Newcastle have 'highest' card to play in FFP partner talks as new addition arrives from Chelsea

Newcastle United have the 'highest average engagement rate' in the Premier League as the Magpies adopt a 'different approach' to the established order to bring commercial partners on board.

That is according to Dan Ginger, Newcastle's director of brand, marketing and digital media, who heads up one of the four verticals in the club's commercial department that have been bolstered. The marketing team, alone, are on course to double in size and Newcastle have recruited Phillip Porter from Chelsea as the club's new head of digital after he served in the same role at Stamford Bridge.

The aim, in the words of chief commercial officer Peter Silverstone, is to identify the club's unique selling point, create a brand strategy around it and then 'creatively package this into a content and digital strategy that amplifies the club’s relevance and importance both locally and globally'.

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Newcastle are currently looking at what international markets offer the biggest opportunity for fan growth such as those cities in the U.S. that share similar working-class values while also offering a 'commercial return'. As far as Ginger is concerned, it is a 'different audience' to someone following Arsenal, Spurs or Manchester City.

"There is quite a cookie cutter mould for what success looks like in football, but that mould was developed probably about 10 years ago," he told the Global Leadership Exchange. "A lot of those top teams who have benefited from that mould are so far ahead at this point that us fitting into that mould is, quite frankly, never going to allow us to close that gap.

"We have to take a very different mentality towards how we are approaching our marketing activity here at the club. That's why we're being quite intentional and thinking about our product as a brand and not just a football club. That's a very intentional shift across our activity here.

"We can't walk into a room with a prospective partner and go, 'We are the most highly followed team on social and have the most eyeballs on our fixtures week in, week out.' What we can do is walk into a room and go, 'We might not be the biggest, but we're the most engaged.' That's a fact. Our channels do have the highest average engagement across all Premier League clubs.

"We can walk into a room and go, 'We might not be the biggest, but we will work the hardest.' We will play into our brand mentality here in the community here in Newcastle of being an industrious city. There's this sense of humour that exists in the North East as well, which is very unique to our region. We will work hard, but we will do it with a smile on our face.

"That might not sound like innovation, but actually it's change and it's approaching conversations differently and it's allowing us to table a conversation or sit opposite individuals in a room and be able to present those opportunities to the club because we're taking a slightly different approach to how we're going about our business."