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Should struggling clubs crowd source their fans?


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#1 The Future is League

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 10:12 AM

This article is well worth a read and perhaps worth a go for some clubs.

http://www.theguardi...-bradford-bulls



#2 JM2010

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 02:55 PM

Think it could work. What ideas do the fans on here suggest?

#3 JohnM

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 04:57 PM

There does not seem to be any evidence that this approach has worked. Improved performances? Higher attendances? More I income? Just Having more ideas doesn't seem to me to be a measure of success. Imagine asking the forum for ideas?..

In any case, as we all know, Bradford's plight is entirely down to Nigel Wood..., no..er Richard Lewis ....er no...Maurice Lindsay , er no....well, . whoever was responsible for shafting Batley..er. Fev.....er..Fax....er Keighley....

#4 guess who

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 08:48 AM

In any case, as we all know, Bradford's plight is entirely down to Nigel Wood..., no..er Richard Lewis ....er no...Maurice Lindsay , er no....well, . whoever was responsible for shafting Batley..er. Fev.....er..Fax....er Keighley....


Dont think any of those are to blame.

#5 shrek

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 09:43 AM

I'm not sure crowdsourcing ideas is a great idea, I'd imagine the quality very much getting lost in the quantity! 

 

However, I am a big fan of sites like Kickstarter backed something like 15 projects to date and could see how clubs could make money here.

 

There is a real niche in that sort of arena for "money can't buy offerings" that clubs could offer, items such as match worn/player issue kit, attending training sessions, getting to sit in on a half time team talks, being a guest of the Chairman, end of season game for your club at the stadium, travel with the club to an away game (Catalan would be ideal), head coach taking club sides, personal training session with the clubs fitness staff in the club gym.

 

Most of the above would cost clubs only time and I'd imagine given clubs can target the captive audience most start up Kickstarter type projects can only dream of they shouldn't be hard to make successful.



#6 Blind side johnny

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 09:44 AM

For this to work then the clubs would need to properly connect with the audience/community that they serve/sell to. Which club could this honestly be said of a the moment?

 

If you take the time to read the article you will find that is about intellectual crowd-sourcing, not the bucket-shaking that some people may think is the same thing.


Edited by Blind side johnny, 27 July 2014 - 09:46 AM.

Believe what you see, don't see what you believe.


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#7 gutterfax

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 02:16 AM

David Hughes wouldn't take advice from a bloke with a hose-pipe even if Hughes himself was on fire........he refused to listen to anyone since 2008 and now he's got the return on investment he deserves. 

 

As for asking fans? I started off as an enthusiastic amateur offering "sage-like" advice to the Broncos back in 2002.........I am now a marketing professional with my own company. Yes, there would be many ideas that would be "fanciful" but there's also possibly be one or two gems in there......and the simple act of asking the fans their opinion would be appreciated......fans like to feel "part of the club". I sell Season Passes for one client here through the amateur clubs and schools, paying a 33% commission on each ticket sold. We went from having lots of empty seats to 5 "sold out" games from 6 last season.....it takes hard work, constant communication and some more hard work.....but I make sure the clubs/schools players know that it is they that have helped their top tier side popular....

 

I always thought that it would be cheaper than having a high paid marketing manager to "partner" with a Media & Marketing Department at a University, running competitions for ideas that cost nothing (or a small amount) to boost attendances, with those chosen to be trialed in receipt of some funds to assist with the "hardship" of student life. Worst case scenario, you get a bit of press and a few students who might roll up and help out with boosting the takings at the bar.



#8 gutterfax

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 03:47 AM

Here's a copy of something I posted elsewhere, as well as to the Club in 2009. 

 



