US tour looks a total waste of time

651607515_JV_032_WEST_HAM_UNITEDI am sorry and  maybe I am in the minority but I fail to see the footballing or business value of this US pre-season tour to Seattle and North Carolina.

I am sure the former Arsenal directors who occupy senior director positions at West Ham persuaded the owners  it would be a great idea to grow the Hammers brand globally but I am not convinced it is or will.

They did the same last season with the 23,000 mile round trip New Zealand for a pre-season mini-tournament – that didn’t work well either did it?.

The game against Seattle was played with depleted squads from both sides and wasn’t picked up by any major TV broadcaster. Seattle Sounders broadcast the game LIVE from their facebook pagevia a feed from local TV station Joe TV.

And of course finally a Seattle youth team beat us 3-0 at 3.30am in the UK morning. Nobody appeared to care!

The tour has picked up next to no coverage in the UK or the US  media. So…exactly what will this tour do to increase brand awareness of the Hammers or warrant the 8,700 mile round trip?

If we are trying to emulate Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United or Arsenal we will fail.

Call me old fashioned but I liked the old days where our first team pre-season fixtures consisted of games against local sides like Southend United, Dagenham & Redbridge and Leyton Orient.

And when a pre-season fixture more further afield meant a trip to Peterborough or Ipswich. It is also supported football clubs in lower divisions and gave them much-needed revenue.

Sorry, this US affair gets a big thumbs down from me!




About Sean Whetstone

I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called MooreThanJustaPodcast.co.uk. A Blogger on WestHamTillIdie.com a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at http://www.youtube.com/MrWestHamFootball, I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh. Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons! Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter

18 comments on “US tour looks a total waste of time

  1. Matte must be a happy chap now lol

  2. Respectfully, you’re a season ticket holder in the BML, West Ham have thousands of fans in the US who can’t be that lucky. So if a 2 game preseason tour of the US is too much to ask (because you want to go to Southend or Leyton Orient) then I don’t just don’t think you understand what a following we have over here.

    • I’m at the same place you are and I will not go to North Carolina to see them…. I agree that as a preparation, it would have made more sense to go and play teams from the middle low part of the table in Switzerland, Spain or Italy. Or Greece. Or Austria. All these countries have their charm, have their supporters, and have teams you can play against. Marketing impact from this US “tour” ? Negligible. West Ham are not big enough yet for this.

  3. Pathetic take that effectively says me, me, me in the most crass of language. The fact is it allows the squad to get away, help some youngsters to blend in under the gaze of the Manager and above all if you haven’t noticed train in conditions that are beyond anything available in this country. If that’s a negative then I can only dream what a positive would be. Oh and by the way the friendlies you speak of will come a little later when the players have trained for more than 3 days.

  4. You are spot on with this. Going to the US or anywhere outside Europe is a waste of time in terms of where we are now from a marketing perspective. You can see from Bilic’s reaction before and after the game that he feels the same way. Get them back asap so we can have a proper preseason.

  5. I think you miss the point here. Going on a tour like this is great for team building with minimal distractions. The players do a lot together and it’s a good way to get everyone comfortable and motivated for the new season. There is great value in building our brand and rewarding the supporters abroad.

    I’m hoping Cape Town is next on the list!

  6. I miss the friendlies we had in Scotland also think any decent teams in Europe would be better as we’re in Europa league sorry yanks football is quite boring with over the hill players just making a killing for the money

  7. Well Bilic clearly didnt want to be there if his comments were anything to go by.He wanted to be on our own training pitch so he could run the rule over the players.

  8. For those of us that live the States It gives us a chance to see the team and meet up with other Hammers fans although it was hard to know who some of these players were as there was no names on the jerseys . Will be going to Carolina next week as well . Went last time they were over here to Columbus and Toronto Hoping one year they go to somewhere like Singapore and Bangkok or Hong Kong

    • I am a programme collector of West Ham programmes and I was wondering if you could get me the programmes from the Seattle and Carolina games.

      I have supported the Hammers since 1961.

      I will pay any reasonable amount, just let me know

      My e-mail address is ; jonatyler@hotmail.co.uk


      John Tyler

  9. Seems to me that if the aim of West Ham marketing people was to grow West Ham’s brand globally then the US tour this year and the NZ tour last year are absolutely the wrong way to approach things. These markets (as with most of Europe, Canada and pretty well the entire 1st world) already have very well developed sporting codes / leagues – a team like West Ham is always going to struggle to get any significant mileage in these markets.

    Id have thought that a trip through Asia (India, SE Asia) would make more sense as there is a lack of established sporting codes / leagues (leaving aside cricket in India) and you’d be guaranteed to get considerable media coverage and governmental support in that part of the world. I think that the WHUFC marketing people need to think a little harder before deciding on a junket to the US.

  10. I drove the 5 hour round trip from Vancouver to Seattle with my son to see the game.
    Totally disappointed with the performance.Carroll played the first half and looked lively and Lanzini had some nice touches in the second, the rest of the squad were still in holiday mode. Amazing West Ham support,must have been several hundred faithful in claret and blue in good voice,but towards the end of the match they were singing – Lets pretend that we have scored a goal !
    But still a good day out in the Seattle Seahawks stadium.

  11. A good bonding excersize for the youngsters ,but no more, could have done that in Ireland !

  12. Great for business but not for core supporters,
    Sure the players will have enjoyed it and a great bonding trip,
    Never sure any friendlies do any good other the building fitness,most of the new players will get the feel of our regime our training methods and the good thing is the players wanting out are not part of it so any negative vibes will be back here,
    Just hope Enner and Sak move on before the others get dragged into the wash,

  13. Could just be that it’s good training in another climate and the US facilities will beat anything in the rest of the world hands down.

    I don’t mind these friends, playing the likes of Torquay and Southend just sees our players get booted and injured as the lower league opposition can’t compete.

    I have no objections taking the brand across the world, even if we aren’t at that level yet. Thailand would seem to be a good market to get into, every time I’ve been there with the family they know and love the EPL. Indonesia is similar.

  14. The whole experience of going to the states will be an absolutely great experience for the squad that went ! The facilities the welcome and the appreciation you receive from the public is second to none , it has the to be seen to believe , I have had the chance on a few occasions when I traveled there accompanied by a selected group of players of different ages and coaching on campus , the kids and teenagers that attend the camp are the most disciplined bunch you could ever meet be it in philly or up in the mountain pocanos mining area , ( east London like ) the whole experience for the whole group is full of positives !
    Point I’m trying to make Hugh is if you haven’t experienced it you can’t really comment !
    Once done never forgotten ,
    Totally different from the wall st and neocon scum . (Had to get that in ,)
    Anyway we still have a few old style fixtures in the pipeline , nothing has changed ,
    I can guarantee that they will be fitter in the two weeks they are there than if they were at home , 40 degrees heat sees to that , you never see an unfit yank in sport ! No body trains like they do , its a boot camp with benefits !! I loved my times there .

Comments are closed.