Behind the scenes at ADO Den Haag
Commercial Account manager; Rick Ros
Rick Ros, 28 years old, a life long ADO supporter who now works at his beloved club and enjoys seeing ADO grow as each year passes by. I have known Rick for two years and he has been a huge help with this ADOforExpats website. So it is now his turn in the spotlight.
As I was ending my education I knew I wanted to work in hospitality. So on leaving school I went to the Hotel school here in The Hague. I then worked in the hotel business for three years before I moved on to study more and worked my way higher up the ladder. I loved working in the hotel business, it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it, but in my mind was always ADO. I wanted to be a part of my club, I wanted to help it grow and succeed. I was determined to try so I contacted the club asking if there were any openings. My timing was just right and there was an opening available, but only if I was willing to start at the bottom and work my way up again, this to me was no problem, I agreed and started working there.
Rick by now was smiling a lot as he spoke about his work at ADO. The man really has a passion for ADO and it shone through as we continued to talk.
I have been working for ADO now for the last four years. My first position was in the back office, dealing with contracts and most other administration work. I was also answering emails and making sure that tickets were taken care of for our sponsors and other guests. I enjoyed this work but I wanted more and eventually I got moved up to my present position of Commercial account manager. This is more like the hospitality work I like doing. I am out of the office around three days a week. I visit existing clients and customers, just making sure they are happy with what they are getting and also offering them more options to think about. Then I also get to visit new businesses and new potential ADO sponsors. I don’t only deal with the large companies, but also with small businesses, ADO is part of The Hague and everybody has a right to be part of it. When in the stadium offices I have to catch up with all the usual admin work that accompanies my job, same as every job I guess.
When Rick started at ADO there were only three people in the commercial department dealing with all of ADO’s interests in the community and further afield. These days; due to ADO’s recent European adventure and their attractive playing style more business have been attracted to the club and want to be associated with it. This has led to there now being nine members of the commercial team.
I have seen the club change so much. Not from just fifteen years ago when I stood at the old Zuiderpark stadium which as many know had many highs and lows. We are now a more stable club financially and that is still improving. Since I have been here I have seen things improve so much, the new stadium has made us a better club and everybody cares about ADO. This is a stadium that welcomes people, a difference from the last stadium.
Rick then made a comment that I thought was brilliant, he could not put across his feelings any better when he said “Den Haag is the third largest city in Holland and we should aim to be the third biggest club in Holland to start with and then take it on from there, it is possible if we all work together!”
It was surprising to hear that it is not only business based locally to The Hague that are interested in ADO. The fact is now they are attracting customers and clients from the Amsterdam region regions further away and even internationally, now I call that a real coup for the club. ADO it seems is obviously now a very attractive proposition for investors who know their name will be highlighted in a positive way by the club.
When I started here there were around 370 businesses connected to ADO, now we have approximately 550 – 600 companies, it has grown really quickly thanks to all the positives that are being said about ADO and its supporters. The positive image of our fans has grown greatly in the last few years, something that has really helped us attract bigger and better sponsors. We have small companies who have a small advert in the match day magazine to the main sponsors such as Kyocera, Basic Fit/Health city and Ziegler which are all big International companies, again this shows ADO’s appeal is growing not just locally but globally. So maybe in five years time we can be the third largest club in Holland? Interest is still growing too and we also have to be creative. Not all the people can visit every game, so when they do we can offer special packages such as including hotels, transport, dinners and a game.
On a match day with a kick-off at let’s say 18.45, Rick and his colleagues are starting work at around 15.00 and stay there until around midnight.
The first thing I do is check that all the tickets are ready to be picked up at reception by our sponsors and their guests. Then along with some of my colleagues we check that the business lounges are up to our standard before we go up to the skyboxes and make sure all is in order before anybody arrives. We organise it so that there are also signed football and shirts available and see if anybody is celebrating an occasion such as a birthday so we can do something a bit more special. Then we also have to sort out which of the players will visit the sponsors and invite guests after the game. It is a bit like my old hotel days when there were parties to be organised, only at ADO we have seventeen parties a year with two thousand guests in the main stand, all that matters is that everybody is kept happy, that is my job and I love doing it.
It’s a busy day for those in the commercial department on a match day, but afterwards they all have a drink together in one of the bars before they go home.
As with all jobs you always get a funny or odd moment that sticks in your mind, Rick recalled one such moment with a big smile on his face.
We had a guest in a skybox, a potential new sponsor for ADO. All was going well and after the game I thought it would be great if I took Lex Immers up to the skybox to meet our guest. I introduced the man to Lex and we talked for a while. Then I suggested it may be nice if they posed together for a photo. At this point the visitor said “Why would I want a photo with your colleague?” I was amazed, Lex was bewildered. I explained that he had watched Lex play for the last ninety minutes and he had also scored a goal. Once the explanation had been offered and after an awkward moment he happily posed for a photo and was very pleased to do so, now he knew who Lex was. It still makes me laugh today.
I would like to thank Rick for agreeing to be interviewed for the website.