Happy fans, higher footfall and big cheers are all signs your fan engagement is improving. But if you want to be certain, make sure you have KPIs and targets that you can actively measure.
“We measure attendance numbers, school assemblies, and how many new people we attract. But we also do a lot of data analysis on the ticket data we collect,” Shrey explains. “This tells us who’s a first time buyer, and who’s a regular.”
Shrey recommends a mixture of quantitative and qualitative data. This helps them align their activities with the club strategy, budgets, and everything else they need to run Lewes FC.
“You need a healthy balance of quantitative and qualitative data points, where you try to grow the fan base, but also make sure it’s not growth for growth’s sake,” Shrey explains. “One of the first things I wanted to take on when I joined was better integration of fans from different demographics.”
As an avid football follower, Shrey attended almost every Lionesses’ game in the Euros. But in the three weeks of attendance, Shrey didn’t see a single advert or marketing campaign directed at men.
“I realised speaking to women’s players, they all grew up with male role models because there was no other choice. I completely agree that women’s football should have little girls looking up to them. But why shouldn’t boys look up to the women’s players too?”
Shrey realised efforts to integrate fans were working last season, after seeing some young fans interacting with the Lewes teams.
“We had a girl of about seven or eight years old, waiting at 10pm on a Tuesday to get autographs from the men’s players after the game. And then on Sunday, we had a couple of boys who had made a collage of the women’s team for autographs.”
A solid fan engagement strategy looks different from club to club. But as Lewes FC have discovered, the closer you can get to your fans, the better you can serve them.
10 top tips on football fan engagement
Learn the best tips for engaging fans in your football club, from getting to know your fans, to partnering with local organisations.
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