Xperiology’s Marketing Executive Matthew Wall spent yesterday in London, meeting Chelsea FC’s Jon Scammell at Stamford Bridge.
The purpose of the trip was to learn about Chelsea’s innovative marketing efforts and gain an insight into the ways in which Chelsea are improving the ‘fan experience’ ahead of this year’s Fan Experience Forum 2014.
Chelsea FC’s Jon Scammell is a man who prides himself on providing the Chelsea fans (and also the away fans) with a great all-round experience – that leaves them wanting to return for more.
Jon attended Fan Experience Forum last year and he was eager to return again after taking away some valuable lessons.
Jon is a Senior Marketing Executive, and is in charge of looking after several aspects of the match day operations – with the fan experience one of his top priorities.
“We like to speak to our fans, and really find out what they want. We like to give them ‘ownership’ of their experience and we really delve into the roots of what they want from their time with us”.
“We’ve recently completed a six month renovation of our family stand, but we are looking to improve it even further. We’ve made it more engaging, especially for the kids. There are Xbox’s for them to play with, even if some of them are sometimes more interested in that than the game”.
“I’ve recently launched a brand new mascot, Bridgette the Lioness, who hopefully, will appeal to the kids and female audiences. She’s not as boisterous as Stamford the Lion”, he joked.
“All seater stadiums have done little to help the overall fan experience in recent years, so to combat this, we actively try to improve all other areas to ensure the best possible experience – one that leaves them hungry for more”.
“My big focus is on the young Chelsea fans, a subject very close to my heart. Our match day attendances are made up of around just 10% children these days, it was 15% at one point”.
“We’ve recently launched a campaign with the Simpsons. We’d love to get them involved during match day, bring them along to the kids club. It’s all about making a lasting impression and engaging with the kids, rather than trying to sell to them.”
“We’re in talks to start a kid’s match-day programme, this would be free to any children attending the game. Competitions, quizzes and other fun games to get them really involved in the match day experience. Sunderland FC already do this, it would be interesting to see how it would be received”.
“Match-day programmes have been struggling for a while now, even with the advent of the online version. The trouble is, all news is online, people already know the content. Our challenge is to ensure the match-day programme content is fresh, engaging and worthwhile”.
Another big part of the fan experience is social media, and it has really taken off in recent years. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… Chelsea use all of these and to great effect with their global audiences. “Trying to get 400 million global fans into a 40,000 seater stadium is never going to work. This is where social media comes in, we like to make them feel a part of the stadium experience, even if they are somewhere else in the world.”
Article published in www xperiology on 4 March 2014. Author is Mathew Wall.