Best Club Marketing Initiative – Premier League

Everton FC

Everton Football Club conducted a Club record-breaking marketing campaign for the 2017/18 Season Tickets.

An unprecedented level of insight and analysis underpinned the creative campaign, which led to the Club personalising marketing and communications more than even before. This involved the Club creating bespoke e-mail campaigns and organising several fan events tailored for different supporter groups.

In addition to innovative marketing initiatives, a new retention risk analysis led to a number of new initiatives being introduced for supporters, including a new price band for young supporters and new payment options.

At the conclusion of the campaign, we achieved record retention rates amongst supporters, putting the Club in a strong position to sell every available Season Ticket for the 2017/18 Season.

Liverpool FC

The primary objective for the 17/18 Liverpool FC Home Kit campaign was to surpass sales targets and historical kit launch KPIs. Secondary objectives were to engage LFC fans globally and to raise awareness of the Clubs’ 125th anniversary.

The marketing campaign saw four special fans be delivered a brand new 17/18 Home Kit by one of their LFC idols, captured in their own environment. The outcome was highly emotional, putting our fans first and joining a diverse Global fan base in four memorable moments that they all could relate to. This video piece took the forefront of the marketing plan and was implemented across all channels, ensuring stand out for both the kit, and the Club.

Southampton FC

In the last few seasons, Southampton FC, our ‘little South Coast Club’, has made a global name for itself by doing things differently, on and off the pitch. Shirt launches are no exception.

To launch its new 2017-18 kit, which featured an 80s throwback, we tied into fan sentiment around the over-achieving players as super heroes – creating a digital-first, global campaign that spoke to fans of all ages.

Through a unique series of animations, strategic media partnerships and next-level fan engagement, our campaign delivered record-breaking engagement with fans, and delivered best-ever shirt sales for the club’s most successful kit launch of all time.

Swansea City AFC

Give A Jack A Jacket was a social inclusion marketing initiative that aimed to not only give back to the community, it aimed at bringing the fans and the club together.

As a Premier League football club, we have the power to improve the lives of our fans and the less fortunate within our local communities, and that was the challenge we set ourselves when devising this social inclusion marketing campaign.

A simple, yet inventive initiative, Give A Jack A Jacket wasn’t just a positive piece of PR, it was a campaign that the whole club and community got behind to give back and to do some good. 

Tottenham Hotspur FC

Tottenham Hotspur’s Stadium Project Virtual Reality Suite (SPVRS) uses the cutting edge technology of Virtual and Augmented Reality to showcase premium packages at its new stadium, set to open in 2018, to potential customers.

The unique SPVRS experience has set a new benchmark in the premium sales and marketing field by helping the customer truly visualise the premium areas and seat views of the new stadium before it is built within a fully immersive VR dome, Oculus Rift headsets and a collection of AR apps.

A comprehensive marketing and PR effort has supported the SPVRS since its official launch on 20 January 2017 contributing to more than 3,000 visitors to the suite. The number of the Club’s Executive Members has already doubled compared to White Hart Lane, with 12 months remaining in the process.

West Ham United FC

To encourage interest amongst fans in renewing and purchasing season tickets for the upcoming 2017/18 Premier League season, West Ham United launched a campaign called ‘We are West Ham United’ to promote the relationship between the club and its fan base.

With over 57,000 seats to fill, the digital team released content reflective of the club’s rich history but also promoting the exciting direction the club is now moving in.

The content included a surprise home visit from Julian Dicks for the first UK fan to renewal. The first global fan to renew received a personal invitation over Facetime from his Norwegian compatriot Håvard Nordtveit for a tour of the stadium. Other popular content included West Ham superfan Marbel receiving a visit from the manager and some star players on her 101st birthday.

The 80-day campaign was a tremendous success when measured against ticket sales. In the first 48 hours of the campaign over 10,000 tickets were renewed with the club ultimately selling 52,000 season tickets with a further waiting list of over 50,000 supporters This means West Ham currently have more season ticket holders than any other London club.


Best Club Marketing Initiative – non Premier League

Aston Villa FC

Our 2017/18 season ticket campaign revolved around ‘#MyVillaMoments’ and included the combination of various live data sources to create a progressive, fully personalised and responsive website for every season ticket holder and match ticket purchaser. The PURL allowed them to re-live the defining moments of the 16/17 season – to truly see what they’d be missing without a season ticket in 17/18. Using rich media, behavioural data and Opta stats we created over 50,000 websites with 19 variable sources of data in each.

The campaign goal was to build a 1-to-1 conversation with our supporters, highlighting to them the exciting moments of their attendances at Villa Park in order to encourage season ticket renewal or purchase. Other aims included a target of early bird sales, a specific marketing ROI, a % renewal rate and a set revenue vs. number of season ticket holders.

The campaign went on to be the most successful season ticket marketing campaign in the past 10 years, breaking several records and all targets, despite the Club finishing in its lowest position for 44 years.

Brentford FC

Brentford FC has now stepped out of the shadows, after years languishing in League One and Two The Bees are now resident in the Sky Bet Championship with regular top 10 finishes across all three seasons.

With a small fanbase we decided to create occasions around matches that endeared themselves to the supporters, giving them another reason to attend a particular match where we couldn’t just rely on who we were playing.

We were acutely aware that fans wanted to recognise the 50 years since QPR attempted to take over the club. We chose to celebrate this 50th anniversary when we faced Rotherham, Saturday 25 February – not the anniversary of the takeover but when the fans secured the funding needed to save the club.

To do this we revived the “I’m Backing Brentford” slogan of the time and build a campaign supported by content that revisited the actual events 50 years to the day. The match not only exceeded the attendance and budget targets, it did so with only 21% occupancy in the away end relying more on the support of home fans.

Brighton & Hove Albion FC

Brighton & Hove Albion missed out on promotion to the Premier League on goal difference on the final day of the 2015/16 season, which was followed by play-off semi-final disappointment just weeks later The club’s supporters, staff and wider community, that had been the difference, not just that season but over the past 20 years, knew how to react The civic pride and local passion that ensured the survival of the club when it was made homeless in 1997, followed by the obstacles and great adversity that had been overcome in bringing the Albion home and securing planning for the American Express Community Stadium, is embodied by the club Having gone from playing home games on the road in Gillingham, then the temporary Withdean stadium until 2011, to then having 22,000 season ticket holders and an award winning stadium, the meteoric rise of the club could have easily reached its peak at the end of the 2015/16 season The club’s supporters, values and identity needed to be reignited and channelled to ensure the club could once again push for promotion the following season The supporters and wider community’s passion was called upon to rise again under the #Together 

Huddersfield Town FC

The 2016/17 Season Card campaign was one of the most successful in the Huddersfield Town’s history.

Using the hashtag #WagnerRevolution, the campaign focused on the Club’s Head Coach David Wagner and the style of football that the team is producing around a gegenpressing system which has proved popular in Germany.

The pricing structure was purposefully made very simple, based on the values that Chairman Dean Hoyle built his business on, with single set prices for all stands at £179 for adults and seniors, £69 for U18s and £23 for U8s.

The campaign’s immediate promotion saw over 11,000 season cards sold in the first 4 days – a record for the Club.

Season card sales finally reached over 15,000, which in turn created a special atmosphere in the John Smith’s Stadium.

This led to some important home victories, many in the last minute of games, in a season which finished in Play Off success at Wembley this summer and the prize of Premier League football in Huddersfield.

St Johnstone FC

St Johnstone Football Club is a professional football club based in Perth, Scotland Although it is officially recorded as being formed in 1884, the club did not play its first game until February 1885 The club’s home since 1989 has been McDiarmid Park Perth has a population of 47,180 St Johnstone have 2000 season ticket holders and an average home attendance of 4,392 Our small but loyal fanbase have been repaid with a Scottish Cup win in 2014 and 5 European adventures from the last 6 seasons Away from the football side the management and operation of the commercial department is carried out by a small team who multi task over a number of departments and strive to ensure the club operates within its means financially Similar to a number of other football clubs, St Johnstone have a constant struggle to encourage the next generation of kids to get engaged with the football club and ultimately attend games The job is not complete and will continue to have a lot of “out of the box” thinking from all departments but the story seems to be encouraging Our family section continues to grow season on season. 

Wolverhampton Wanderers FC

We took our kit launch literally this year and sent the new home kit into space. #WolvesKitLAUNCH was one of our most successful launch campaigns in terms of digital engagement and reach but more importantly sales. The campaign took advantage of our new digital platform and the priority shown to live content on social media. The results saw us 141% ahead of sales target after 1 month and 230% ahead on day 1 sales compared to the previous season.

The campaign also generated a significant amount of coverage across various content websites and national media including some excellent coverage in Match of the Day magazine – by their own admission they rarely give Championship clubs the level of coverage they did for Wolves on the back of the campaign

Wycombe Wanderers FC

Supporter Trust owned and run on a sustainable year on year model, Wycombe Wanderers FC created a Marketing Campaign around their new season Goalkeeper Kit Launch that spread worldwide in 24 hours and delivered measurable results for Sponsors and their Brand. The results surpassed the success of agency, governing body and club campaigns not only in Football, but in the wider sporting industry and general news channels crossing into new markets regions.

The campaign was conceived, designed and delivered using only available talent on hand and the clubs reputation for high quality digital and marketing output.


Best Professional Service Business Serving Football

Coutts

The Coutts Sports and Entertainment team is a leader in the field of providing specialist banking and wealth management services to a demanding industry with unique challenges It has been our long term view that these requirements can only be met through a specialist team with expert advisers in the area of providing Private Banking and Wealth Management advice to the players.

