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Attendances and the need for Marketing.


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I am led to believe that DB and the other members of the board do follow the forum and I feel that they must be concerned about the drop in attendance of circa 300 at home games.

Rather than start a thread about the "usual" playing related / non playing related reasons , I would like to

encourage a positive / constructive debate in order to help the Club , which we all love, to achieve that drive towards crowds of 2000 plus and become a well supported club in order to build a platform to return

to Conference Premier and hopefully one day the league.

I have always felt that Crewe Alexandra were a good role model for Town and if we could achieve what they have in the last 20 years I would be content.

Yes, the Directors must look to keeping Town solvent and live within their means so the current drop must be a concern and if continued would mean a loss of income of around £70 K this season.

So come on you Town fans let's have some ideas, not just the usual mundane commercial stuff, the new

Commercial Manager can do that.

Get in the helicopter and look down , what can we do to encourage the footballing public of Calderdale

to support their team on a regular basis?

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I think one thing that should be considered for next season is (and this is assuming we get shirts out on sale on time) that every Junior Blue and Child who holds a season ticket gets a free Town shirt. Might not sound that great an idea, but if a JB is getting a shirt, and its their first one, well, if its ours, that's going to be remembered for ever. Then if they wear it to school, or with their mates, then others their age will become aware... From small things come bigger things.

I think we are also in a situation where we have a ground too big for us, with plenty of empty spaces. Why don't the club saturate local schools, and sports clubs with free tickets, or discounted tickets to get more through the gates. They might not make much money on the idea, but it puts bums on seats, gets more people down, and maybe a few parents will tag on with their kids, paying in too.

The FA Cup game V Abbey Hey - well lets be blunt, its not going to grab peoples imaginations. The club should reduce adults entry to £10. However, why don't the club do a "two games for £20 offer" - allowing people going to that game a ticket for the next home game (another unattractive game, Vauxhall). Payment would have to be at the Abbey Hey game, meaning you pay in advance, and get a ticket, but you would potentially save £3 on both games - should the person then not go to the Vauxhall game the club will still have banked the + £7/£10.

Offers, regardless of how small, will be greatly received by causal supporters whom will often find it hard to justify paying out on a match day.

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I believe it has to start with youngsters but with a bit of imaginative thinking rather than the tiresome old practice of a 30mins training session and then leaving some free tickets.

I would really love to see us take a leaf out of the rugby clubs book and employ a player, or two, full time and have them working out in the community on a proper worked out programme integrating education, healthy living, sport, etc into a package. It would mean a more concentrated effort, with a more genuine reason to it than just simply trying to increase attendances.

The club also needs to get more aligned and involved with the Centre of Excellence. At one point it had 200+ youngsters involved; they are potential supporters and if treat right and given a sense of belonging their parents are potential supporters too. That is a big market not tapped into.

The club needs to give off the feeling that they are supporter friendly, embrace the community to which it is a part and not give the impression that it sees the relationship with the Borough as one way i.e. give us your money.

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The club should reduce adults entry to £10.

In fairness the club should be doing that anyway, nevermind as a marketing idea. A marketing idea would be to reduce it to £5 or open it to supporters to make a donation on the gate. Something like that would give the club a great chance to market itself in the week before the game although a few weeks would be better. I know admission has to be agreed between the two clubs but surely Abbey Hey could be persuaded.

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How about free admission to a minor cup match with a pay what you like option on entry.

Problem with cup games is that often the other side gets a % of the gate, so they would have to agree.

I would imagine we would try switch any WRCC game to an away ground too.

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I work in a local secondary school and think that is where the target needs to be aimed at. We always have players from the Rugby club coming in to do things with the kids, be it a kick racism/homophobia assemblies, or other community based projects. The rugby players are instantly recognisable to the pupils and the kids love it.

They gave us a voucher book of free tickets for a big evening match against Featherstone and they went in seconds, we used them as incentives/prizes for the kids.

Something like this would be great.

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I have no problem with the adult prices of £13, but £10 for concessions/students and the child prices are too high. A concession should be able to pay with a £10 note and get change.

On the subject of attendances etc, how about going round schools as suggested previously and hand out free tickets for games, but how about half season tickets being handed out at the start of the school year? Children would get free access to half of the season's home games and hopefully bring along friends from outside of their school and parents paying for the tickets and then when the half season ticket runs out at around the mid point of the season they will be inclined to carry on coming to the games while having to pay full price.

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FREE TICKETS TO SCHOOLS IS A MUST!! I was given a free ticket at school at the age of 10 back in 1983. My dad took me to the game and all these years later I go to most home games with my kids. I do sometimes struggle to take the kids to all the games as one of them is now 12 (the price goes up at that age) and i have 3 I cant always afford it when all 3 want to go. They love going but its down to the cost. Kids price should be between £2 and £5.

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there has been endless ideas suggested on this and other Shay forums, there are hundreds of other clubs with tried and tested marketing ideas, what it needs is a board to get out out its private club bubble, wake up and smell the roses, appoint a proper commercial manager and engage with the town, the community and the fans

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Great thread is this. I received a very informative email from the Supporters Club after the meeting the other week that said DB was looking into offering '10 match' tickets for example as well as linking up with schools and junior clubs to offer tickets. Was also told DB is open to suggestions from the fans. Well, look no further! This forum is full of excellent ideas that could drive the club forward. On the topic of having a few full time players to send into the community, Jon Worthington was used for the Prince's Trust initiative. Maybe he and a few others who can spare the time could be used for similar initiatives?

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In fairness the club should be doing that anyway, nevermind as a marketing idea. A marketing idea would be to reduce it to £5 or open it to supporters to make a donation on the gate. Something like that would give the club a great chance to market itself in the week before the game although a few weeks would be better. I know admission has to be agreed between the two clubs but surely Abbey Hey could be persuaded.

