Club engagement local town
Does anyone feel like the club/trust have been missing a trick trying to engage more in the town and surrounding areas?
I do feel sometimes we live in a Twitter bubble.
retweets and likes don’t put cash through the turnstiles.
Interested to know everyone’s thoughts. I’m not a prolific poster so apologies for anyone thinking “Who the f***ing hell are you?”
What way do you feel they should be engaging people?
More visibility in town? Freebie tickets?
Players turning up in town more than currently?
If you walked into wycombe town centre, you’d think we never had a football club.
So more visibility, absolutely. Even putting up some fixture posters in the local pubs.
Just feel that the target audience is on our doorstep and we haven’t done enough over the years to drive interest locally
On the pub poster point, @boozyblue85, it’s a sad fact that, nationally, one a day is currently closing and a great many had already closed before the Covid pandemic and cost of living crisis.
Those pubs that survive tend to do so by introducing (or improving) lunch and dinner options in addition to snacks at the bar. I suspect this has had an effect on the customer profile they are (literally) catering for. A positive aspect of that could be that more family groups are attracted and any publicity given to the local football club could result in two or more family members deciding to “give it a go”.
Nobody puts fixture lists up in pubs any more because Sky like to change the dates willy nilly.
Sadly @micra you’re correct about pubs.
It would be nice to just see the club advertised in the town more. I’m sure there’s electronic advertising where you could put something about the club.
There’s over 170,000 people in High Wycombe, surely that’s the target audience? Maybe I am missing something, and there is a reason why the club don’t.
I think you're right generally @boozyblue85 that we are largely invisible in the town, but I think the club really needs to decide who the target group is. Personally, I think it should be primary-aged kids so I wouldn't be putting up posters in pubs or buying advertising billboards. Instead I'd be all over the local schools to partner wherever we can (send a player/coach in once a term for a day or something). I'd be partnering with school holiday clubs, local kids football teams to do similar. There are tonnes of ways we can build local relationships which wouldn't cost much marketing budget at all. You could even create a referrer scheme whereby we give them x% of any season ticket sale that comes from one of their families.
Then once they're at the ground you evolve the "matchday experience" to have something primary age kids could enjoy. Build a family marquee with games and activities. Give them some half time entertainment. Give them decent food and drink options inside and outside the stadium. Anything beyond the football match that they'll enjoy and adds to the experience. (FWIW I could see where the owners were coming from with the firework idea...)
Of course this is one audience - you could argue it's the wrong group and we should be going after another demographic. My point is though that you're not actually spending many £££s here on hard marketing, and what you are doing may only make you more visible to a small subset of the High Wycombe population. The bigger issue though is that this would be a medium term project/investment with a longer term payoff. I'm not sure the Couhigs are thinking much beyond the short-term anymore though.
I suppose the question would be how many of those 170,000 set foot in the town centre, of those that do how many are in the target audience (realisitically largely young male) and how many of those are not currently interested enough to be aware there is a football club but would be motivated to go to a game if they saw a brief advertisement for the upcoming match v Accrington Stanley. Its very easy to spend a lot of time and money on advertising, its also very easy to waste a lot of time and money on advertising. I suspect those people paid to be experts in the commercial aspects of our club have considered more marketing in the town but chosen not to for good reason.
Yup, local schools all day long - as you say, send in players to do talks, or let local schools come to the training ground and watch the players train for a bit (though maybe GA would consider this risks giving away our training secrets!) - maybe they do all this already and I don't know about it, I'm not suggesting any of this is revolutionary.
But surely "catch 'em early" is the ultimate easy win, even if only 1 in 20 kids actually follows up by coming to a game, or becoming a fan long term, this has to be the best option.
Get them down to RGS, sounds like half our (Gasroom) fanbase went there!
RGS don't believe football counts as a sport; they wouldn't let the thugs who play it in.
Indeed Tom, twas always thus, a long long time ago when I went to Challoners we played RGS at pretty much everything except football, they hated it when we (a football school) beat them at rugby...
