Making his Sports Marketing Scotland debut is Duncan McKay, a lifelong Scottish football fan. Duncan works in communications and is talking about SPFL branding and opportunities. You can hear Duncan regularly on Terrace Podcast or read his blog where he visited every SPFL ground in one season, 42 Grounds.
You’ve all seen the photos. You know what I’m talking about, right?
It’s these almost weekly images we see appear on Twitter, Facebook and in our daily newspapers that I’m questioning here. [Insert player or manager here] poses with a bit of cardboard promoting [insert Scottish football match here]. These pieces of printed cardboard more often than not contain information on them regarding tickets to attend the match. My question is, have you been indecisive about whether to attend your clubs match and then been swayed to go because you open up the paper on a Friday or a Saturday and see your promising young left back posing for pictures with a piece of cardboard? I know that this enables the papers to fill their pages with a big image (maybe they could devote more inches to other clubs or the lower leagues, but that’s for a different day) and it gives the clubs free ‘advertising’ space, which businesses in other sectors would potentially pay thousands of pounds for. My question following on from that point is, how do the clubs know that this method of promoting Scottish football works?
Kilmarnock Football Club have just announced, after a meeting between the board and a group of fans, ticket prices have been reduced for the remainder of the season.
With the English Premier League having struck up a new £5billion deal that will see matches continue to be broadcast on Sky and BT Sports, it’s now more imperative than ever that Scottish football ensures its fans are put first or it may run the risk of losing them altogether. Improving the overall experience for football fans when they go to matches in Scotland is vital, and making attending more affordable to the average fan is one method of doing so.
The notion of pay what you can isn’t all that new. As is so often the case with football, it has been slow to adopt different or new techniques and ways of marketing the game to fans.
The price paid for a particular good or service is very often the single most important factor in a consumers decision-making process. There is often a limit as to what consumers will tolerate in regards to the price they are willing to pay, and I believe it is this that has led to the emergence of pay what you can initiatives in football. Particularly so in Scottish football.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle became the first top flight club in the country to offer a pay what you can initiative for their January home match on a Tuesday night against St. Johnstone. Inverness fans also benefited from Hamilton charging just 10p to get in to their match against the highland side just days later plus Dundee United making it £5 to attend their rescheduled match played in February.