Readers following my Twitter will be no strangers to the occasional rant about the club’s marketing machine, pricing our fans out of the market place and a lack of creativity from the club. In and amongst the financial doom and gloom, the club has failed to adapt to the marketplace, and saw one of its lowest attendances in years on Saturday for the win against Bristol City – with just 8088 fans coming through the gates, 900 down on last year’s lowest attendance – also against Bristol.

However our next game presents a fantastic opportunity for both the club and the fans to create a day to remember in order to celebrate our 125th anniversary. For just £12.50 for adults, fans can watch our Championship clash against Blackpool (who also turn 125 this year), with entertainment planned both outside and inside the stadium, and prizes for fancy dress (if that’s your thing). What’s more, families of 4 (2 adults, and 2 children 5-11) can watch the game for £30 – a great value day out.

Other than the obvious benefits of a cheap entry fee and a bit of entertainment; to me this gives the fans an excellent chance to prove a point. By telling your family and your friends and packing out the stadium, you can prove to the club that cheaper entry does work and that our supporters do want to watch this football club succeed.

Whilst many will point out that the club has put on a good offer for the fans, I believe it still needs to do much more work, and is missing the opportunity to fill the stadium despite the bargain entry price. Whilst Twitter, Facebook and the website have their obvious benefits, they don’t reach the fans that aren’t at Oakwell – in a sense, they’re preaching to the converted. The club needs to get to work printing flyers and buying up some serious ad space in the local newspapers, and then hit the town shouting the offer from the rooftops, rather than whispering it with a keyboard.

The work only just starts there however. Getting fans in for one game will be fantastic, however the club has the opportunity to hold onto some by pushing the price of the season ticket – by far the best value for money when it comes to watching the Reds. With every match day ticket sold, why not hand out flyers that break the numbers down and show how good the offer is, and add to that a season ticket sign up sheet. To allow the fans to receive the benefit from the missed games, take the price of the ticket back to the ‘summer offer price’ or even the ‘early bird price’ and give them the incentive to back the Reds

Now comes my rallying cry to the fans. Oakwell has been a fortress so far this year with two excellent performances, two wins out of two and two clean sheets out of two. We can create an atmosphere and really push this team on to something better than a relegation scrap. Season tickets are big commitments, but are good value for money and much cheaper than picking and choosing games. I hope as many fans as possible will attend the game against Blackpool to fill out the stadium, and even if the club doesn’t give you one, I’d ask that you take a sign up form, and then read my ‘frequent non-season ticket holder problem buster’ below whilst considering a season ticket.
Please share this article through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Email, word of mouth, printing it out or however you wish to share it. We as fans have the chance to show the club what it’s missing in terms of support and cheer on the team against a very good Blackpool side – and above all celebrate a fantastic milestone in the club’s history. Also, if you haven’t already, be sure to follow and tweet your responses to @MichaelRoach55 and @OnThePontyEnd on Twitter, or comment below.

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Anonymous said...

Season tickets are undoubtedly good value. Many older fans though do not wish to commit to attend during inclement weather, often for health related reasons. Others simply do not have the means to fund a season ticket purchase. The £18 admission charge is unaffordable for many and is prohibitive.

Having 10,000 or so empty seats every match serves no useful purpose. Reduce matchday prices as much as possible and attendances will rocket. Not least, the resultant better atmosphere will help the team.

Times are hard. Many supporters resent the silly wage levels within the game. Unemployment and pay restraint for many on the one hand and huge increases in admission charges don't sit well together.