KSS

KSS are internationally recognised as a leading sports architecture practice, specialising in stadia, indoor arenas and training centres.

We work with our clients to create venues of high quality and intense sporting and spectator experiences. We assist our clients in growing their business, driving increased revenue and developing their brand. We provide a full range of sports design consultancy services in master planning, architecture, interior design, branding, graphics and wayfinding.

From our main office in central London, we create intelligent energy-efficient architecture where the design is informed by site context, functionality and flexibility.

Our sports team leaders have over 25 years of experience in stadium design and are proud to have worked globally in this field. Key highlights are Coimbra Stadium in Portugal, The Amex Stadium in Brighton, Stade Océane in Le Havre, Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa and of course Anfield Stadium for Liverpool FC.

Pinsent Masons

Football is an increasingly competitive and commercially driven sport. Any advantage gained by a club in how it operates its business, particularly in securing talent and realising value through exploiting commercial rights, will be critical to success on and off the field. As a firm recognised for innovation and understanding of the sports sector, Pinsent Masons worked to create a digital solution to enable clubs to manage transfers and also contracts for commercial rights. In partnership with Everton Football Club it delivered a full electronic solution that enables the club to manage all transfers, in and out, electronically de-risking the process, ensuring consistency and enabling all steps to be taken much quicker. Having done so, the firm has subsequently developed a pioneering programme that audits all commercial agreements at a club, digitises them, provides intuitive information about the detail of these and then a system for creating new contracts and managing rights on an on-going basis. In all regards, innovation is delivered enabling business processes to be improved, costs reduced and significant value added to the clients Pinsent Masons works with.

Smith & Williamson

Smith & Williamson’s Sports Group has created a new service, the Footballers’ Private Office, which brings together all the services and specialist expertise that players may require.

Sportspeople experience unique earnings patterns and the nature of their career means that circumstances can change quickly. Football in particular has seen many players face financial difficulties, despite their earning potential. For a player to perform well on the field, their affairs off the field need to be in order.

We launched this service in November 2016, showcasing our expertise in developing a holistic financial strategy covering a range of services from pensions to image rights. Recognising the importance of strong relationships, and to ensure our advice is seamless, clients have one lead partner serving as their personal financial director across all our services.

With our unique position in the market having financial planners, tax advisers and investment managers all under one roof, a player benefits from a range of expert inputs. Our Footballers’ Private Office helps deliver peace of mind on financial security.

Players from youth teamers to established internationals can now have straightforward and complex financial issues handled under one roof, whereas previously they would have had engage with multiple advisers.

Verisona Law

Having been very influential in helping its fans save Portsmouth Football Club from it’s creditors some 4 years ago Verisona have provided legal services to the Club ever since, with one of their Directors, Mike Dyer, serving throughout on the Club board.

Following receipt of an expression of interest from a potential buyer, Michael Eisner (former CEO of the Disney organisation) and his Tornante company, Verisona advised the Club and its board throughout a complex negotiation made all the more difficult and sensitive by its fan ownership structure and its flagship status as the largest fan owned club in the country. Verisona’s specialist knowledge of that structure and it’s relationship and ability to work with the various stakeholders, including the relevant regulatory bodies, was a major factor in achieving a successful and in many respects unique outcome.

Verisona has also advised during the last year in relation to executive employment contracts at other clubs – including in the Premier League, and provided structural advice to Fan groups at 3 other football clubs.


Best Use of Technology in Football (non club specific) 

tv & Supponor

Virtual Hybrid digiBOARD is a breakthrough in technology that combines ADI’s industry-leading perimeter LED system (installed at 22 Premier League and EFL clubs) with Supponor’s virtual replacement technology (used in LaLiga and NHL). Now sponsors can significantly increase revenue by commercialising the same perimeter media space multiple times over – delivering different perimeter advertising content to individual broadcast territories, whilst clubs maintain visual LED in stadium.

Perimeter advertising in sport is one of the most high profile and high value media assets a club or federation has, due to its visibility amongst huge viewing audiences. The value of this media space has reached maturity in most sports, however, the emergence of augmented reality perimeter technology is the next great revenue opportunity for clubs and venues.

Clubs have been demanding a virtual replacement solution that integrates with digital LED displays for years and, working together, ADI and Supponor have been able to develop the world’s first Virtual-Hybrid solution.

ATPI Sports Events

ATPI Sports Events (part of the ATPI Group) is one of the most well-respected sports travel and events brands in the world. It has a long track record in successfully delivering travel and event logistics for a wide array of global sporting events. We provide travel management for various Champions League and Premier League Football Clubs, sports associations, media, and federations, and arranging corporate and team travel for all fixtures, from domestic to international leagues plus training camps to scout travel management.

ATPI Sports Events uses technology to safeguard sports clubs and associations when they travel and recently worked with multiple football businesses to do this. The ATPI Employee Tracking System (ETS) warns when there is a potential “risk location” and all travel details of personnel travelling on a global basis to minimise risk and ensure peace of mind for all involved. This was paramount for the City Football Group and Everton Football Club who operate in high-risk areas. The tracking system and thorough assessments allow peace of mind to travellers and employees with 24/7 contact centres and robust procedures in place should any issues arise.

OptaPro (Perform Group)

OptaPro works with over 200 leading professional clubs and national federations, integrating analytical solutions to help fine-tune performance, scout opponents and recruit new talents. Powered by Opta’s in-depth global database, OptaPro has developed a suite of analytical products –
including ProVision – that integrate Opta data with the latest technologies.

OptaPro sits in the Perform Content division of Perform Group. Perform Group connects the world of sport by producing the quickest, most detailed and most engaging content.

Sportswik

Sportswik sets out one clear and simple goal: To democratise sports coverage.
It was created by a group of impassioned individuals who believe that elite sport should not hold the monopoly when it comes to coverage and exposure but instead, sporting endeavour should showcased, promoted and celebrated at every level of sport.

Be it a pub team or a Premier League team, Sportswik offers the potential for teams, clubs and leagues to enhance the way they present themselves and open up new revenue streams for advertising and sponsorship.

All ages, all abilities – everyone who is passionate about their sport deserves a platform to have it seen. And now they have it. This is why Sportswik was born.

STATSports Group

STATSports Group Limited was founded by Alan Clarke and Sean O’Connor in 2008 and has since changed the way sport is analysed, coached and viewed, by combining cutting edge technology and sports science. STATSports are the world leading provider of player tracking technology to elite sports teams, operating in the NFL, NBA, EPL, La Liga, Serie A, 6 nations and many more.

Originally based in Ireland, STATSports clientele include the majority of the English Premier League teams such as Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal as well as Juventus, English FA, FAI, RFU and the IRFU.

Spring 2017 saw the launch of STATSports’ revolutionary APEX device. APEX is worn by athletes during training sessions and in matches to collect intricate data on their performance and physical wellbeing. This allows managers and coaches to make decisions to adjust player or team workloads based on the data provided.

StreamAMG

StreamAMG has had a phenomenally busy year in our work with football clients in providing top tier online video solutions.

Our teams have been hard at work making sure our clients make the most of their digital offerings by providing ways to live stream to other countries, increasing revenues through advert monetisation and aiding fan engagement by providing video libraries of classic content. All of which is hosted securely and seamlessly within the clubs’ own websites.

We would like to thank our clients for offering such challenges and are overjoyed at the response so far! We look forwards to seeing where the future takes us and the industry next!


Best Football Club Hospitality

Arsenal FC

Arsenal’s most popular hospitality package is The Heritage Package, which is housed within the premium restaurant the WM Club. This private part of the club is otherwise accessed only by purchasing a seasonal membership. The WM Club is a chic restaurant named after the revolutionary 3-2-2-3 playing formation, introduced in the 1920s by Herbert Chapman and his team captain Charlie Buchan. This contemporary and discreet environment is located on the East Stand of the stadium, along the halfway line of Club Level and includes the luxury of leather booth seating, personal TV screens and a private lounge for exclusive use by the WM Club patrons.

Guests of The Heritage Package are greeted with a cocktail reception, with the cocktail having been created specifically for the fixture date and kick-off time, as well as the opponent. Waiting on guests seats will be a keepsake pin badge commemorating the fixture date and opponent, along with a complimentary matchday programme. Accompanying this is a team sheet once the teams have been confirmed and announced. Guests are also treated to a five course à la carte meal, paired with a selection of premium wines, including Chilean wines from our wine partner Santa Rita.

Chelsea FC

Premier League 16/17 winners, Chelsea Football Club, has delivered an award-winning first-class hospitality experience to guests for over 40 years. As a result, demand for hospitality is strong and the club was pleased to achieve the highest ever satisfaction result in their survey amongst annual members the 16/17 season.

Currently a refurbishment to the stadium’s West Stand is underway to maintain the high quality offering, and demand has been reflected in sales, renewals of annual hospitality and waitlist growth.

Following the 15/16 season in which Chelsea did not finish top of the league, every single game still sold out during the 16/17 season and annual hospitality membership for the 17/18 season saw renewals reach a record-breaking 96%, proving that success on the pitch is not the key factor that members take into consideration when renewing. As the waitlist grows, Chelsea also introduced benefits for those joining the annual hospitality waitlist, which include a dedicated account manager.

Another measure undertaken by the club was to ensure competitively priced hospitality via a price freeze to annual hospitality membership to illustrate their real commitment to providing the best possible value for money.

Middlesbrough FC

In the Summer of 2017 Middlesbrough Football Club was presented with the opportunity to re open a once redundant hospitality suite.

