Increased crowds

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Increased crowds

Post by City 'til we're relegated on Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:46 am

After 4 home games we have attracted around 2,800 people to matches with 17 to go.
Last season it took 6 home games to reach that total with 14 remaining.


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Re: Increased crowds

Post by Beau Nash on Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:45 am

Attendances are up for three reasons:

1. The team success.
2. Performances at Twerton Park have been entertaining.
3. The Bid have raised the profile.

The first two are probably the main reasons.  

Last Saturday, first half popular side, I heard one man, probably a pensioner, say that this was the first time in THREE seasons he had come to a game and his regular spot had been taken by someone else.

To maintain interest the team need to be in contention for the championship or at the very least a play off place;  not an easy task.  So far none of the opposition have looked world beaters but as I predicted Dartford would be the best so far.
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Re: Increased crowds

Post by Marc Monitor on Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:21 am

I'd put it slightly differently. Even though I love us playing on the floor and passing it around, I don't think that the style of play is that important for attracting people, certainly not as far as results are concerned.

I think that the 'Bid bounce' has helped greatly. Due to the Bid, the team have been in the Chronicle all over the close season, often with two or three stories not just in the back pages but in the front. Also, social media has been effectively used to publicise the Bid (and, following on from that, the club) during the close season. There have been street stalls in the middle of Bath, events such as the Pat Nevin night, celebrity endorsements and a subsequent raised awareness of the club in the city. It is amazing to hear people who would never have gone to Twerton Park talking about the Bid and the club. I know of people who have come to TP for the first time and those who have started coming regularly because they have pledged and I am sure this number is extrapolated upwards.

Don't get me wrong, since the start of the season, the unbeaten run has been the main reason, no doubt about it. It needs to be exploited now as we are going to lose at some point and we have to show people what we know which is that the enjoyment of football isn't just watching a winning team. If that were the case, none of us would be here. We have to translate our loyalty to the additional attendees.
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Re: Increased crowds

Post by Mark Tanner on Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:47 am

I agree with Marc and Rob.

The performances have been decent with a lot of close games showing off the quality of our new arrivals (in particular Phillips in goal). Our 5-0 victory over Havant in front of our home crowd helped maintain the 750 level of support. Finally being top of the league and unbeaten looks great on paper to the casual fan or supporter and feels absolutely fantastic for those of us who have been going down for years.

I like the 'Bid bounce' as Marc called it. Coverage has been great so far this season through the Bid's efforts and by the club too who have been using the official channels well. All of this celebrity endorsement has started to turn people's heads our way, we now need to keep them looking at us.

Tonight's meeting will be very important in doing that. The next steps for the club will be vital for our season and will hopefully keep the positive vibes on the terraces and out into the City.

The Supporters Club shop sold out of their allocation of pin badges on Saturday and programmes were in high demand again and all but sold out. That shows the numbers of new fans coming in and thankfully a lot of them are getting younger which is great to see!

I'm still holding out for a #baffling 1001 fans for a home game, it's coming albeit slowly...
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1000 Plus

Post by pete mac on Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:36 pm

If we can stay in that top 2 or 3 then surely we will get that 1000 crowd.

Even with 750/800 the ground has a much better atmosphere.

I enjoyed Saturday from behind the Bath end goal in the second half and it was good to see a chunk of people on the popular side.

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Re: Increased crowds

Post by Ian Jones on Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:18 pm

It's obviously due to both the effects of results and media coverage. Personally I feel the media coverage for the bid has loads to do with it.

I know there is no budget for advertising but you have Bath Rugby, even at capacity advertising each week in press, online and outdoor, this is too build the brand and keep the awareness.

The publicity gained from the Bid over the last few months was worth £££££ in terms of media cost. Each time a news story goes out, each time a radio announcement happens there is an associated cost.

So...brilliant work but the momentum needs to continue, keep the stories going to the press, utilize all online mediums, hit the immediate and outside community. The fact is many more people have mentioned to me the goings on a Bath City than ever before.

There is a bit of a buzz happening, even with the Bid not getting to the target there is a positive story here as a tremendous amount was raised.

Keep the buzz, maybe the club should consider a loyalty scheme / card for the existing but also new people coming along. Get a card stamped 10 times and get a friend in for free for example?

Whatever the reasons it's good news, I'll be there with a friend or two this Saturday so let's hope the figures creep past 800.

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Re: Increased crowds

Post by 2weirdtown on Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:42 pm

I have a friend who'd previously attended a couple of times in 5 years.  Been twice already this season.  The bid buzz (and the 5 - 0) have undoubtedly contributed to him signing up for shares.
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Re: Increased crowds

Post by yuffie on Mon Sep 07, 2015 2:02 pm

I think that the first crowd of the season (641) was a little bit disappointing given that Wealdstone probably brought 100+ but by the next game we'd won three out of three and to get 648 on a Tuesday night was an excellent effort.

