Today we continue the update from CFU directors, the latest provided Jeff Banks, whose portfolio includes Membership & Fan Engagement.
It’s been a manic few months following the efforts of bringing realistic and attractive season ticket and matchday prices to the table, but the Fan Engagement Working Group have ploughed on looking at various aspects of the matchday experience as well as putting our thoughts in to making the CFU membership more attractive to members.
Below, is a list of part of what we’ve been focussing on during the last couple of months:
CFU membership new joins / renewals
- We recently hit the 2018 target and have since passed this too, which is great news. Effectively the number from 12 months ago has doubled.
- Draw for winner of £20.18 club shop voucher will take place this weekend!
- We are also going to be looking at further benefits of being a CFU member and also discussing the CFU membership joining fee based on comments and feedback made by members in the Big City Census 2018 and in general.
- Due to launch in January, a large retailer have offered a generous discount to CFU members, details to follow on this.
- Buy Clever Stuff have offered CFU members 5% off some ranges and also advised that they will make a further 5% donation to the Squadbuilder fund from purchases made direct from their website.
- We have 10 confirmed paid members. Packs for these have been this week. Our target for this scheme was an initial 10 members, which will hopefully increase to 20 in time. This has raised £10,000 (an obvious calculation there!)
- CFU membership had a forecasted budget of £20,000 to hit and we are on course to hit this figure.
- Extra benefits are being looked at on a continuing basis for life members.
Matchday Experience – Themes
- 10th November – Altrincham – Remembrance Weekend. Together with the Community Trust, the pre match routine included attendance from the Veterans and Mercian Regiment, and a impeccably observed period of silence to pay tribute.
- 1st December – Darlington – Retro Day. whilst we didn’t get a crowd of over 2000, which was disappointing, we still managed an increased attendance based on CFC fixtures played on this week in previous seasons. We also believe that there was definitely a feel good factor around the ground with the theme, along with some great sights of fans in their old Chester tops. Whilst financially it didn’t net the club any profit the fact that season ticket holders were able to take advantage of a £5 discount on purchases in the club shop helped produce great figures for the shop on Retro Day. We will keep the thought of having Retro Day 2 in our minds for next season’s planning. Half Time entertainment went down well too, and thanks to Buy Clever Stuff for their help and prizes donations.
- 22nd December – Telford – Christmas Theme, with Santa making an appearance of course!
- We are looking at themes for the rest of the season, and will release those in due course, but we are hoping to have involvement from former players, Junior Blues, as well as the Community Trust.
Half Time Entertainment
- This was introduced for the Altrincham match and as mentioned above the Darlington match, and believe that it went down well and will continue to try and provide an enjoyable experience to all watching.
Cestrian 10 (part) Season Ticket
- Launched Saturday 20th October together with social media marketing and promotional advertising via local press and also a radio advert dedicated to the Cestrian 10 on Dee 106.3 – thanks to Dee for this.
- We have had more uptake than last season. The initiative now includes Legends Lounge as well as around the ground tickets, and currently offers fans a choice of 10 games from a possible 12. The scheme will end after the Telford match.
- We are also putting plans together with the Community Trust for remaining unsold Cestrian 10 books.
Chester FC fans App
- Launched in pre-season, this is in full operation and continuing to work well – we are monitoring the output match by match at present, and all feedback is positive.
- We also have an additional person helping to respond to questions / promote the App.
- This was trialled in 2018 for an initial period, however take up was low and would not have been cost effective to continue given the running costs of the platform. FEWG are continuing to look at alternative options for future use.
- Continuing with the Community Trust. We will look to resume CFU membership applications in March at the Gazebo, although other initiatives may well be progressed via the Gazebo in between times.
- We have kept in dialogue with Dougherty & Allen to ensure that fans are getting the best experience possible in the Blues Bar and kiosks, following the negative feedback received after the first match of the season.
Fan Zone (for drinks)
- This is to be discussed further in January as we want to progress this to enable a Fan Zone to be set up to allow fans to enjoy the matchday experience further. Dialogue continues with the Safety team. An initial conversation has taken place around the possibility of this being introduced.
- We are continuing to promote the challenge for members to introduce one new member to CFU.
Various Fan Groups
- Chester Exiles – FEWG have worked with Bern & Jonno to get a personal message out to the Chester Exiles who potentially feel less involved with our fixtures this season given the geographical nature of this season’s fixture list. FEWG want to ensure that the Chester Exiles are made to feel as inclusive as the rest of the supporters.
- FEWG to liaise more with the Senior Blues in 2019, to ensure that their group is also getting the best matchday experience too.
- We are continuing to look at match posters – there are various online posters produced, which are shared across social media. Non online posters are a different kettle of fish, given the costs involved of advertising, although we have tried asking fans to help distribute but this received a low response rate. We are also looking in to the possibility of having an external sign outside the stadium advertising future matches (this in early stages at present).
Other Items being looked at/discussed:
- Bus service for matchdays
- Increasing the number of children at matches
- 2019 Fans Survey
- Season Tickets 2019/20 – for discussion later this season
So, as you can see lots going on with the Fan Engagement and Membership section headed up by Guy Lister, and we’re always looking for more members, so if you would like to join our working group then please email firstname.lastname@example.org to become involved.