Faced with a declining local economy and a extremely out dated facility, the Club, with only a matter of weeks and limited resources were able to launch a new standard in Corporate Hospitality at the Riverside Stadium. This opened up a brand new target audience resulting in a near sell-out first year and sustained success despite relegation.
The Middlehaven Suite offers a contemporary and informal, premium experience which is complemented by the newly created environment and service style. 

Club Wembley One Twenty (submitted by Portview Fit-Out)

One Twenty is a ‘one of a kind’, unique place exquisitely tailored to provide an offer unseen in sport. It is a completely new concept with custom-made joinery and bespoke lighting to deliver an experience that has never been expressed before in the next era of luxury and exclusivity.

Designed by KSS and refurbished by Portview Fit-Out, One Twenty oozes mystic and exclusivity by re-enforcing the privacy of the space, but playing with the sense of movement and energy of a football pitch through exceptional design. One Twenty is the finest offering from Club Wembley and delivers the next era of luxury and subtle extravagance.

St Johnstone FC

St Johnstone Football Club is a professional football club based in Perth, Scotland St Johnstone have 2000 season ticket holders and an average home attendance of 4,392 Our small but loyal fanbase have been repaid with a Scottish Cup win in 2014 and 5 European adventures from the last 6 seasons Away from the football side the management and operation of the commercial department is carried out by a small team who multi task over a number of departments and strive to ensure the club operates within its means financially We operate 5 Hospitality lounges on a matchday, one for the match sponsors, three member’s lounges and one for supporters who wish to watch the game in style on a game by game basis Our challenge is to ensure that the experience is fresh for all our members, a number of them attend every home game and therefore the experience can become stale The outcome of our actions were measured on how many of last seasons members renewed for the season about to start I am very pleased to report that all have renewed and for the first season in many the number of new members has increased also.


Best Football Community Scheme

Albion in the Community (Brighton & Hove Albion FC)

Sport – and in particular football – is fundamental to Albion in the Community’s (AITC) continued success. The charity delivered 60 different projects over the last 12 months, in a range of areas, including health, social inclusion, disability football, education and sport participation. Although the range of projects that AITC manage is is far-reaching, it has one unifying vision: using the power of sport to change people’s lives for the better.

AITC helped 40,000 people across Sussex last year. Around 2500 people aged from five to 84 and living in some of the most-deprived communities in the country benefited from its pioneering social inclusion projects. More than 11,000 pupils at more than 120 schools enjoyed working with AITC in areas including football-themed numeracy and literacy lessons, while 1,900 children at 15 schools took part in a programme encouraging healthier lifestyles.

Burnley FC in the Community

We are Burnley FC in the Community, the official charity of Burnley FC. We use the power of our football club to inspire, support and deliver change to a cross-section of people in the communities surrounding the Turf Moor stadium.

We are a dynamic, innovative and fast-growing organisation. In the space of three short years since our founding, we have expanded to a £2m charity, employing almost 70 members of staff and delivering over 30 community projects across East Lancashire.

During the 16/17 season, a big focus of our work was on the planning, management and execution of our facilities strategy.

Working to a strategy from August 2016, we have opened an education hub at UCFB Burnley to great success, started work on a brand new leisure facility, we are refurbishing and reopening a much-loved local outdoor education centre and we are working on the implementation of a new town-centre Community Kitchen.

Our submission gives the details of the development of our facilities portfolio and the reasons why we are proud of the work that has, and will, be done via these spaces to address the needs of the special people in our communities.

Everton in the Community

Everton in the Community is one of the UK’s top sporting charity’s and is firmly established on the world stage of community sports development. As the official charity of Everton Football Club it is considered one of the Premier League’s leading community schemes due to the quality and reach of its various programmes.
Since 1988 Everton in the Community has been at the forefront of social intervention across Merseyside, tackling issues which are prevalent on the streets of its local communities.

Through its 80 dedicated full-time staff, over 40 casual staff and 250 volunteers, the charity offers 44 programmes covering a range of social issues including health, employability, anti-social behaviour, crime, education, dementia, poverty, youth engagement, youth justice and disability.

Operating 7 days a week, 365 days a year, Everton in the Community supports the most vulnerable and underprivileged members of local communities.

Fulham FC Foundation

Fulham Football Club Foundation is an award winning charity that operates with clarity of purpose: to build better lives through sport. This manifests itself in a multitude of ways, spanning education/training, health/wellbeing, sports participation, social inclusion, and disability sport. As the charitable arm of London’s oldest professional football club, we proudly engaged more than 13,000 unique participants in the 16/17 season. Our staff proudly wear the FFC badge as they deliver more than 25 different programmes in the community. Last season, we engaged beneficiaries for an average contact time of 24 hours 43 minutes.

The 16/17 season was demonstrably successful: we won 5 industry awards – including the EFL ‘Checkatrade Community Club of the year’ Regional Award – and diversified both the number and breadth of programmes and partners. Additionally, we achieved of our objective of increasing tailored, small group support for the hardest to reach, with multiple and complex barriers to participation, including dementia prevention and support programmes, provision for young offenders, and adults with mental health needs.

City in the Community

Since the Club’s inception in 1894, Manchester City has used the power of football to create opportunities, build futures, and touch lives in a unique way.

By placing the game at the heart of its plans, the Club’s Foundation makes a big difference to local employment, crime prevention, social inclusion and the health and well being of fans, friends and neighbours.

The city of Manchester faces many social challenges, particularly around health. 25% of children entering primary school (aged 5 and up) are considered overweight and/or obese, with several factors including lifestyle, diet and activity key contributors to this growing statistic.

Manchester City’s foundation, City in the Community, recognised a need for further awareness and support in this area and identified this as an opportunity to use 30 years of community football expertise to tackle this growing problem and help to give kids and families across Manchester a better shot at life.

Watford Football Club’s Community Sports and Education Trust

As Watford Football Club’s Community Sports and Education Trust celebrates its twenty fifth year anniversary, it can reflect on a proud heritage of improving lives and enhancing communities. Whilst the commitment to the community hasn’t changed, the new and innovative ways the Trust engage, inspire and positively impact individuals has. The latest innovation comes in the form of Meriden Community Centre in North Watford.

In November 2016, the man behind Watford FC’s close affiliation with the community, Graham Taylor OBE joined Mayor of Watford, Dorothy Thornhill, in officially re-opening Meriden Community Centre. After months of consultation and hard work, the Trust could boast a new and improved facility, enabling direct engagement with local people and ensuring a constant presence within the community.

This presence includes the delivery of projects designed to tackle local issues and improve lives, projects such as Premier League Kicks, Active Herts and Building Better Opportunities. As well as a hub for local organisations and individuals alike.

The centre is just the latest development in the Trust’s mission to make a positive difference for all through sport and learning.


Innovation Award

tv & Supponor

Virtual Hybrid digiBOARD is a breakthrough in technology that combines ADI’s industry-leading perimeter LED system (installed at 22 Premier League and EFL clubs) with Supponor’s virtual replacement technology (used in LaLiga and NHL). Now sponsors can significantly increase revenue by commercialising the same perimeter media space multiple times over – delivering different perimeter advertising content to individual broadcast territories, whilst clubs maintain visual LED in stadium.

Perimeter advertising in sport is one of the most high profile and high value media assets a club or federation has, due to its visibility amongst huge viewing audiences. The value of this media space has reached maturity in most sports, however, the emergence of augmented reality perimeter technology is the next great revenue opportunity for clubs and venues.

Clubs have been demanding a virtual replacement solution that integrates with digital LED displays for years and, working together, ADI and Supponor have been able to develop the world’s first Virtual-Hybrid solution.

Emirates FA Cup Story, Mischief PR

The FA identified that young people (16-34) weren’t as engaged with The FA Cup as before. The organisation is skilled at driving traditional press coverage, but this didn’t invigorate youth audiences.

Previous campaigns focused on the ‘adventure’ – David vs Goliath fixtures, visiting far-flung grounds – and this narrative still captivated. But for this season, we focused on the sentiment of ‘adventure’ and how could play out for our target audience.

We tasked fans throughout the season to share their ‘stories’ across social media – because it’s not just about players & teams, every fan has their own story to tell.

In lieu of large budgets, we used money-can’t-buy assets & behind-the-scenes access, leveraging assets alongside relationships with clubs & partners such as the BBC, BT Sport & Emirates to secure high-reaching influencers, allowing us to engage new, younger audiences

We gave global fans exclusive access to the Final, live streaming from Wembley.

In an FA-first, the Alternative Broadcast went live on The FA’s YouTube, charting behind-the-scenes moments & fresh perspectives of the match, presented by YouTube stars Theo Baker and Reev.

Everton FC

Premier League giants Everton Football Club have teamed up with the UK’s internet safety charity to launch a unique educational project aimed at teaching young men about the importance of appropriate online behaviour and online safety.

In a first for British football, the ground-breaking safeguarding initiative is being rolled out across Everton’s youth teams and wider footballing community, including staff and participants at the Club’s award winning charity Everton in the Community.

The central aim of the project is to tackle online issues of inappropriate sexualised behaviours, as well as educate young men to the dangers of being online, through a series of targeted educational workshops.

At a time where historic safeguarding failures of clubs and the game have been in the media spotlight This innovative awareness campaign highlighted the responsibilities and reach football club’s have to encourage behaviour change.

Supported by national government alongside a number safeguarding stakeholders this was the first time a football club was used to deliver such messages to fans.