20 Point Plan for Harlequins Rugby League for the 2010 season of Superleague.
 
1. Obtain the name and contact details (Postal, email, Mobile) for every single recipient of a “discounted/offer” ticket in 2010. This should start with every ticket sold for the WCC warm up game in February and be a requirement all season.
2. The moment that a game has taken place, these people should be asked to answer a short survey about the experience in return for a repeat discounted ticket to the next game. This database should also be used virally, with regular offers for 4 for 2 offers if you bring 3 new friends etc......and the data must be managed correctly.
3. Every company employing more than 50 people in the Borough should be offered a free family ticket for each MD with corporate Hospitality (Food, not booze). Everyone who takes up this offer should also receive 10 free match day tickets for the next home game for their staff. They should also be sent a questionnaire asking if they enjoyed the day and if they would ever consider using the Stoop for corporate hospitality.
4. Australians! Love them or hate them, they are important to our crowds. I have heard it said that TW2 is a “###### to get to”, but find it hard to believe that a nation that thinks nothing of driving hundreds of Km’s has a problem with jumping on 2 trains from the Bush or a couple of buses. I know that the Walkabout in the Bush is an AFL pub, but surely it is in the publicans’ interest to promote all sports to his customers. The Redback in Acton offered a free shuttle bus from the Kings Bar to the venue for a few games this season, so it can be done.
5. Above the line advertising is risky, but you really can’t make an omelette without cracking eggs and I believe that the safest bet for the club is Arcadia Magazine. Some form of ATL needs to be attempted, as our existence is unknown outside of our own fan base.
6. Arcadia is the residents' magazine from the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, produced up to six times a year and distributed to 80,000 homes and selected organisations in Barnes, East Sheen, Ham, The Hamptons, Heathfield, Kew, Mortlake, Petersham, Richmond, St Margarets, Teddington, Twickenham and Whitton. The rate-card for a 1 page advert is £1,400, but anyone in marketing/advertising will tell you that rate-card is rarely achieved. I believe the offer in this magazine should be either for £5 a ticket or £12 for a family of 4. Again, data must be collected and the reaction of these visitors assessed with further offers being sent to them. If 93 people of the 80,000 circulation came to a game after the initial offer and paid £15 for a ticket, the ad will have paid for itself..........that’s 0.0011625% response. No Brainer!
7. On the subject of family tickets, I believe that the South Stand should be designated a family stand. No away fans should be allowed here and Buck’n’Dusty together with 3 cheerleaders should be based at the front of it. As Arcadia goes to every school in the area, head teachers/sports masters should also be offered free tickets to certain age groups throughout the season.
8. Local radio. I have been informed that radio stations charge a hefty sum to broadcast competitions so I would make them an offer, if we are to persist down the “dance/yoof” market that they get co-branding of the event, plus competition winner prizes for any such event. 
9. Communication between the club and its fans has improved out of all recognition this year but needs to be more regular. The e-zine should be delivered at the same time on the same day (Wednesday) every week, with a second email once the 19 man squad is announced and a third on match day. The club should also run weekly competitions on the web site with jerseys, shop vouchers etc offered as prizes. The internet is the future of communication and marketing and needs to be utilised to the full. It is the most cost effective route to market.
10. Current fans need to be canvassed for their thoughts on a regular basis. I don’t mean that the club should open the East/West can of worms fortnightly, but the general feelings of the long term fans should be listen to as these are the people who have followed the club over the years and who have all brought “newbies” to the games......they know what the reactions have been from previous attempt to convert people.
11. Twickenham Station: This is a real bone of contention for me. Very few people in the area know we exist and yet, the best way to let them know sits unused. It is estimated that 75,000 people a day use Twickenham Station, so why not sponsor it, get a local florist/landscaper to fill the place with colourful plants and occasionally have players/cheerleaders handing out flyers to commuters in the evening.
12. I still say (as I did in 2003/2004/2005.........that we should get the cheerleaders and a few players outside “the 19” selling advance tickets to games in Local/Targeted pubs the night before games. Sorry if the next statement upsets anyone on here or at the Club, but guess what? SEX SELLS! I make no bones about this. If you doubt it, I suggest you you-tube the Cadbury flake adverts over the last 25 years. 
13. Away games. The club can easily fill a bus to away games if it tries. Those that travelled to Wales/Wakey know that all it took was a few emails, a couple of RL fans posts and facebook, so the club need to look into this. At £17 a ticket to fill a 72 seater to the M62, there will be enough takers and it really does lift the team. 
14.           Loyal & Loud! The ranks of the L&L need to be swelled. Stuck in the middle of the East, they all have a good view of the pitch, but their “noise” is less projected due to the height of the roof and the distance from the sides of the stands. There is no way that they should be moved, so more people need to be recruited to fill a block. I have no idea how to do this, but “choir practice” from January, in say the Cabbage Patch might be an idea........any excuse and all that!
15. Local Pubs. I posted a while back the idea of targeting 1 pub nearest each station on the route into Richmond/Twickenham. I believe that this long term strategy will attract small groups from each pub to start with, which will hopefully grow over time. Every pub should get a framed fixture list, regular posters sent to them advertising games/offers and each home game they should be entered into a draw for a free signed shirt. During the wendyball season this may not bear fruit, but come May-August, we should see a fair uptake.
16. The Skolars. Again, a topic on which I have been very vocal over the years. The annual game between us is now geared more towards our North London Cousins than us and as such, I believe that they should seriously look at reciprocating this assistance during the season by playing Leigh Centurians, at the Stoop in a double header. Logistically, this can be arranged now if the RFL are made aware of the plan. The games should be marketed HARD and it should be billed as the London Rugby League 30yr Birthday Double Header. I would fill the south stand with free Kids tickets and by fill, I mean fill it. No stone should be left unturned and no avenue not explored/exploited. If the club are going to go down the dance/yoof market again, then this would be the game for it. It should be marketed as a festival of Rugby, with maybe an amateur game on first.
17. As has been suggested before, all of the Services should be invited to our games at a heavily discounted rate. Army, Navy, RAF, Old Bill, Nurses, Doctors, etc...should be targeted on a regular basis. This is an opportunity to gain some decent PR as well as attract potential new regular fans and should be pushed all season
18. Brentford Fans: May to August would see about 6 games where Brentford FC have no games. Why not offer a £40 mini-ST to these people? There is a bus direct from TW8 to TW2 which takes 15 minutes and I am sure that we would see a fair amount of fans take up the offer if it was available. Next Summer, the World Cup will be against us with the RUWC the following year, so we need to be clever how this is marketed. If a WC game finishes at 4pm, then move our KO to 5/5.30pm. If SKY are in attendance, show the WC game on the BIG SCREEN before hand. I am sure there are other clubs in other sports we could extend this special offer to and a few from each will add to our gates.
19. The Jesters Club. Having not eaten there, I can only assume hat this has been fairly well attended, given the fact that the club stuck with it throughout the year. In 2010 I would continue to provide the 3 course option menu and to expand it to a Full Sunday Lunch option on Sundays. I believe that the partition should come down after half time opening up the entire bar for the post match party. Whilst I am all for the membership card scheme for after the game, I would prefer to see the players presentation done in the Kings Bar where all fans can see the players. The jesters post match is fine, but it does seem a little belt and braces by having stuff repeated. The average fan next year will be in the £99 bracket, so why not open up access to the players and get the club BACK TO FEELING LIKE A CLUB.
20. Lastly and maybe most controversial, I would give the free ST back to every registered amateur player in London. I would do this, purely on the basis of use it or lose it and I would get the General Manager of each club involved. If it requires a subsidised bus then so be it, but these guys are the future of the game in London. Their Kids are the future fans/players  in London and we need to get them to games. I would go as far as to offer them discounted Jesters meals, discounted merchandise in the store and give them a free draw all season for the chance to play a curtain raiser on the TW2 pitch. Those fans that have already or are soon to renew their ST’s should have no problem with this as it is in the interest of the club to get more fans (and regular ones at that) through the gates.
 