Since then two 750+ crowds just confirms my view that a winning team will always be the most important factor in getting people through the turnstiles.

And it was a real bonus that the team produced one of it's best league performances in years at the same time that we had a decent crowd.

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Re: Increased crowds

Post by Beau Nash on Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:33 pm

Hemel have booked a coach - http://tudortalk.freeforums.org/bath-city-away-t2188.html - so maybe the 800+ will be achieved? cheers
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Re: Increased crowds

Post by Ian Jones on Mon Sep 07, 2015 5:34 pm

What was the attendance on the first day last year?

Although I cant disagree that a winning team will always increase crowds, the continues awareness of the club and therefore the winning ways has made a difference.

If the people of Bath didn't hear about the club and the areas happening on and off the field the it wouldn't make a bit of difference unless it was a play-off or FA Cup game.

Yes, a combination of success on the pitch and continued awareness is the way forward so I say well done to both, a combination of both not one or other.

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Re: Increased crowds

Post by Marc Monitor on Mon Sep 07, 2015 5:41 pm

It was 459 for our first home game but, to be fair, we had already cocked up a successful pre-season by losing 3-0 to Concord Rangers away in the first game. We lost that first home game 4-0 to Basingstoke and struggled with attendances until the Rovers win and the subsequent FA Trophy run.
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Re: Increased crowds

Post by yuffie on Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:09 pm

Unfortunately the fact we had six successive away games on the opening Saturday of the season means there isn't really anything to compare it with.

In 2008-09 we had 623 against Welling United but a lot has happened at the club since then!

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Re: Increased crowds

Post by Notters on Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:24 pm

I feel we should do our 'pay what you want' offer in the next few home games. It'll keep the publicity going and our league position might inspire more people to come down Very Happy

The 'pay what you want' offer last season was held towards the end of last season and we had nothing to play for. It wasn't the most encouraging time to attract new fans...

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Re: Increased crowds

Post by Marc Monitor on Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:49 pm

The best time to do the "Pay what you want" is probably when the students come in the next couple of weeks.
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Re: Increased crowds

Post by OliverH on Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:16 pm

Ian Jones wrote:

Keep the buzz, maybe the club should consider a loyalty scheme / card for the existing but also new people coming along. Get a card stamped 10 times and get a friend in for free for example?

This is a really interesting idea. In the past there's been a bit of irritation, understandably, about offering discounts or freebies for people who haven't been before - the faithful who pay week in and week out can feel hard done by.

But what if you reframe that as not the club offering discounts, but the faithful themselves? So if I get five games stamped, I can choose to offer a free ticket to someone else. Perhaps this could be on the club website or Facebook or whatever - key thing would be, you'd actually see that I, OliverH, was offering the free tickets - it would a person-to-person gesture, not a top-down marketing offer.

Need to think about this more but I think there's something there - individual fans inviting people to try TP for free.

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Re: Increased crowds

Post by Ashley on Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:18 pm

I mentioned it a lot when I was at uni there - Exeter give their season ticket holders a free ticket to bring a friend once a season.

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Re: Increased crowds

Post by SteveBradley on Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:32 pm

OliverH wrote:
Ian Jones wrote:

Keep the buzz, maybe the club should consider a loyalty scheme / card for the existing but also new people coming along. Get a card stamped 10 times and get a friend in for free for example?

This is a really interesting idea. In the past there's been a bit of irritation, understandably, about offering discounts or freebies for people who haven't been before - the faithful who pay week in and week out can feel hard done by.

But what if you reframe that as not the club offering discounts, but the faithful themselves? So if I get five games stamped, I can choose to offer a free ticket to someone else. Perhaps this could be on the club website or Facebook or whatever - key thing would be, you'd actually see that I, OliverH, was offering the free tickets - it would a person-to-person gesture, not a top-down marketing offer.

Need to think about this more but I think there's something there - individual fans inviting people to try TP for free.


I think the irritation about ticket promotions is over-stated personally.

We all want more people to support Bath City. Every supporter had their first game (and most of us can recall exactly when it was). Our fanbase is so small that not enough new supporters will have their first game experience via a relative or friend. So personally I don't care how we get people to turn up and experience a Bath City game for the first time, so long as they do. Especially when we have about 4,000 unsold tickets at every game.

The Bid sponsored the recent Design World Cup - a football tournament for Bath's creative people. It involved people who play football regularly, but almost none had ever been to TP. So we offered al players a free ticket to the Tuesday night Maidenhead game if they signed up in advance. About 40 did, of which only a couple of dozen actually showed up for the game. But they bought programmes, drank in the bar etc. And I bumped into one of those guys at Saturday's Dartford game, and this time he'd paid in and brought his wife and kid as well. Would he have made it to the Dartford game without that free Maidenhead ticket in the first place ?