Everton players took part in a promotional video encouraging people to report child abuse material they stumble upon online and used their home fixture against Burnley to promote behavioural change.

Huddersfield Town FC

The 2016/17 Season Card campaign was one of the most successful in the Huddersfield Town’s history.

Using the hashtag #WagnerRevolution, the campaign focused on the Club’s Head Coach David Wagner and the style of football that the team is producing around a gegenpressing system which has proved popular in Germany.

The pricing structure was purposefully made very simple, based on the values that Chairman Dean Hoyle built his business on, with single set prices for all stands at £179 for adults and seniors, £69 for U18s and £23 for U8s.

The campaign’s immediate promotion saw over 11,000 season cards sold in the first 4 days – a record for the Club.

Season card sales finally reached over 15,000, which in turn created a special atmosphere in the John Smith’s Stadium.

This led to some important home victories, many in the last minute of games, in a season which finished in Play Off success at Wembley this summer and the prize of Premier League football in Huddersfield.

Rangers FC

Rangers’ successfully engaged with their supporters and strengthened their bond with the Club over the course of the season by creating unique and memorable experiences which included from private press conferences with the Manager, surprise doorstep visits from the first team squad and opportunities to play on the hallowed turf at Ibrox Stadium on a matchday. The initiatives carried out within the campaign ensured that supporters were getting added value and rewarded them for their continued loyalty.

The content generated from these experiences resulted in massive engagement with supporters watching nearly 2,500 hours’ worth of content from the campaign on the Club’s YouTube channel alone. The campaign successfully catered for the various demographics included in the Club’s fan base and utilised a variety of touchpoints to engage with supporters in different environments which added authenticity.

Sport Structures

Sport Structures are an established sport consultancy and training provider and it’s that mix that has over the last year provided a high quality, cost effective, innovative and highly successful training and development services to professional football clubs community foundations at little or no cost. Our expertise developed over many years has been applied in a systematic way to enhance the service that foundations provide to their communities. We provide support in this way to fifteen clubs across the Premier and Football League.


Agency of the Year

Designwerk

Designwerk have been building our reputation within the global football industry for over 10 years, and are now recognised as one of the top strategic and creative agencies in our field.

We have a proven track record helping bring commercial success to several top football brands through our strategic thinking and creative solutions. We are unique in that we work across so many different media, on a wide variety of projects.

Designwerk are a sports branding, fan engagement and sponsorship activation agency, and design brand identities, event branding, marketing collateral, hospitality areas, digital marketing tools and promotional films.

We help clients define their positioning in the marketplace, and create strategies to maximize their commercial assets and related revenue streams. We are constantly looking for inventive new ideas and solutions to keep them ahead of the game, harnessing creativity and technology to develop amazing stories.

Designwerk has worked with UEFA, TEAM Marketing, the Premier League, City Football Group, MLS, English Football League, Manchester United FC, Celtic FC, Soccerex, the UEFA Champions League, and many more.

The football industry has benefited greatly from our constant striving for innovation, our commitment and our insights, plus our strategic and creative expertise across all media.

Octagon

MasterCard’s sponsorship at the FIFA World Cup in 1994 through to working with 7 sponsors in Brazil 2014; from working with UEFA Champions League sponsors at its inception to multiple brand activations at Cardiff in 2017; from helping UEFA implement FFP and creating a commercial model for the dispersed Euro 2020, we’ve worked with some of the world’s largest brands and rights holders in the footballing world.

Reading Room

For over a decade, Reading Room has provided football clubs and sports organisations with the digital tools they need to carve a strong, engaging online presence that not only encourages fan loyalty, but also drives revenues and achieves commercial objectives.

In 2016, the agency enhanced its digital offering by creating ‘Playmaker’ – a bespoke sports platform which has the flexibility and technical capabilities to adapt to the changing needs of clubs and deliver far more than just a set of digital templates.

Three clubs are now live with Playmaker, with Reading Room leading the launch of the three new websites over three consecutive days in time for the 2017/18 pre-season. While only recently live, all three have seen significant year-on-year visitor improvements.

Seven League

Seven League is Europe’s leading digital sports agency. Our mission is to help federations, clubs and sponsors understand and grow audiences on digital, increase commercial value, engage fans and help futureproof organisations in an ever-changing digital landscape.

Our footprint in football has continued to grow with FC Barcelona, Juventus, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Leicester City and Newcastle Utd all among clients. At league level we continue to work with UEFA, the Premier League, and 49 European National Football Associations.

In the last 12 months we’ve UEFA develop an innovative influencer campaign for the Women’s European Championship and coordinated both Spurs’ kit launch and #TheLaneTheFinale campaign. We’re proud to have delivered the creative vision and website for Primary Stars, the Premier League’s hugely successful educational programme for primary schools and now offer strategic advice on eSports; advising UEFA, Juventus and Spurs on their eSports strategies as well as managing content production for Gfinity.

We’ve grown from 14 to 20 full-time staff; including the recent hiring of Lewis Wiltshire, former editor of the BBC Sport website and Twitter’s global head of sport. Our combination of data analysis, geek prowess, creative innovation and content expertise continues to hit sport’s sweet spot.

Sportquake 

Sportquake is the UK’s largest and most successful independent sports marketing agency. We are the go-to international sports marketing agency for high-growth, multi-market, disruptor brands looking to connect with customers through sport.

We boast a 10-year track record in building high-growth disruptor brands through sport and we provide an end-to-end service; research & insight, planning, buying, activation, evaluation.
We provide our clients with an independent 360-degree approach to planning and buying- all sports, all sports inventory. Our deep relationships with rightsowners (across all sports) allow us to deliver better solutions commercially and creatively.

WePlay

WePlay is an independently owned digital marketing agency specialising in the sport sector. Sitting at the intersection of where sport, an industry that is estimated to generate over $107bn in broadcast and sponsorship revenues in 2017, meets the giant of the $200bn digital media industry. Our mission is to help rights holders and audience owners in the sport sector, to generate new and improved revenue streams through digital marketing, digital media and digital sponsorship.

We have a variety of clients in football, including FC Barcelona, English Football League, Yokohama Tyres (Chelsea FC partnership), Aston Villa and Neymar Jr (Red Bull partnership). Outside of football, our clients are Harlequins, Bath, Northampton Saints, Rugby League, IRONMAN, Human Race, Six Day Track Cycling, England Hockey and UK Sport.


Best Business Serving Football – up to £2m turnover 

All In Translations

All In Translations are a translation and copywriting agency specialised in helping the online gaming and iGaming industries to score fans and players with language. A couple of years back, we started noticing the rise of sport betting, fantasy sport, virtual sport and e-sport and we have helped actors on this segment to develop their international audience from the earliest stages. We’re well aware that e-sport markets represent a tremendous chance for all actors in both sports and gaming (football and the Premier League being key components), and that this calls for new business ventures to be created at the convergence of the gaming and sport sectors. To help building such bridges, we invested this year in the development of the Pentasia All-In Football league, which is the largest non-professional league in Malta, with 24 corporate teams from the gaming and iGaming sectors Now with a dedicated website, a promotional 3D video, 50 new professional footballs from the Dutch Eredivisie, a professional referee on all games and continuous social events, enthusiasm around the league and its sportive level have never been higher! This is our fun way to help developing football by connecting it further to the rise of e-sport.

ESF Events

ESF Events is a specialist event organisation, which stages residential sports festivals for youth teams throughout the UK. Our marquee event, the ESF Festival of Football (ESF 2017), is the UK’s biggest youth football festival.

ESF 2017 is a series of professionally organised residential football festivals that bring boys’ and girls’ grassroots football teams together for an exciting weekend of football and fun, staged at Butlin’s & Haven resorts throughout the UK, and Disneyland Paris.

The challenge for ESF 2017 was to improve accessibility, to enable more youth football teams that ever before to take part. The target was for 1200 youth football teams to participate. Specific challenges related to affordability and increasing participation rates for girls’ teams.

To enhance these benefits of participation and strengthen the memories of ESF for the children, celebrity presentation ceremonies were staged, with Kevin Keegan, Robert Pires, Casey Stoney, Stuart Pearce, Wayne Bridge, Sue Smith and John Barnes appearing.

ESF 2017 culminated with the ESF Grand Finale, our Champion of Champions event, which was staged at St George’s Park.

1,238 youth football teams participated in ESF 2017, a record number of teams. Girls teams participation increased by 12% compared to ESF 2016.

www.footballfestivals.co.uk

Oaks Consultancy

Oaks exists to make the business of sport easy. We are business development specialists, equally adept at working with organisations of all shapes and sizes from across the football industry – from local community football clubs and charities, to Premier League football clubs and their award-winning club community schemes.

