Gen Y, Web 2.0 and Barry ‘Brooser’ Cracker

About 6 months ago, I heard Eugene Arocca mention that North Melbourne Football Club have struggled to attract members in the 20-35 year old age bracket. Good numbers in the 35+ range, strong Auskick numbers (2nd highest in Victoria) and the best membership conversion rate in the league. So what’s with the missing generation? Aren’t they the ones who would’ve enjoyed the 90s era more than anyone?

Clearly, the peeps at Arden St headquarters have been working hard on this one, and they’ve had a brainwave. They’ve been reading all these articles about Generation Y spending all their time on the ‘social interwebs’ and have realised where they’ve been going wrong all this time. Time to create an online face for North Melbourne Football Club on this social networky thingy … whatever it is. Enter NMFC mascot, Barry ‘Brooser’ Cracker.

Barry keepin' it real with the kids

Barry keepin' it real with the kids

So far, Barry has popped his head up on Facebook and Twitter. Here’s some food for thought from Rev. Shinboner:

  1. The Name – If you’re going to create a virtual face for the club, make sure you get it right. Barry ‘Brooser’ Cracker might have some history (I can’t find any, but it’s a possibility), but he has no real history with Gen Y – other than going toe-to-toe with Jock ‘One Eye’ McPie a few times. So why use him? While the concept isn’t terrible, it doesn’t work when the mascot has got a shit name – and Barry ‘Brooser’ Cracker is up there with the lamest.
  2. Facebook – Barry’s Facebook profile seems to be relatively successful so far. 1,257 friends and regular updating – even if it is just linking news articles as they pop up on the NMFC website. But why is his profile partially restricted?
  3. Twitter – The biggest shocker of them all is on Twitter. No updates for a month, no following and one follower – me. Clearly, NMFC headquarters have no idea what Twitter is or how to use it. Even if all @barrybrooser did was copy his virtual brother on Facebook he’d be useful (ie. update peeps on NMFC web articles). This is an embarrassment. (Clearly the NMFC cheer squad don’t have a clue either.)

It’s really not that difficult to use social networking. If you don’t understand it, get on it. Or ask your kids. And while it’s not going to re-discover North’s missing generation, it could have a real impact – if used well. Unfortunately, I don’t have much faith in it happening, given the Barry’s that have been thrown our way so far.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Gen Y, Web 2.0 and Barry ‘Brooser’ Cracker

  1. Pingback: Barry ‘Brooser’ Cracker Bounces Back « Roo Beauty

  2. Pingback: Work Experience Kid Writes NMFC Article « Roo Beauty

  3. Interestingly Barry has been bumped off twitter…. I don’t mind the mascot having his own facebook profile but like you i’m a little confused as to why they would have the privacy settings on.

    • They renamed Barry to @northkangaroos on Twitter a while ago – which made sense, because ultimately they were just using it as a news feed for NMFC. Similarly, they did the same on Facebook, and created a new profile which essentially replaced Barry.

      After being a little frustrated, I ended up writing a letter of suggestions to the club re: social media use (while I don’t think I’m an expert, there were some fundamental problems with their approach). To their credit, they have taken these on board (including removing the privacy settings on F/B) and made great use of the spaces since.

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