 
So, there you have it. I have laid out my stall for the 2010 season and will watch for results (and attendance figures) with interest from the other side of the planet. I have included loads of free tickets and this is something the club have steered away from in the past, but I believe that if done properly, with resource and follow up activity, it will bear fruit. 
I again repeat that the above is not a blueprint for success, just the musings of a part-time fan. If any are used, I will claim that they were my ideas, but if they are used and fail, I will say I stole them from someone else..............all I know is this. I want nothing more than a competitive team at The Stoop, both on and off the pitch!
Lastly, I have suggested Arcadia Mgazine and Twickenham Station as the only two activities that would involve an outlay of cash. The rest would be a "reduced revenue" activity, with cheap or free tickets used to attract people in. These same people may well spend cash in the bars or at the consessions, as well as in the store and hopefully the ticket office for future games but they would be addditional fans and therefore cost the club nothing other than a few extra £6 an hour stewards.
 
PS. POINT 21:
London professional RL is 30yrs old next year. Why not milk that for all we can with invites to the fans of clubs of every club we have ever played at to our first game of the season v the NRL Champs? An open invite to every ST holder at those clubs to come to the stoop for £5 with a free pint of beer (a la last weekend back at the stoop), together with free entry to anyone who is 30yrs old at the time of the game? Free entry to 30yr olds would surely attract some media attention.....wouldn’t it?
 

 

 

Not saying it would have worked, but I reckon I put more effort into the post above than the club did in marketing itself since.......



#9 The Future is League

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 07:01 AM

David Hughes wouldn't take advice from a bloke with a hose-pipe even if Hughes himself was on fire........he refused to listen to anyone since 2008 and now he's got the return on investment he deserves. 

 

As for asking fans? I started off as an enthusiastic amateur offering "sage-like" advice to the Broncos back in 2002.........I am now a marketing professional with my own company. Yes, there would be many ideas that would be "fanciful" but there's also possibly be one or two gems in there......and the simple act of asking the fans their opinion would be appreciated......fans like to feel "part of the club". I sell Season Passes for one client here through the amateur clubs and schools, paying a 33% commission on each ticket sold. We went from having lots of empty seats to 5 "sold out" games from 6 last season.....it takes hard work, constant communication and some more hard work.....but I make sure the clubs/schools players know that it is they that have helped their top tier side popular....

 

I always thought that it would be cheaper than having a high paid marketing manager to "partner" with a Media & Marketing Department at a University, running competitions for ideas that cost nothing (or a small amount) to boost attendances, with those chosen to be trialed in receipt of some funds to assist with the "hardship" of student life. Worst case scenario, you get a bit of press and a few students who might roll up and help out with boosting the takings at the bar.

A great post :good:






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