Fans may not be able to watch the NRL live at the moment due to the coronavirus but an innovation by Sydney’s Clarke Murphy Print means footy fanatics can be in the stands in spirit in the shape of their very own personalised corflute cut-out.
The ‘Fan in the Stand’ concept has quickly followed the Build-A-Desk idea that this creative and innovative print business came up with to keep the wheels turning as core business slipped off the radar due to the economic shutdowns.
In a lightning fast 24-hour period, the team at Clarke Murphy Print jumped on the Fan in the Stand concept and came up with a prototype that they could show to NRL CEOs to gauge interest in the idea that was first displayed in the German Bundesliga.
The concept has proven so successful that at the time of writing, Clarke and Murphy Print owner Benn Murphy was driving a van-load of 500 ‘fans’ to Brisbane for the Broncos’ next encounter. A partner printer in Townsville has been contracted to print the corflutes for the Cowboys’ home games.
Every NRL club is now onboard and six stadiums in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, NSW Central Coast, and Townsville have signed up for Clarke and Murphy Print to print and install the fan corflutes for games.
Clarke Murphy Print general manager James McGrath said crucial to the success of the project was the establishment of a back-end processing system that is embedded within the NRL’s website nrl.com.au
This embedded site has made it very simple for fans to go online, lodge a photo of themselves in their fan gear, pay the $22 plus GST fee of which $1 goes to charity Gotcha4Life and have their request submitted for printing.
“The quick turnaround was from idea to concept to prototyping – that was done in 24 hours and then we quickly got onto the phones of the CEOs of NRL clubs and we got some interest behind that and that helped us get some leverage into the NRL and the NRL took it onboard,” McGrath told Sprinter.
“They are printed on corflute so the boards are water proof, wind proof and highly durable – just like a true fan.
“One interesting thing that we are finding is we are getting a lot of overseas orders so expats who never go to a game but want to be a part of it are ordering.
“The other area that we are getting a lot of traction is regional centres for people that can’t always get to games. It is interesting to see the demographics of who is engaging with this. A lot of birthday presents and special requests so it is really neat.”
McGrath said the Fan in the Stand concept means Clarke Murphy Print is now operating 24 hours a day seven days a week to get through the orders which will run for the next nine weeks.
This demand is definitely helping plug the gap caused by the coronavirus.
“It’s keeping us busy but we would prefer our core business to return because this doesn’t replace it but it has been a fantastic project for the Clarke Murphy Print team to be involved with because it just shows what they can do,” McGrath said.
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