Seriously though the club should be working with the Trust & SET to get involved with local schools & local junior football teams (more than just as match day guard of honour, though that is a start)
Good to know there is another ex-Challoner on here! Raab has rather soiled the school's name in terms of "famous" alumni so I am more hesitant to admit these days.
I totally agree with this. As an experiment I once went to all the major venues in HW…hotels, shopping centres, colleges, schools, train station, bus station, pubs, cinemas, shops etc….and the football club had no visible presence whatsoever. It would be relatively inexpensive to flood the area with posters etc to raise awareness levels. And that’s just HW, what about Marlow, Flackwell Heath etc?
It’s not going to affect Wycombe too often though, is it?
Do you have any reason to believe that they aren't trying to do exactly that?
It's all very well posting suggestions on a football forum but have any of us actually committed our time to assisting the Trust/SET with any of these things?1
Out of interest Alan, have you ever seen any other clubs doing this on your travels to various other football club towns. To be honest I can't recall ever seeing any such posters or visible presence in Plymouth for their local team either beyond supporters wearing club merchandise.
In fairness to clubs such as port vale and Plymouth, the clubs are very much part of the city in a good location with large fan bases.
I love Adams Park, but its location makes it invisible to the town. If you moved the ground and it was smack in the town centre, it markets itself. But when it’s tucked away a couple of miles out on an industrial estate, it’s harder for people to know you’re there
Just fixture lists for schools, pubs, chippies etc would be something. You could just do this quarterly in the season to highlight big events. Nothing like a nagging kid to motivate a parent to go to football. Can we go to Wycombe dad? Love to but there are no games on at the moment my precious. ACTUALLY we are playing Bolton on the 18th of February.
And fireworks, people love fireworks. We should have them every Saturday game between August and October and then from the end of March til the end of the season.
Honestly though mate, there can't be many people interested enough in football to consider going to a game but living in High Wycombe but unaware there is a professional football club in the town.
I’m not sure what the answer really is. It was more of a general observation that we don’t seem to have a presence in the town or seem to try and engage more locally. Maybe the location is just very off putting for a casual fan?
I think as a bare minimum that would be a good start. It might be a small thing, but even if only added a few fans here and there, that adds up over time surely?
So you want to have fireworks immediately after the game during the times of the season when games finish in daylight but not during times of the season when games finish in darkness????
Another ex-Challoner here too. Mr Whitby wanted me to play on the wing for the rugby team because I was quick and I could catch. Obviously I refused because rugby is rubbish. I do recall taking some pleasure in learning of our rugby team beating the RGS from time to time though.
I echo all comments regarding engagement in local schools, free ticket initiatives for kids etc. Surely an absolute no-brainer. I was lucky enough to live in a house that backed on to Holmer Green Sports Association when Wycombe trained there for a bit. As a Wycombe obsessed 13 year old, it was quite a treat to be able to trot down the back garden and out onto the sports field to watch them train at close quarters.
I appreciate times have changed, but of course for many years we had a shop in the town centre. Not only could you buy merchandise but you could also get match Day tickets as well.
Last line being sarcasm presumably? 🤣
I’ve always felt the Chiltern Line railway (when operating) is a potential conduit to attract new support. Leafleting at Wycombe, Beaconsfield, Gerard’s X, Amersham, even Marylebone? on a match w/e Friday with some form of inducement offer or on ‘away’ w/e’s leafleting local premier league footie fans at the stations for the following home game?
Got to be worth The Trust galvanising itself to give it a pop
Quite a few people seemed to clock that we had a game against MK last May. And promptly disappeared the following season. As always.
A winning team trumps any marketing. I think everyone in Wycombe knows where Adams Park is, and it would take some level of off-grid living to not know when games are on.
That said, our awful location must cost us a few hundred punters, just because of the inconvenience. Bring on the road!
I genuinely believe our attendances would be at least 8k regularly if the ground was in the town center
The Chairboylift in itself would boost attendances - how many other inland parts of the UK have one? A real novelty.