Sydney is about to get a new A-League team and as many of you would know I am a fan of the A-League. For people living outside of Australia the A-League is the Australian Football (Soccer) competition and the new team is going to be based in Sydney’s west. I live in the Hills district so this will make West Sydney my local team.
I saw that they were advertising for a Fan Engagement Manager and this triggered some thought around how would you market a new team. There are big issues facing the new team, some of these are:
Sydney is a Rugby League town with some Rugby teams being more than 100 years old with a very established fan base.
AFL (this sport is only played in Australia) is making a big push into Sydney setting up new teams and spending big on marketing.
There are many professional sports in Sydney dividing up the market.
So how will West Sydney carve out a fan base? The first thing they have going for them is that their competition is run at a different time to the Rugby League so it would be possible to share a fan base. West Sydney should partner with the Rugby League or at least teams in the West of Sydney.
This new team will probably not have success in the competition for a few years. So victory will not be a thing that the team can rely on to draw a crowd. Therefore they will have to bring some other sort of benefit for attending a game. These are a few things I thought might work:
Fans leave their tickets at the game with their email address on the back to go into a draw for a prize. The more games you attend the more tickets in the draw. Plus the club gets email addresses.
Show fan photos on the big screen before the game. If you can get a picture of yourself wearing your strip (the team uniform) doing something or with someone famous it goes up on the big screen. Fans email in their pictures this increases fan engagement during the week not just during the games.
Allow fans on the field after the game to kick a ball around. This reduces the crush of people leaving making the experience more of a pleasure. It reduces the pressure on roads and public transport as well.
Have a half time competition involving the fans like, kick a goal from half way or try to get a penalty shot passed a goalkeeper.
These are my thoughts; I would love to hear anything you think might work.
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