WHILE the “Azkals” brand has been quite known for years now, much can still be done to build on it and make it sustainable for the long term. Thus, said, recently appointed marketing and promotions manager of the Philippine men’s national football team, Melchor “Jun” Miras, Jr.
Made his mark as executive of one of the top advertising companies in the land which specializes in Out-Of-Home (OOH) media, Mr. Miras has joined the Azkals group and said he is looking forward to providing his fair share in furthering the Azkals brand, and football in the country in general.
In a casual meet-and-greet with members of media on Oct. 23 at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City, Mr. Miras, 42, said his involvement now with the Azkals is in honor of a bet he made with longtime Azkals team manager Dan Palami.
But despite the circumstances that landed him the Azkals job, Mr. Miras said he is very much committed to the task he and his team were given and bent on seeing it succeed.
“What we are trying to do here is to show that the Philippine Azkals are marketable not only here but also abroad. We want more people to get to know what the team is all about not only on a game-for-game basis but more of branding really, with direction and for the long term,” said Mr. Miras, whose background is in information technology and had worked for government previously.
The Azkals executive said he had signed a five-year contract with the Philippine Football Federation which began in September.
In coordination with the Azkals management, Mr. Miras is tasked to put out the Azkals message across various media platforms as well as through merchandises and advertising.
They are also expected to negotiate with possible corporate sponsors who can help the team finance their training both here and abroad, acquire necessary equipment, and attract quality coaches and players to join the team for future competitions.
One of the early “fruits” of their efforts was the recent signing of former England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson to be the new Azkals coach.
While at the time of the meet-and-greet Mr. Miras held up in making the announcement, he did say that such signings are part of their tack, and that hopefully with Mr. Eriksson on board more players will be attracted to join the Azkals.
The newly appointed advertising manager of the Azkals said he and the PFF have set an initial number amount of to be raised in his first year but refused to provide more details on it for now.
Apart from helping the Azkals brand grow, Mr. Miras shared that what made him join the team as well is to be able to provide a template for sports advertising in the country.
“We want to set a standard in sports advertising. Right now, if you don’t own a team, you cannot advertise it. So what we’re trying to do is build a total advertising package for a Philippine team, so we can do this later for baseball, volleyball or basketball. We’re trying to build a template,” Mr. Miras said.
Right now, Mr. Miras and his team are busy laying the work for the Azkals’ two major upcoming tournaments, namely the AFF Suzuki Cup in November and the AFC Asian Cup in January.
Mr. Miras said he is very excited for this latest challenge presented to him and that he hopes that since the Azkals is the country’s team, more people would get on board and rally behind it. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo