The Fan Engagement Pod


Karl Fitzpatrick: the fine line between entertainment product & institution

Season 1, Ep. 25

Episode 25 of the Fan Engagement Pod is an interview with the CEO of Rugby League club, Warrington Wolves, Karl Fitzpatrick. Warrington is itself close to football hotbeds, Manchester and Liverpool, so you can’t just do ‘more of the same’.

Under Karl they’ve become known for their innovative approach to marketing a sport and a club that has to work far harder than football for eyeballs and money. He manages to walk the fine line between the club as an institution with stakeholders, and an entertainment product that needs to excite people.

He’s had a really interesting career to date, having played Rugby League professionally for Widnes and then Salford City Reds between 2000 and 2010, then studied for an MBA, worked on the playing side, eventually becoming football manager at Warrington, then CEO in 2016. 

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Episode Links:  

Warrington Wolves RLFC

More Episodes


Supporter Liaison Officer: Not just an add-on. Stuart Dykes from SD Europe

Season 1, Ep. 61
Episode 61 is with Stuart Dykes from SD Europe’s Supporter Liaison (SLO) Project. SD Europe is one part of the legacy of Supporters Direct, and works across Europe with clubs, fans, leagues and federations on how to implement the role. Go to for more.The SLO role was first seen in German football, but can now be seen across all of UEFA’s member associations, including in men’s professional football in England in the top-four divisions.From the perspective of us at Think Fan Engagement, the SLO role has never come even close to its full potential, often hampered by the absence of enough guidance from the leagues as to how to make the role work. In many clubs it’s something of an afterthought, often bolted onto another, existing role, instead of being able to play its proper role of ensuring that fans are thought about in all the decisions a club makes.Stuart really is a mine of information and expertise on the subject. Anyone hoping to create an effective SLO role should listen to this episode.You can find out more about our work at Register for free and you get access to the Fan Engagement Hub, with more detailed data and case studies from the 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 Fan Engagement Indexes.By the way, from now on, we’ll be publishing one edition a week each Tuesday, including the Fan Engagement Chat, Bas Chat, with Bas Schnater, and Did They Ask The Fans, with Tim Crow.Please like, subscribe and share. It really does help our visibility.