Our journey over the past year has included:
– Generating over £5m of revenue and capital funding from grants for a range of Club Community Organisations, including the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, the Newcastle United Foundation, Millwall Community Trust, Pompey in the Community and Everton in the Community
– Development of a three-year strategy for the award-winning Albion in the Community and Pompey in the Community to meet the Premier League’s Capability Status requirements
– Working with Newcastle United Foundation to package their service offer with the view to approaching corporate partners and identifying a route to market to acquire up to £10m for an exciting new capital project
– Creation of a charitable vehicle for Worthing Football Club’s community activities, followed by development of a three-year fundraising strategy
– Supporting the ongoing fundraising work of Blackpool FC Community Trust, Fulham FC Foundation, Preston North End Community and Education Trust and others

Piglets Pantry

Piglets Pantry are an Award Winning baked goods supplier based in Worthing. We supply hand filled pies, handmade sausage rolls, cakes and biscuits to sports venues up and down the UK. We are proud to supply our high-quality products to the following clients:

Chelsea Football Club
Brighton & Hove Albion
Leicester City FC
Reading FC
Swansea City FC
Principality Stadium – Champions League Final
MK Dons
Tottenham Hotspurs @ White Hart Lane (2016/17 Season)
Cardiff City FC
West Bromwich Albion

Employing 20 people with dedicated sales and production teams, our business has tripled over the last 6 years as we offer hand finished products, using British ingredients, in unique volumes. Piglets offer our clients bespoke solutions, tailoring products to meet the requirements of clients, sponsors and most importantly fans. From recipe design with your club and local produce in mind, to working your Head Chef to bring their most innovative ideas to life, Piglets are leading the way in bringing fantastic sweet and savoury products to fans across the land.
Over the last 6 years we have grown significantly but have still managed to retain our passion for excellent quality products, hand produced for food lovers everywhere.

Sport Structures

Sport Structures are an established sport consultancy and training provider and it’s that mix that has over the last year provided a high quality, cost effective, innovative and highly successful training and development services to professional football clubs community foundations at little or no cost. Our expertise developed over many years has been applied in a systematic way to enhance the service that foundations provide to their communities. We provide support in this way to fifteen clubs across the Premier and Football League.

Sporting Memories Network

Sporting Memories Network gives people, places and organisations the knowledge, skills, tools and confidence to increase community resilience and improve the mental and physical wellbeing of people over the age of 50 by tapping in to memories of the beautiful game.

Providing opportunities to participate or volunteer, community based, volunteer-led, multi generational weekly sporting memories groups promote healthy ageing by keeping people connected, cognitively stimulated and physically active.

This innovative, participant-led, community driven approach can make a significant contribution to reducing loneliness and social isolation, promoting vascular health and mental health, and supporting older people, including those living with long-term conditions and those in caring roles.

In working with a growing number of universities to measure impact, evaluate projects and research longer term health behaviour changes, the network has grown from its initial team of two founders to a team of over 20 highly skilled staff to work with over 300 partner organisations delivering innovative, financially sustainable solutions that are making a real lasting difference to the lives of participants and their carers.

Winners FDD

Winners operates within the fast-growing sector of CRM and Business Intelligence. Our role is to increase participation, revenue and stakeholder engagement on behalf of our sports rights-owner clients. Our services range from strategic consultancy – helping our clients figure out how to use data to achieve their business objectives – to operational delivery – providing them with an outsourced service in all relevant areas.

In the 4 years we’ve been established we’ve delivered workshops to over 45 football rights-owners, and completed projects with 32 of them, either introducing them to early principles of CRM or progressing them based on their status and goals.

In our work with UEFA we are using CRM and data to increase football participation across Europe. Much focus is given by clubs and leagues to increasing ticket and merchandise sales but through correlation analysis we identified that current players spend 6.3 times more money on tickets than non-players and 2.2 times more than former players. With UEFA now able to quantify the financial value of increasing participation we can use that insight to bring together the participation/development departments within Europe’s football governing bodies with the commercial departments, re-enforcing the role of CRM as a cross-organisational strategy.


Best Non-match Day use of Venue

Anfield

The PES League EU Season 2 Regional Final was the first ever Esports event at the home of Liverpool FC, Anfield. Following weeks of intense online qualifying on PES2017, the event brought 15 games from around Europe together to compete for a $20,000 USD grand prize. Anfield’s recently redeveloped Main Stand concourse was transformed to a state of the art Esports arena kitted out with the latest available technology. The event was broadcast live via Konami digital channels to millions of fans around the globe, with a broadcast team providing in-depth commentary and analysis of the 6 hour broadcast. The gamers from around Europe were provided with an all-expense paid three day trip to Liverpool, whilst being treated like football superstars. The PES League Regional Final at Anfield was a resounding success, generating significant reach exposure and engagement for PES League and Konami.

Emirates Stadium

Emirates Stadium was opened in 2006, a pioneering new stadium which was specifically designed to cater for matchdays and then be converted on non-matchdays into a functional event space. What started as a logical decision on how to generate additional revenue has now transformed to include its own on site team, branding and identity. Despite this we still leverage our heritage of being a world renowned football club, with amazing pitch views from every meeting room and chances to play on the pitch, there is something for every client.

Manchester City FC – City Football Academy

A new club badge, a new manager with a global profile, a new website and a new playing kit – what was the most original way we could share this with our fans in Manchester and across the world? Our answer; fans first.

The City Football Academy, never before opened to fans, was transformed into a free two-day football festival with supporters at the heart of the experience and fun, engaging activities for all ages. Fans were at the heart of the CFA for the first time since its opening in 2014.

A unique football experience for Manchester City fans around the world to celebrate together an exciting new chapter in the Club’s history. Cityzens Weekend saw 20,000 fans in Manchester and millions more following online via the new mancity.com and social channels to welcome new manager Pep Guardiola, and witness the launch of the new Club badge and home kit.

Stamford Bridge

Stamford Bridge, home to the Premier League 2016-2017 champions, Chelsea Football Club, is a venue like no other. The stadium contains over 60 multi-functional spaces, accommodating from 2 – 1000+ delegates. The stadium, located on London’s Fulham Road, offers its visitors a range of flexible event spaces, attracting a diverse mix of national and international clients to the stadium and its impressive 11.5 acre site. With an on-site music venue, Under The Bridge, two 4* hotels, two restaurants, a museum, a mega-store and a health club and spa, Stamford Bridge is one of London’s most versatile and comprehensive venues. All of the spaces are available for hire on the approximate 330 non-matchdays a year.

West Ham United FC

The Club was founded over 125 years ago, and have been known as West Ham since 1900. The club has a rich history and a passionate fan base who interact with the club at all levels.

In 2016 West Ham United moved stadium from the Boleyn Ground, which they had played at for well over a century, into the Olympic Stadium, now called the London Stadium. This presented the Club with a great opportunity to connect with younger fans who will be supporting the club during its long and successful tenure in the stadium. Consequently, West Ham launched its ‘Family Fun Day’, a half-term event to thank its loyal and faithful supporters during its maiden season in its new home. The half-term event was the largest of its kind in West Ham history with around 8,500 young fans and their families attending events throughout the day.


Best Brand Activation Involving Football

Betsafe and Manchester City FC

Betsafe, an online betting company and challenger brand in the UK market, needed to optimise their official betting partnership with Manchester City FC during the 2016/17 season to demonstrate tangible return on their investment.

Objectives focused on:
– Increasing brand awareness and engagement amongst Manchester City fans and wider sporting audiences
– Using content as cost-effective tool to drive direct commercial value and acquisition of new customers
– Delivering activity that represented Betsafe’s brand heritage of experience

With a strategic activation theme of ‘True Players’ designed to differentiate & guide all Betsafe City activation consistently throughout the season – Betsafe used a unique insight led approach to content creation and deployment. The model and approach was a company first for the Betsafe business, addressing the priority objectives of brand and acquisition simultaneously. Activity initially focused on maximising reach and awareness with highly engaging content, followed by a data-driven, strategically-segmented and targeted new customer acquisition campaign offers.
Through a series of content campaigns featuring Man City players, legends, social influencers and creative innovations all aligned to relevant moments in the sporting calendar – Betsafe achieved their aim of generating mass awareness and customer acquisition through compelling and authentic content.

Betstars and Leicester City FC

In August 2016, BetStars became the Official Betting Partner of Premier League champions Leicester City – a deal negotiated, planned and activated by SportQuake. Through the partnership, BetStars wanted to make a mark in the crowded sports betting market, creating content that gains them a foothold both on and offline.

BetStars tasked SportQuake with creating a season-long mini-series with Leicester City where the first team were used in the most effective and creative way possible.

SportPesa and Everton FC

In May 2017, SportPesa were announced as Everton’s new main sponsor in a multi-year sponsorship agreement. SportPesa quickly outlined their commitment to use the partnership to cement their market share in key markets of Africa, while also using it to increase growth in the UK and Europe.

Soon after the deal was struck SportPesa announced ambitious plans to take the Club to East Africa, with the first team squad travelling to Tanzania as part of their preseason preparation. The visit would be the first time a Premier League football club ever played in the region, a market that was known to be crazy about English football.

SportPesa launched #EvertoninTZ to create a centrepiece for this compelling story, driving conversation, engagement and giving them an umbrella campaign with which to achieve multiple objectives.

#EvertoninTZ was a demonstration of SportPesa’s ambition. It created unparalleled levels of exposure and engagement for both SportPesa and Everton, including incredible return on investment figures. The campaign worked so well because it had clearly defined objectives that drew down from one overarching goal, to give East Africa their first taste of Premier League football and tell the story to generate global interest.

Hull City

On the 27th February 2017, Hull City hosted the SportPesa All Stars, a team of footballers from the Kenyan Premier League that travelled to England to compete in an international friendly match as part of SportPesa’s three-year sponsorship of Hull City.

It was the showpiece occasion of a project that spanned four months, with Hull City sending coaches out to Kenya on two occasions. The first visit took place in November 2016 with the objective of scouting all Kenyan talent across their Premier League. After compiling their scouting reports, the coaches selected the best fifty players to go through to a two-week coaching camp, held in Kenya in January. From this project, the All Stars were born.

The All Stars travelled to Hull in February 2017 and spent a week in the city, acclimatising to the wintery conditions. On Monday 27th February, the SportPesa All Stars took on a Hull City XI at the KCOM Stadium, with the hosts narrowly defeating their Kenyan counterparts 2-1 in a closely fought game.

