Saturday, 3 PM in Portsmouth. A blue wave heads towards Fratton Park, which sold 17,923 tickets for the mid-table third division duel against Plymouth. I think that more than one event holder would like this attendance. What is the secret? It goes beyond plays and goals: see below a summary of well-applied ideas from the grassroots of the British football.
1) BE INCLUSIVE
The edge of the playing field is full of fans in wheelchairs: children and disabled adults have priority to live in front of the emotions. In addition, through the charity foundation of Portsmouth, there is a weekly workshop with football teams of amputees, people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities as well as powerchair and multisport practice. Meaningful relationships do not start and stop with the season. Can you imagine the loyalty of these ambassadors and their friends to the brand?
2) SUPPORT DIVERSITY
Justin Fashanu was the first player to openly admit his homosexuality, with everything that the admission meant in an environment like football. There have been no major changes since his suicide two decades ago. But now there are interesting initiatives: as part of Stonewall inclusion campaign of the LGTB community, there were many rainbows on display. The gay faction of the fans, @FrattonFever, is part of the Football For Pride movement and carries out awareness campaigns. Superlative.
3) EMBRACE FAMILIES
The survival of all brands and traditions is determined by the inclusion of the younger generations. In Portsmouth, a recently renovated family makes attending games with children fun for everybody. For example, children participate in the team’s entrance, they are close to the team mascot [Nelson], there is baby changing rooms, special food packs [£ 5], TV monitors, a souvenir shop and a dedicated customer service. Making it easier for parents to bring children is a must-have!
4) SALES & MARKETING IS KEY
The Art of Selling is a difficult task even for the most strong brands. In the photo below at Fratton Park see marked in yellow sites not visually attractive for television plenty of advertising. In addition, many of these banners are from zonal companies. The owner of the Game Over Cafe explained later that his announcement is very effective for new visitors. Surprisingly, it was also clearly indicated how to contact the commercial team by email. Make things clear for your customers and reduce complex processes.
5) KEEP SABOTAGING EXISTING RULES
None of the above can ensure Portsmouth’s return to the Premier League or the three points in the next duel. But surely it brings them closer to those goals and a biggest contribution to the fans and the local community. The HMS Victory, the flagship of Horatio Nelson and the glory of Trafalgar, rests in the port nearby. The club’s innovations resemble those of the venerable Admiral: being bold, challenging existing rules in football, and doing things their own way.
Do you run a business in Entertainment Industries? Drop us a line to discuss how the best in class technology can help you to design an effective 360º engagement program. Nowadays, engaging with the fans requires much more than simply packing an event.
[You can also read this article on LinkedIn]