The nightclub is offering unofficial sponsorship to sports teams and stepping up advertising, as well as threatening aggressive pricing tactics.
“My offer of sponsorship still stands. And if they have exclusivity I can make a donation to YUSU as a charity,” Matthew Trolle, general manager at Mansion told Nouse.
“There will be no stipulations, no requirement for bums on seats, no minimum attendance.”
There is a clause in the Salvation contract which reads: “Salvation and Revolution to be the exclusive Club sponsors for Wednesday and Sunday nights.”
It also states that all Wednesday night socials must finish in Salvation.
He added that Mansion may pursue aggressive pricing tactics: “If push comes to shove I can do discounts – go to free entry and 50p drinks.
“Students will make their own mind up where they go, that’s why they go to the Willow seven nights a week and why they’ve been coming here for 25 years. My whole tactics are based on the students making the choice and not being told by the Union.”
There is interest in the donation, with Luke Bradley, the University Men’s Football Club President, commenting: “It would be silly to turn down free money. We have been great customers to Mansion over the years and a goodwill donation would be nice obviously.”
Mansion has also placed advertisements in both of today’s campus newspapers. But sports clubs have responded positively to the move to Salvation.
“I’m looking forward to Wednesday nights,” Bradley added. “The main thing is celebrating the earlier wins with your teammates and friends, so it doesn’t really matter where we are.”
Lo Verroken-Jones, President of the University Women’s Cricket Club, said: “It’ll be strange to think of a Wednesday night without Ziggys, but as long as teams are there and having fun, I don’t think the choice of venue will have an overall effect. Let’s hope Salvation becomes a bigger, better version of all the antics at Ziggys.”
Nina Rawlings, President of University Women’s Hockey Club agreed, saying: “We’re genuinely excited about the prospect of being amongst the trailblazers of the new tradition of Salvation Wednesdays. We understand that everyone has a special affinity with Ziggy’s, but it seems that most people have come around to the idea now.”
Matija Pisk, President of the University Cricket club said: “Providing everyone goes there and we don’t have to queue for 20 minutes to buy a drink I think we’ll be happy. We’re definitely going to stick to it. And anyway, we score runs on any wicket.”
There are still some who are not pleased with the move, with one anonymous college hockey player saying, “Ziggy’s Wednesday has been going 25 years, it’s just a thing!”
Another University player said that the change was “not ideal” but that sportsmen and women will still have a great Wednesday night regardless of which venue club’s go to.
Kallum Taylor, YUSU President, said that clubs must promise to take students’ wellbeing seriously. “Drinks prices should be great value for money but we want them to be responsible too. This year’s partners Kuda, Salvation, Tokyo and Revs all take this seriously. Further, they all adhere to tasteful branding of our nights, provide student friendly door staff, and have zero tolerance to sexual harassment.”
The contract negotiations, which took place during the latter half of the summer term, came under suspicion. YUSU’s approach to their dealings being described as being in some cases ‘manipulative’ and ‘underhand’.
Mansion claims that YUSU did not approach them for sponsorship this year, despite offering clubs an equivalent sum of money.