The project was about more than just the result, as the All Stars were able to enjoy a once in a lifetime opportunity whilst putting Kenyan football on the map.

Manning Gottlieb OMD for Virgin Media

Football is now a multi-billion-pound industry. But at the heart of it all, the game is the same. It’s about two teams taking on each other for the enjoyment of the fans.

Yet somewhere along the way, everyday fans have become the ones hit the hardest, facing rapidly rising ticket prices year after year.

Virgin Media are heavily involved in football and position themselves as on the side of fans. They wanted to make a difference, to raise awareness of an initiative that seeks to cap away Premiership ticket prices: ‘£20’s Plenty’. So at the end of April, as the season was reaching its climax, they offered every premiership away fan a refund, to ensure that no-one paid more than £20 for their away ticket. They literally gave money away!

It was a huge success, over 10,000 fans redeemed, enough to fill most away stands twice over. The campaign delivered too: a 1,140% uplift in search volume, 93% positive sentiment, 111 pieces of coverage in print (including national newspapers) and an unprecedented 7-point leap in awareness that Virgin Media has all the football (the key sport brand metric).

But most importantly, Virgin Media championed a cause close to fans’ hearts.

NIVEA MEN and Liverpool FC

In March 2017, NIVEA MEN partnered with the LFC Legends Charity Match against Real Madrid Leyendas at Anfield. The game, which featured an all-star cast including Steven Gerrard, Robbie Fowler, Roberto Carlos and Luis Figo was played in front of a record breaking Anfield crowd. Supporting the LFC Foundation, NIVEA MEN generated a wide range of exclusive innovative content which captured the imagination of fans. As part of their sponsorship NIVEA MEN broadcast the game exclusively to a UK audience via their Facebook page with millions of fans tuning in to watch their heroes play. Following the game, NIVEA MEN released an Anfield first 360 degree highlights package which included behind the scenes Anfield dressing room team talk. The campaign was a huge success for NIVEA MEN, meeting all marketing objectives and helping the LFC Foundation to raise £1 Million pounds from the event, with 100% of the funds going towards charitable causes.

Reflect Digital

Reflect Digital is a digital marketing agency. We pride ourselves on our creativity and have a design team that are football crazy.

The design team came up with an idea to create the world’s hardest football quiz – an image with 50 hidden clubs (some European!) – a quiz that truly ‘separates the armchair fans from the diehard supporters. It was created with the aim of showing that it’s possible to produce engaging, fun and shareable football related content from scratch, launch it on a national scale and successfully build a large, engaged audience.

The quiz was designed with commercial appeal in mind, by considering, social and site engagement, brand exposure, data capture, increased social following, links and media coverage, site traffic and longevity.

We devised an outreach strategy with the aim to get the game to go viral. By forming relationships with leading football editors, we achieved coverage on several major publications such as SportBible, Whoatallthepies.tv, Planetfootball, Buzzfeed, Reddit, Moneysavingexpert, many fan forums and other football related sites.

In two weeks we’ve achieved; 63,172 sessions, 41,804 unique users, 3,890 account sign ups, only 2.9% of users have completed the game it’s been played in over 155 countries.

WallJAM

WallJAM is an interactive challenge rebound wall designed to promote fan engagement It provides an environment for competition, entertainment and skills training As a sporting experience it is fresh, cool, socially inclusive, and seriously addictive WallJAM is one of the first technologies of its kind to allow the “GAMIFICATION” of traditional ball sports for mass use and participation Users can upload, share and compare results on a global leader-board through the primary social media platforms The walls web based technology interacts with an array of LED activated target sensors designed to measure power, speed and accuracy of a ball strike Games are played against the clock The game changer for our customers, be that sponsors rights holders or leisure operators, is the branding opportunity and spin off data that emanates from every activations This, alongside the quality of the overall user experience, is what delivers the WallJAM point of difference As a fan experience, WallJAM has been working with some heavy hitters in the football world including new EFL Cup sponsor Carabao (at Wembley) Gatorade and Puma. It has also featured for the LTA at Wimbledon and for Nissan at Lords demonstrating its appeal across all mainstream sports.


Best Fan Engagement by a Club

Arsenal FC

Arsenal’s 2016/17… starring the fans

As part of a club-wide shift in tone of voice and fan engagement, we wanted to make our supporters central to our output throughout the 2016/17 season while also driving engagement across our platforms.

We also recognised that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach was not the optimal way to engage our global fanbase – so we set out to create a bespoke content strategy for key commercial regions and bridge the gap between the club, the players and the fanbase.

By making the fans central to our approach for 2016/17, our aim was to start long-term relationships through data capture and CRM, driving digital membership sign-ups and referrals to the club’s retail arm.

We did this across both club-owned platforms and our social media channels through a variety of measures – innovative and unique signing announcements on Twitter, geo-targeted content on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat stories and the use of Playbuzz to offers polls and quizzes that put supporters at the heart of our content during the 2016/17 season.

Leyton Orient FC, Kick it Out & the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF)

In August 2016, the Fans For Diversity campaign, a joint initiative run between Kick It Out and the Football Supporters Federation, teamed up with the Leyton Orient Trust and Leyton Orient Football Club to create a new matchday area for first-time attendees from the local community that welcomed them into the football environment.

The ‘Fans For Diversity Hub’, situated within the East Stand of the Matchroom Stadium, home of Leyton Orient FC, gave a number of communities from the east London and Essex area the opportunity to experience a professional game in a safe and comfortable environment.

During the course of the 2016/17 season, 20 matchdays were hosted with groups from the Asian community, mental health projects and local schools Over the course of the season, a number of groups including St Joseph Hospice, Stepney FC and Asian Women’s Support Group all attended Leyton Orient fixtures through the hub

Akik Miah from Stepney FC, who were the first group to use the Hub, said, “The youngsters had an experience that they will treasure forever.”

Liverpool FC

For many of our global fan base they will never get a chance to visit Liverpool or see their favourite team play at Anfield. The mission of LFC World is to bring Anfield directly to the homes of our fans, offering them money can’t buy experiences that they will never forget.

LFC World offers our fans a money can’t buy experience, directly in their own city. It has been specifically designed to give a real flavour of the Club to our fans, allowing them to feel what it’s like to be at Anfield on a matchday and hear the roar of the Kop, as well as having the truly special experience of meeting some of our greatest players. Its success as a fan engagement programme is overwhelmingly evident in the statistics presented in our supporting evidence. We look forward to the continuing success of LFC World and to bringing this one of a kind experience to even more of our fans in the coming season.

Manchester City FC

Our match day fan experience covers five and a half hours at our dedicated Fan Zones with live post-match analysis. Our match day experience is spread throughout the Etihad campus, reaching out to our different fan groups. By constantly gaining feedback from our fans, the Club have tailored our match day experience around them.

This season Manchester City has developed and evolved our provision for supporters including:
• Enhanced pre-match activities in our dedicated fan zone, City Square
• Improved and extended our Blue Carpet Experience, providing unique contact between fans and the players
• Introduced a new dedicated ‘City Family Day’ before every home Premier League fixture at City Football Academy – a Premier League first and attended by more than 1,000 people every event
• New activities within the Family Stand for this season include ceiling flags featuring fan chants, a letterbox for junior fans to send questions to their favourite players, photo opportunities and activations, FIFA 17 competitions and a colouring-in wall.

A dedicated team of x40 enthusiastic and energetic ‘playmakers’ welcome and help fans at different touch points around the stadium. Very engaging, they hand out giveaways, run spot competitions, face paint young fans.

Rangers FC

Rangers’ successfully engaged with their supporters and strengthened their bond with the Club over the course of the season by creating unique and memorable experiences which included from private press conferences with the Manager, surprise doorstep visits from the first team squad and opportunities to play on the hallowed turf at Ibrox Stadium on a matchday. The initiatives carried out within the campaign ensured that supporters were getting added value and rewarded them for their continued loyalty.

The content generated from these experiences resulted in massive engagement with supporters watching nearly 2,500 hours’ worth of content from the campaign on the Club’s YouTube channel alone. The campaign successfully catered for the various demographics included in the Club’s fan base and utilised a variety of touchpoints to engage with supporters in different environments which added authenticity.

Sunderland AFC

Sunderland AFC delivered a world footballing first by broadcasting a match between two local Sunday League teams on Facebook Live to launch its new 2017-18 Adidas home kit.

Dawdon Welfare Park FC and District Sunday League sported the new look and ran out 7-1 winners over Hall Farm Glasshus FC of the Durham Alliance Combination League at Ashbrooke Cricket Club – the site of one Sunderland AFC’s earliest grounds from 1887-1888.

The match broadcast reached more than 350,000 supporters live on Facebook, and coverage of the launch was seen by around one million fans across all of the club’s social channels.

Paul Welch of Dawdon Welfare Park said: “It was a huge honour for us to be chosen to unveil the new Sunderland home kit. For the club to recognise and celebrate grassroots clubs and players in this way is fantastic and it’s something we will remember for the rest of our lives.”

‘Our future is rooted in our history’ became the official tagline of the campaign as the shirt worn by Dawdon pays tribute to the first ever red and white striped kit worn by Sunderland AFC in the 1880’s.

Tottenham Hotspur FC

The Lane, The Finale

The ‘The Lane, The Finale’ campaign celebrated and commemorated the closure of White Hart Lane, our beloved home ground for 118 years.

Starting in the weeks leading up to the final match to take place at the stadium, we embarked on a wide-ranging campaign to ensure the Lane had a befitting large-scale send-off.