So if we want a bigger fanbase, there will have to be room for targeted and sensible ticket promotions. Any fans who grumble about that need to ask themselves would they prefer smaller gates and a worse atmosphere.

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Re: Increased crowds

Post by OliverH on Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:49 pm

Perhaps - I still think there's something powerful about a peer-to-peer offer.
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Re: Increased crowds

Post by Marc Monitor on Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:49 pm

I think the only time there being an issue with offers that I can remember was with the ludicrous Polish promotion. Of course, we would like to see everyone in the community including the Polish community but it was the idea that you could get a cut-price ticket because you were of a certain nationality.
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Re: Increased crowds

Post by OliverH on Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:50 pm

Please let's not re-open that.
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Re: Increased crowds

Post by Ian Jones on Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:19 pm

It's not so long ago that promotional offers were only available to new customers, sky, virgin, mobile operators and so on.

This is changing as these business's know there is so much competition for their ££'s, they therefore no have offers for both new and existing customers.

This is crucial to not only sustain you current audience but to grow it overall. Let's say 75% of fans return year after year, and your gaining 18% of new fans each year. Your still down 7% and if that carries on you lose your customer base.

The club does a lot to encourage people to come, the under 16 offer is excellent. A loyalty bonus is the other, this is difficult to implement though as others could take your card along to be stamped but in some ways, like Steve says, so what as long as you get new fans.

Supermarkets have these schemes but why not offer the opportunity to local independent traders.

Maybe like Oliver said, once his card has been stamped 5 times he gets to bring someone but as it's his card he get's a reduced price for a pint of a burger or merchandise?

There will always be people that will try to abuse any system, that's a risk that has to be weighed up.

Steve makes a good point about the spare space. The Bath Chronicle, local radio stations, weekly pub quizzes, darts, pool, skittles teams..........We should offer 2 free tickets to each of these groups, loads of free publicity on radio and press and online, two skittles team = 16 people, 2 get tickets, others might join then but more than anything it get's people talking.

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Re: Increased crowds

Post by OliverH on Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:57 pm

Yes I think when it really comes down to it, not many people (especially loyal fans!) would actually try to game any loyalty card system and rip off the club. Maybe a handful each game, but I doubt it. It's barely worth the effort - if I can't make this Saturday's game, would I really go to the effort of meeting up beforehand with another supporter to give them my card, just to get a cheeky extra stamp?

How about:

- You have a loyalty card that you write your name on. Once you attend five matches and get five stamps, you hand it in.

- You get a voucher for a free pint or free food right away. (Maybe the loyalty card itself gives you 10p off drinks regardless of how many stamps, to encourage early take-up)

- You can claim one free ticket for someone other than yourself. You can choose between "bring a friend" and "Open Invitation to Bath".

- "Bring a friend" is just a simple two-for-one voucher, with your name written on it. (This could be 'abused' to bring in people who would have paid anyway, but it's probably worth the risk)

- "Open Invitation" means that a complimentary ticket is printed/offered online to with your name written on it - "This complimentary ticket is a gift of Bath City FC supporter A.N. Other". The ticket is there for anyone to claim (they just have to give their name, email etc).

- You get notified - "Such and such has accepted your open invitation". As they have to give their name and collect the tickets in person, it will help discourage existing supporters from gaming the system.

- You could also pool comp tickets and offer them to groups - e.g. Popular Side Singers offering six tickets to such-and-such local group.

- Season ticket holders could automatically be issued the equivalent

I think this would create more ongoing publicity and interest than simple one-off commercial offers. This is particularly true for social media ("First ever @BathCityFC match today, thanks to @ANOther for the free ticket!"). It's more personal and it brings to life that idea of "welcoming and inviting the whole of Bath in", rather than just treating Bath City as a consumer product on the shelf.

I'm sure the Society would be happy to do the legwork required to make something like this happen.

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Re: Increased crowds

Post by Marc Monitor on Wed Sep 09, 2015 3:11 pm

Also, as long as you have an address or email address to send the ticket to, you have a ready made database for future offers.
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Re: Increased crowds

Post by OliverH on Wed Sep 09, 2015 3:53 pm

And it might discourage people from trying to take free tickets more than once, as they'd have to use a different email address (i.e. we'd know that they were not first time visitors).

EDIT: we had an offer from a Society member to help set up a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database in the event of achieving community ownership - we could perhaps revisit this and start laying the groundwork now.
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Re: Increased crowds

Post by striped67 on Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:50 pm

Yes, it was me that offered that, and what you are talking about here would be a good use of it. Any offer that required someone to register online could be fed directly into the database and used for subsequent marketing. Of course, subject to the usual consent required to comply with data protection and privacy laws.
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Re: Increased crowds

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