Here’s this week’s column from Wycombe’s Head of Media & Marketing, Matt Cecil.

As fans and employees of a club with very strong local roots, it came out of the blue to hear Rob Couhig use the term ‘WorldWide Phenomenon’ in relation to Wycombe Wanderers when he kicked off his relationship at the start of last season.

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The club was formed in the Steam Engine pub, played on the Rye, moved to Loakes Park by the hospital, and spent most of its years in non-league with local players turning up to pull on the light and dark blue strip to represent their town.

With the evolution of modern football, Wanderers have been able to cast the net further afield to recruit players from across the country, over the border, and even a handful from European lands. Signings of players like Sergio Torres, who left Argentina in pursuit of a professional career in the English game, would always capture the interest of supporters due to their intriguing backgrounds which had culminated in their arrival at Adams Park.

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But in general, Wycombe Wanderers’ appeal had always tended to be local.

After all, the vast majority of those who turn up to Adams Park on a matchday have tended to live within 30 miles of the ground and ticket sales – plus the secondary spend on food, drink, parking, programmes and merchandise – have been a leading driver of revenue for the club, so the club’s focus has historically fallen on those within geographical reach.

But Rob brought new perspectives to help the club break out of its cycle of falling below a break-even financial model as a lower league club.

Wycombe Wanderers needed to broaden its horizons on an international level, and the Phenomenon was born.

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In the past 12 months we’ve seen a huge rise in the number of international fan clubs which have been established on social media, generating more interest in the club which has, in turn, resulted in more purchases of match passes to watch live streams of games, and of merchandise, thanks to the launch on a new online store in the spring which can distribute shirts and other items to all four corners of the globe.

This season we employed Harry Gadd, our global marketing executive, whose primary role is to engage as many overseas fans as possible, leading to the creation of a new membership programme which has seen more than 400 fans from over 30 countries sign up to receive a host of benefits and heighten their sense of allegiance to the club they may never get the chance to visit, but can follow closely through online platforms.

With a squad made up of Scottish, Welsh, Iranian, Grenadian, Antiguan, American, Albanian, Greek-Cypriot, Irish, Nigerian and Ugandan talents, Wycombe Wanderers’ global appeal is on the rise, but it will never forget its local roots which has bonded the club proudly to its community for 133 years and counting.