s made me have even more respect for them and for what they are all trying to achieve. They want to grow the business side of the club, but they care far more about their fan-bases than I probably appreciated before I started this.
Before I let you go I must ask your current views on your own team. A positive start for the Gunners after the first day blip barring Everton but are you confident we can deliver with the manager and his future.
I think it’s a solid start and still think team can go up one or two levels. I love the pace and speed in the team. Honestly think it’s the best squad I have seen for a decade. Think we will be close this year but always worry about us and that’s after 40 years of watching not just the AW era. I also think there are 5 clubs capable of winning it. I don’t have any insight and yet I know from this project how much other people in football respect the club and the manager.
Last but absolutely not least. When are you going to employ me at Dugout and will it be the senior role I deserve?
Dave, we couldn’t afford you…
Thanks Elliot for allowing me to offer Gunners Town readers the inside track on Dugout and the very best of fortune to you and the exciting vision you have made reality.
Many thanks and much appreciated. It’s a fun platform and hope everyone enjoys it.
You can follow Elliot @ElliotR1971 and why not checkout Dugout and personalise your own experience today.
Passionate fifty-something Arsenal supporter who has been making the journey to N5 regularly since the early 1980s – although his first game was in 1976. Always passionate when talking about The Arsenal, Dave decided to send a guest blog to Gunnersphere in the summer of 2011 and has not stopped writing about the Gunners since.
He set up his own site – 1 Nil Down 2 One Up – in February 2012, which he moved on in 2016 to concentrate on freelance writing and building Gunners Town, which he launched with Paul in 2014.
The objective of GT was to be new and fresh and to give a platform for likeminded passionate Arsenal fans wishing to write about their team. Dave still of course, writes for the site himself and advises the ever-changing writing crew.