Interview with a Steve
With apologies to my favourite satirists, John Clarke and Bryan Dawe, who have not written or authorised this parody but if they knew of our Club’s management, would have.
Bryan Dawe interviews Fremantle’s change agent.
BRYAN DAWE: And your name is Steve?
JOHN CLARKE: Yes, that's right.
BRYAN DAWE: And which Steve are you, Steve?
JOHN CLARKE: It doesn’t really matter, Bryan. We are of one mind on the Board.
BRYAN DAWE: Ah, the Fremantle Football Club Board.
JOHN CLARKE: No. Let me correct you there, Bryan. It is the Fremantle Dockers Football Club. Last year we signed an agreement with Levi Straus to use the word “dockers” in our club name.
BRYAN DAWE: Oh. Sorry, Steve.
JOHN CLARKE: Yes. It was one of my proudest moments in my work at Fremantle.
BRYAN DAWE: At the Fremantle Dockers, Steve?
JOHN CLARKE: Yes – at the Fremantle Dockers Football Club.
BRYAN DAWE: So, let’s talk about the other changes you’ve implemented at the Dockers, Steve.
JOHN CLARKE: Just let me stop you there, Bryan. It’s not that I implemented these changes alone. We just interpreted what our prospective customers wanted and leveraged this untapped demand into our brand elements.
BRYAN DAWE: So who is we, Steve?
JOHN CLARKE: Yes, that’s right.
BRYAN DAWE: Sorry?
JOHN CLARKE: Me and Steve. One mind – remember?
BRYAN DAWE: Ah. And these “brand elements”; what are they?
JOHN CLARKE: I’ve already mentioned the key word, dockers, Bryan. That’s a brand element. We can sell lots of stuff with the word dockers on it now.
BRYAN DAWE: Is that it, Steve?
JOHN CLARKE: No, no. Our colours, logo, playing strip and song – they too are brand elements and are really important for the club.
BRYAN DAWE: Really? So you want to change all the visible characteristics that define your football club?
JOHN CLARKE: Well yes and no, Bryan. We have changed these elements. The club has a new logo, new colours and new playing strip.
BRYAN DAWE: Gosh, it’s almost a different club, Steve.
JOHN CLARKE: Yep. We are pretty pleased with our work.
BRYAN DAWE: You and Steve?
JOHN CLARKE: Yes, Steve and I are pretty happy.
BRYAN DAWE: What about your members, Steve. Are they happy?
JOHN CLARKE: Oh yes, of course, Bryan. They have been very happy with our work so far. Just look at all the new jumpers, scarves and caps we’ve sold in the new colours and with the new logo.
BRYAN DAWE: So the new gear has outsold the old?
JOHN CLARKE: Yes, completely.
BRYAN DAWE: How many of the old playing strips were bought by your supporters this year?
JOHN CLARKE: None.
BRYAN DAWE: None, Steve? That’s amazing! So the customers at the Club store preferred the new strip to the old?
JOHN CLARKE: Sort of, Bryan. We didn’t give them the opportunity to buy the old strip. We removed them from the stores. But they love the new colour.
BRYAN DAWE: So what is the new colour?
JOHN CLARKE: It’s man-purple.
BRYAN DAWE: What’s man-purple?
JOHN CLARKE: Well, it’s a deep manly coloured purplish blue. See the pin on my lapel? Man-purple.
BRYAN DAWE: (Peering) It looks blue-ish to me, Steve.
JOHN CLARKE: That’s man-purple.
BRYAN DAWE: (Peering again) And what is that symbol, Steve?
JOHN CLARKE: That’s the club logo, Bryan. Although we removed the anchor from our playing strip, we kept it as an integral part of the logo. We stylised it.
BRYAN DAWE: It doesn’t really look like an anchor, Steve.
JOHN CLARKE: Yes, I know. It’s really great. All my mates think it’s wonderful.
BRYAN DAWE: And what does the rest of the Board think, Steve.
JOHN CLARKE: They love it too. You ask them and they’ll tell you that.
BRYAN DAWE: So what was wrong with the old brand elements, Steve?
JOHN CLARKE: Well, firstly, I didn’t like them. Before I became a Dockers supporter, we used to ridicule them.
BRYAN DAWE: Really? And who did you support before joining the Dockers?
JOHN CLARKE: Well no-one really. I went to a few West Coast games with my mates and we used to laugh at the Fremantle Club’s strip and song. They were just awful. Whoever designed them should never get another job in marketing. I knew I could do better.
BRYAN DAWE: What did the players, members and supporters think, Steve? Did they hate them too?
JOHN CLARKE: No, Bryan. But they had no choice and when I assumed leadership at the Club I knew I could deliver more marketable brand elements.
BRYAN DAWE: So, you changed them Steve, not because they were disliked by the Club, but because you could do better.
JOHN CLARKE: Yes, that’s right.
BRYAN DAWE: That’s a bit like the way you handled the change of coach this year, wasn’t it?
JOHN CLARKE: Yes, right again, Bryan. It wasn’t that Mark Harvey was bad, it’s just that we thought that Ross Lyon was better.
BRYAN DAWE: So what happened with the song, Steve? I’ve heard that the members chose not to change the song.
JOHN CLARKE: Oh you are so wrong, Bryan. The membership have indicated their appetite for change by selecting a new club song.
BRYAN DAWE: Steve, I’ve played the old and the new song on your website. And the new song is just a more lively version of the old. You can’t claim that as a new song, surely?
JOHN CLARKE: Yes we can Bryan. In this single vote, the membership have indicated their desire for change.
BRYAN DAWE: You are serious, Steve? You think the members are right behind you because they voted for the revamped original tune?
JOHN CLARKE: Yes.
BRYAN DAWE: So tell me Steve, how do you think you’ve done since taking reins of the executive at the Fremantle Football Club?
JOHN CLARKE: At the Fremantle Dockers Football Club, Bryan - pretty good, I reckon.
BRYAN DAWE: You're right Steve, you probably haven’t done a bad job. But I do know a few people who would be better.