The moniker ‘The Lane, The Finale’ was used throughout the campaign alongside universal branding featuring a drawing of the famous gates outside the stadium’s main entrance. The corresponding hashtag, #TheLaneTheFinale, was used 148,000 times on Twitter prior to, during and after the final match.

The campaign was a collaboration between the marketing and communications teams at the Club to ensure fans felt a sense of ownership and involvement with the occasion. A variety of fan engagement initiatives were activated including special stadium tours, party packs and competitions, plus a special website that contained memories submitted by fans.

The use of content through social, web and video played a leading role in the ongoing engagement with our fans, whilst the Finale ceremony delighted 32,000 fans inside the stadium plus an additional 5.6 million watching at home through the Club’s Facebook Live channel. 


Best Business Serving Football – over £2m turnover

tv

Three years ago ADI undertook a game-changing project – to connect all 72 professional EFL league stadia to its SportsHub operations centre. The purpose: to increase the value of the broadcast rights, and create the infrastructure for a revolutionary new streaming platform that would make every match available to an international fanbase – live.

A huge undertaking, ADI connected all 72 stadia to its broadcast fibre-optic network operations centre – digging trenches and laying fibre cables across cities in the most demanding urban and rural environments. No infrastructure project of this kind had ever been attempted before in such a short time, and ADI completed it within two years.

ADI’s 28,000km of fibre network now delivers live EFL match feeds in HD for broadcasters and streaming services, including the EFL’s new iFollow platform hosted by NeuLion which has the potential to reach a global audience of 270,000 fans and raise significant new revenue for the league and its clubs.

Arena Seating

Arena Seating has been supplying temporary, demountable seating to sports clubs for the past 50 years and has helped hundreds of teams to improve their stadiums without burdening themselves with huge outlays.
Supplying high-quality temporary and semi-permanent grandstands that can be installed quickly and easily and comply to the relevant safety regulations, Arena Seating have worked at all levels of the football pyramid from non-league clubs up to the Premier League.

For the 2016-17 season the company worked across the UK in Wales, England and Scotland from their WIltshire base, overhauling grounds and installing bespoke stands.At Bristol Rovers we helped the club – which went into the season on the back of two successive promotions – meet increased demand for tickets at the Memorial Stadium ahead of a move to a permanent, new ground on the outskirts of the city. At Hungerford Town they helped the club get ready, at short notice, for a crucial FA inspection.

Arena Seating’s products are being used at more than 200 clubs, from Ross County and Inverness Caledonian Thistle down to Fulham’s Craven Cottage and at the training grounds of Premier League clubs Manchester United, Everton and Swansea City.

Levy UK

Levy UK, the sport, leisure and hospitality division of Compass Group UK & Ireland, is a specialist sports caterer and the name behind legendary retail catering and hospitality experiences. Levy UK has built long-term partnerships with many of the UK’s top stadia, the portfolio includes; Chelsea FC, Swansea City AFC, Leicester City FC and Sheffield Utd.

At each of the venues Levy UK operate in the business is responsible for match day catering and hospitality as well as non-match day meetings, events, exhibitions and conferences.

By merging functional design with cutting-edge trends for great food and service, the team create bespoke innovative solutions to make sure that whatever the score, guests get an amazing day.

In 2017, Levy UK was awarded a 10-year contract to be the official catering partner for Tottenham Hotspur FC at its new stadium, which is due to open in 2018.

The 61,000 capacity and largest club stadium in London, will represent a major new landmark for the capital, delivering a world class sport and entertainment destination and setting a new benchmark for fan experience with its offering of year round facilities for match day and non-match day events.

Portview Fit-Out

Portview is a multi-award winning universal fit-out company working for some of the world’s most prestigious brands.

Established in Belfast in 1975 as a “one man and a van” construction company, Portview has grown exponentially to a turnover of over 40 million since solely specialising in luxury fit-out in 2006. With a strong reputation for providing clients with a highly personalised service that transforms the most ambitious of design concepts into reality, the client experience is at the heart of everything that Portview does.

Portview was integral to the transformation of the UK’s only venue capable of hosting both world class football and athletics events -the London Stadium in Stratford, London.

The stadium originally built to host the 2012 Olympics and having only pop-up hospitality areas had to be re-configured for post games legacy use.

Strategic design firm 2020 Ltd created a scheme for the 8,547m2 space over the entire four floors of the West Hospitality Stand Boasting nine hospitality lounges and 16 VIP boxes, enabling Portview to create impressive revenue generating spaces for the hospitality areas in the stadium.

In tribute to the project’s success, it was selected to host the first Restaurant & Bar Design Talk of 2017

Reading Room

Following months of research, development, strategy and design, Reading Room’s bespoke sports platform – Playmaker – has now launched and is already being used by three top clubs.

The platform adds to the extensive suite of digital services that Reading Room already provides the football industry with, and enhances its offering by delivering the powerful tools needed to enable clubs to shape a truly distinctive, yet successful digital presence.

While only recently launched, the three clubs live with Playmaker have already seen significant year-on-year visitor improvements.

George’s Park

St. George’s Park is truly a 21st Century destination for football, where innovative technology solutions underpin elite training facilities. With a focus on service delivery and visitor satisfaction, the facility brings together the latest technologies to enhance learning, training and performance.

The national football centre is more than a venue for elite footballers. It is a centre of excellence for football talent and innovation, a community facility, a hub for global businesses and a place from where the football industry can learn.

Almost 2,400 coaches have passed either UEFA Pro, UEFA A or UEFA B Licence since the opening of St. George’s Park and 337 coaching, education, medical and referee courses have been completed. An online community of 9,600 coaches also has access to support, advice and practical resources thanks to the facility.

However, despite the innovative technologies in place, none of this would be possible without service excellence and St. George’s Park is committed to service delivery and visitor satisfaction.

This commitment ensures consistently high customer satisfaction scores, which go some way to demonstrating the high standards achieved, including 9.18 out of 10 for overall experience (based on average scores May 2017 – July 2017).

STATSports Group

STATSports Group Limited was founded by Alan Clarke and Sean O’Connor in 2008 and has since changed the way sport is analysed, coached and viewed, by combining cutting edge technology and sports science. STATSports are the world leading provider of player tracking technology to elite sports teams, operating in the NFL, NBA, EPL, La Liga, Serie A, 6 nations and many more.

Originally based in Ireland, STATSports clientele include the majority of the English Premier League teams such as Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal as well as Juventus, English FA, FAI, RFU and the IRFU.

Spring 2017 saw the launch of STATSports’ revolutionary APEX device. APEX is worn by athletes during training sessions and in matches to collect intricate data on their performance and physical wellbeing. This allows managers and coaches to make decisions to adjust player or team workloads based on the data provided.

StreamAMG

StreamAMG has had a phenomenally busy year in our work with football clients in providing top tier online video solutions.

Our teams have been hard at work making sure our clients make the most of their digital offerings by providing ways to live stream to other countries, increasing revenues through advert monetisation and aiding fan engagement by providing video libraries of classic content. All of which is hosted securely and seamlessly within the club’s own websites.

We would like to thank our clients for offering such challenges and are overjoyed at the response so far! We look forwards to seeing where the future takes us and the industry next!


Best Use of Technology in a Football Club 

Aston Villa FC

Our 2017/18 season ticket campaign revolved around ‘#MyVillaMoments’ and included the combination of various live data sources to create a progressive, fully personalised and responsive website for every season ticket holder and match ticket purchaser. The PURL allowed them to re-live the defining moments of the 16/17 season – to truly see what they’d be missing without a season ticket in 17/18. Using rich media, behavioural data and Opta stats we created over 50,000 websites with 19 variable sources of data in each.

The campaign goal was to build a 1-to-1 conversation with our supporters, highlighting to them the exciting moments of their attendances at Villa Park in order to encourage season ticket renewal or purchase. Other aims included a target of early bird sales, a specific marketing ROI, a % renewal rate and a set revenue vs. number of season ticket holders.

The campaign went on to be the most successful season ticket marketing campaign in the past 10 years, breaking several records and all targets, despite the Club finishing in its lowest position for 44 years.

Derby County FC with NewTek

In order to engage more effectively with fans and increase revenue streams, Derby County made significant investments in NewTek’s live production equipment and dedicated staff to produce high quality content for Pride Park Stadium’s jumbo screens and the club’s subscription-based online offering, RAMS TV.

In a relatively short space of time, Derby County has transformed the way in which it communicates to fans, and enabled the club to enhance its offering to sponsors and advertisers

Hull City

The launch of our new Club website which combines our news, ticketing, Tigers TV and new Tigers Rewards scheme in one domain.

Using in-depth CRM and analytics we are able to create bespoke advertising using over 25 pieces of supporter data. This enables us to ensure supporters only see relevant information and advertising but also has the commercial benefit of selling the same advertising to multiple companies.

The new site also houses our ticketing sales allowing supporters the ability to browse stories whilst adding tickets to their basket. They can also purchase Tiger Travel and car parking passes all within one location.

We have relaunched Tigers TV to be the main stop for all supporters for the latest videos and highlights. This is accessed through a free login on the site to enable us to analyse which demographics are viewing certain videos allowing us to cater more accurately for their tastes. We believe that this content should be free to all supporters and do not believe in hiding behind a pay wall.

In comparison with 2016, on launch in July 2017 we saw a 145% increase in users to 135,000 and almost double the number of page views with 669,000.