I personally won't be bothering with that match if it's £13, I can tell you that much. Not for Abbey Hey.

Biggest problem in general is concession prices and downwards. I'm an adult and I work; thus, for me anyway, £13 is no problem (although I still think it's overpriced for Conf North, and it probably does put some off). When I was a teenage tearaway though, hanging out with my best chum on a Saturday afternoon, no way we could have afforded two tenners to go down the footy! We were lucky if we had a fiver to rub together to spend in the amusement arcade. Maybe once a year on Boxing day, we might have managed it. That's it.

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I think the key is to get the youngsters hooked and they will bring along parents and friends.

The club could appoint an education officer to devise a pack for schools to use in class based on football. Someone with a good knowledge of the national curriculum could devise activities which bring football into every subject on the curriculum. Players could go into schools with the education officer to launch the pack which teachers would then follow up. Some of the work could be done at the Shay - eg they could do a maths topic measuring the pitch and calculating areas and so on. They could do the work at the Shay on a match day, meet the players and stay on for the match.

The cost of producing the education pack could be offset by sponsorship and advertising.

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When I was little® around 2000, the £1 price for primary school-age kids and the small jump for <16yr-olds was a big incentive. Being about in Halifax at a young age with the choice between a bag of sweets and an afternoon of football was an easy choice. I'm sure inflating that to £2 for U12s and £3 to U16s, then a gentler increase of £5 U18s and £8 for concessions would be very sensible. I went to Elland Road as an 18-yr-old a couple of years ago and paid £12, so what makes part-time football a comparable expense? (Apart from Leeds United being absolutely horrid, of course.)

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The admission price for youngsters is too high everybody you speak to is of the same opinion i would like to know when at the start of the season and the board are looking at what the admission prices they are going to charge they come out with a price for kids which rules most of them out , it really is shortsighted of the club to expect kids to pay that for 90 minutes entertainment on a saturday afternoon even if they had that money in the first place.

The poster who has 3 kids who all want to attend the shay but the combined cost is too much is quite sad these are fans of the future , future paying adults, the club should do all they can to make it affordable for them to attend something which they are not doing at the moment.

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Could a survey not be drawn up by the supporters club and volunteers of the supporters club swamp the town with these surveys one day? Get an actual opinion from Joe public about what would encourage them to go to games. This could then be passed to the club for them to act upon. Perhaps a free ticket could be given on completion of a survey?

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Incentive wise, I think we miss the boat completeley.

The club have to be careful that they dont slash prices to a stupid amount, but they should be trying harder to make coming back attractive.

"Advanced game tickets", which would work out cheaper for the fan, but with a commitment for X amount of games could help with this.

For example, you could sell a game card that allows an adult into 5 home league games of their choice. The cost of that game card is £25 up front - then the person has to pay an extra £5 for each of the games they want to go to on a match day. This means that an adult will be paying £50 in total, but getting 5 games (worth £65) in for that. The plus for the club is that that adult has paid £25 up front, so will have to do 4 of the 5 games to "show a profit", so its encouraging the fan to come down more - and for the adult, they have already paid X amount, so might as well get "their moneys worth".

Those cards could work as follows -

All for 5 games -

Adult - £25 up front, then £5 on gate for each game. Total cost £50 for £65 worth of football.

Concessions - £15 up front, then £5 on gate for each game. Total cost £40 for £50 worth of football.

Under 16's - £10 up front, then £3 on gate for each game. Total cost of £25 for £37.50 worth of football. (The club could adjust to £3.50 or £4.00, but I think the younger end need greater incentive)

Under 12's - £5 up front, then £1 on gate for each game. Total cost of £10 for £25 worth of football.

One of the problems I think is getting people to RETURN on a regular basis to the Shay. Get a few stamp cards printed up, with payment for usage up front, and give savings out. It may eat slightly into match profits, but it will give people a reason to return. If someone has done 3 games, they are more likely if money is tight to do the next two if they have this ticket, as they will feel they will need to save money.

No refunds, so partially used cards, or lost ones are lost, yet the club keep the money. It gives people a reason to return. Simple ideas like this don't need to cost the world, but some times a small saving over a period is not a bad idea.

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What about trying to work with local businesses more? The Broad Street development is coming to a close and with new businesses coming to Halifax.

I noticed Frankie & Bennys had sponsored Crossley Juniors and they handed out vouchers at the last home game.

They could offer deals like pay in and get a free starter, or (more long term), buy a season ticket and get a voucher book for loads of businesses.

Could always try and work with the rugby club and if we pick a game each and offer a deal to get into both games a bit cheaper.

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Any incentives need to be reasonably straightforward to put into practice. The problem with special vouchers where you pay a reduced amount on the turnstile is that you need a separate turnstile to have these fans go through so the numbers through the gates adds up to the amount of money received on that turnstile.

Vouchers for children is a no brainer really, personally I'd let all under 12's in for free regardless. Other initiatives like a half season ticket, a pay upfront ticket that lets you into 8 matches of your choice, family days, etc are all things that we could try to put into place.

The junior football teams playing at half time is a good step, its things like that we need to build on.

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As a long time reader of this forum I think it's finally time I actually posted. All these pleas for the club to get involved in local businesses is all well and good. BUT! A lot of the local businesses do not want anything to do with the football club and it has a really bad name in the business community. I mean how many times have local businesses been left out of pocket when we've gone into a CVA and paid them pennies of what we owe them. We as a club need to earn their trust that we are actually safe financially before they'll actively get involved with the club again.

I'm not saying we shouldn't try but we have to accept some people just don't want anything to do with us as a club. And I hear from creditable sources that the club name was a HUGE stumbling block in Mark Brier attracting sponsors

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