Leicester City FC with Seven League

Leicester City Football Club renewed all of their digital platforms in Summer 2017 – from main club website to ticketing, e-commerce and in-store retail.

Integrations across multiple vendors delivered in just 5 months from start to launch resulted in the most unified digital fan experience of any club in Europe, with a Single Sign On solution underpinning consistent UI and UX across all sites.

SSO and the associated Foxes Rewards scheme enables a membership scheme that combines access to tickets and content with cash value on purchases and a clear, incentivised journey through free and paid tiers.

Content presentation is beautiful, engagement stats are up and sales conversion rates are much improved, in particular on mobile.
Insight around site usage is market-leading, as is the Club’s ability to understand and improve the fan experience.

All of the above enables the club to deliver great content to fans on any device, and to create much improved commercial value for partners.

Manchester City FC with SAP

Manchester City, alongside official Cloud Software Provider and trusted technology partner, SAP, collaborated to place technology at the heart of the fan experience.

SAP designed and created the Premier League’s first fan-friendly interactive digital wall, entitled #CityPulse, featuring touchscreen interface and video display, located in City Square – the social hub of the Etihad Stadium.

The #CityPulse Wall, powered by SAP HANA, was designed to enhance the match-day experience for fans and help change how they access and consume football data, providing them with access to data-driven insights, real-time statistics and player profiles for every player across Manchester City’s First Team, Women’s Team and Youth Squad.

Through these insights, fans are able to analyse their favourite players throughout the season and dive deeper into tailored performance indicators.

The #CityPulseWall Teaser video and Launch video had very positive engagement on social media with more than 232,000 and 55,000 views. Media coverage was impressive, including stories on Sky Sports and The Drum.

The position of the #CityPulse Wall, located near key transport links, provides a perfect location for fan footfall. The #CityPulse Wall has become part of the fans’ match-day experience, creating an estimated number of 472,500 impressions across the 2016/17 season.


Best Corporate Social Responsibility Scheme 

Burnley FC in the Community

We are Burnley FC in the Community, the official charity of Burnley FC. We use the power of our football club to inspire, support and deliver change to a cross-section of people in the communities surrounding the Turf Moor stadium.

We are a dynamic, innovative and fast-growing organisation. In the space of three short years since our founding, we have expanded to a £2m charity, employing almost 70 members of staff and delivering over 30 community projects across East Lancashire.

During the 16/17 season, a big focus of our work was on the planning, management and execution of our facilities strategy.

Working to a strategy from August 2016, we have opened an education hub at UCFB Burnley to great success, started work on a brand new leisure facility, we are refurbishing and reopening a much-loved local outdoor education centre and we are working on the implementation of a new town-centre Community Kitchen.

Our submission gives the details of the development of our facilities portfolio and the reasons why we are proud of the work that has, and will, be done via these spaces to address the needs of the special people in our communities.

Everton in the Community

Everton in the Community was the first football charity in the Premier League to nominate a ‘Neighbourhood Manager’.

Since the Club and charity launched the role of Neighbourhood Manager in August 2015, a lot of feedback has taken place around how we can become a better neighbour. Through various consultation forums, we aim to support local employability schemes, become transparent with our neighbours about ongoing work, champion local business and help bring investment into the local area with housing support, as well as working on crime awareness and matchday activity.

Goodison Park is based in the heart of the Everton ward and our Neighbourhood Manager is easily accessible to neighbours and sees them on a day-to-day basis through various events/programmes that the charity runs, right through to drop-in sessions.

We have off site facilities in Everton Free School and a Community Hub which is open to local residents and businesses.

This work undertaken in our neighbourhood, and by supporting the security element along our local High Street (County Road), has meant that more businesses have opened and closed for the first time in 10 years. It has also contributed to the decrease in crime statistics by 7%.

Liverpool FC

Football has the exceptional ability to bring communities together and span generations to inspire positivity and drive change.

The Red Neighbours team’s combined experience and knowledge allows them to seamlessly work across Anfield and the surrounding areas, pulling together agencies to work collectively for the benefit of the wider community.

They understand that a collaborative way of working is the ideal approach to making a real impact and that the Club cannot tackle the deeply entrenched issues that these communities face alone. The team is focused on tackling local perceived need whilst so taking into account intelligence and data reports from local health authorities and council departments in order to understand the wider landscape and broader priorities.

In addition to the team we have a range of fantastic assets available to us including; our players, our staff, and our fantastic stadium, which is situated in the heart of the Anfield community.

As a universally recognisable brand, with over 700 million fans worldwide, we also have access to a global platform, which can be used to highlight and raise awareness of key issues in order to gain support to help address them.

Swansea City AFC 

Give A Jack A Jacket was a social inclusion marketing initiative that aimed to not only give back to the community, it aimed at bringing the fans and the club together.

As a Premier League football club, we have the power to improve the lives of our fans and the less fortunate within our local communities, and that was the challenge we set ourselves when devising this social inclusion marketing campaign.

A simple, yet inventive initiative, Give A Jack A Jacket wasn’t just a positive piece of PR, it was a campaign that the whole club and community got behind to give back and to do some good.

The Football Foundation

In delivering The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, the Football Foundation has transformed the landscape of grassroots football in towns and cities across the country.

It is a truly unique public-private-partnership CSR scheme that brought together the whole football family, with government, to radically improve the nation’s grassroots football infrastructure and open up access to our national game to record numbers of people.

By also linking these new sites with Professional Football Clubs, from the Premier League to Non-League, the Foundation also ensured that this new generation of sports facilities did not just enable many more local people to enjoy regular football. These sites have also become inspirational venues at which this country’s Football Clubs deliver life-changing outreach work to real people in their communities, week-in, week-out.


Sponsorship Deal / Partnership of the Year 

Avon & Liverpool Ladies FC

The landmark partnership between Liverpool Ladies Football Club and Avon highlights the increasing momentum of women’s football in the UK. Avon, the company that gave women an independent income before they even had the right to vote is now the first female-focused brand to sponsor a premier ladies’ football team. The Liverpool Ladies FC are also the only team in the top tier of the FA Women’s Super League (FA WSL) to have a shirt sponsor independent from their male counterparts. Avon will feature on the front of shirt for all levels of the Liverpool Ladies teams from the under 10s right up to the First Team Squad.

The launch of the partnership featured a private reveal event for the Liverpool Ladies team and staff as well as a public announcement and digital launch ahead of the FA WSL Spring Series. The traditional and social media reach and results were a powerful statement supporting the relevance of women’s football. The partnership between Avon and Liverpool Ladies FC will only amplify the conversation surrounding women’s football and the progress being made toward developing a bright future for the next generation of female footballers.

Beko & FC Barcelona

Beko’s challenge was to use fans’ passion for football and FCB to drive awareness, consideration and sales of products in a low interest category (white goods).

Beko’s target audience is 25-45-year-olds in transition from a large amount of leisure time to being time poor and under pressure in their professional and personal lives.

Combining this audience truth with the asset truth that FCB is the most playful club on the planet and the brand truth that Beko’s efficient products give you more time to do the things you love, we created the ‘Official Partner of Play’ campaign.

For season three, the campaign focused on highlighting the diminishing time to play in modern society, inspiring fans to play more, and then providing them with the ultimate opportunity to play. We did this through a series of connecting activations to successfully drive brand perception, propensity to purchase, and FCB partnership awareness…

1) ESTABLISH
The World Play Shortage Report: A global study into play habits to substantiate the brand message

2) INSPIRE
Playful Places: FCB stars recalling childhood memories of play, encouraging fans to share their own playful place

3) CELEBRATE
#Time2Play: Rewarding fans with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to play at Camp Nou

Betstars and Leicester City FC 

In August 2016, BetStars became the Official Betting Partner of Premier League champions Leicester City – a deal negotiated, planned and activated by SportQuake. Through the partnership, BetStars wanted to make a mark in the crowded sports betting market, creating content that gains them a foothold both on and offline.

A great partnership will provide mutual benefits for each party and grow both brands in turn. We believe the BetStars and Leicester City partnership has leveraged each brand simultaneously to enhance the other.

Marathonbet & Hibernian FC

There’s a reason Hibernian fans have praised Marathonbet for being the club’s “best ever sponsor”.

And it’s clear The Hibees faithful enjoyed last season for more reasons than just their brilliant promotion back to the Scottish Premier League.

“The involvement Marathonbet has with the club is brilliant. Many more years please,” said one fan last month.

“Signing a new deal with Marathonbet was one of the best things the club could have done this summer. They really engage with the fans as often as they can”, said another.

We don’t want to blow our own trumpet too much, but the team at Marathonbet has loved working with Hibernian and their fans as much as they have us.

Virgin Media & The Football Supporters’ Federation

With multi-million-pound transfer deals the norm and players earning more per week than the average fan earns in a few years, you can forgive supporters for feeling cut-off from the game Football supporters are only too aware of the vast amounts of money in football but they continue to turn up in large numbers, hand over their hard-earned cash for a ticket and book their increasingly expensive seat on the train They’re the heartbeat of the game As FSF CEO Kevin Miles said “Away fans in particular bring noise and colour to grounds, adding to the spectacle immeasurably But following your side on the road can be expensive and, despite football being wealthy, we believe very little of it is used to reduce costs for match-goers” Virgin Media have truly aligned themselves with fans not only in the Premier League but throughout the pyramid Even those fans that have not benefited from a cheaper ticket recognise that Virgin Media are for the fans They haven’t stopped at the sponsoring of a shirt but have went that extra mile They have supported the supporters – a member of the football family that often feels overlooked and for that, fans are grateful.