Attendance at the Akure Township Stadium for the Match Day 4 fixture between Sunshine Stars and Dolphins reached a new high of 5,125 and officials of the club have attributed the improved turn-out to a new drive by the Club management which embarked on awareness campaign and introduction of incentives to reward fans.
Ondo State Football Agency’s Deputy Director Marketing & Corporate Affairs, Ayodeji Adegbenro explained in a chat with www.npfl.ng that the agency embarked on a public awareness drive to get the spectators to the stadium.
He also disclosed that the chairman of the agency, Hon. Akin Akinbobola had earlier set up a task force to design and implement strategies on engaging the community to grow spectatorship on match days.
On the strategy eventually adopted to achieve the increased turn out of fans last Sunday, Adegbenro said, “In the week leading to the game, we had a road show in Akure and neighbouring towns, radio and TV jingles and also sent out bulk SMS to inform people about the game. On Match Day itself, we provided some side attractions that kept the fans entertained before, during and after the game. The match itself was just a part of the entire event.”
He said the incentives introduced by the League Management Company (LMC) to reward clubs that record attendance of upwards of 5,000 fans in a match motivated the club to design and implement the plans that led to Sunday’s increased attendance. Adegbenro also explained that “attracting huge crowds to games increases the brand appeal of the club to existing and potential sponsors and inspires the players to improved performances on the pitch. Generally, it creates the right ambience for television broadcast and makes the league attractive to watch by those at home.”
On the side attractions, the Sunshine Stars marketing director added, “the match day experience was fun-filled as we had a Disc Jockey (DJ) and a dance crew that entertained the crowd. We also held a promotional raffle draw that saw some of the spectators winning items such as footballs, club jerseys, Vuvuzelas, free drinks, etc we plan for this to be a regular feature all through the season. The idea is to provide an enriching experience for the fans to have a reason to not only return for subsequent games but also bring along their friends, relations and business and work colleagues.”
He assured fans of “adequate measures to ensure your comfort and safety during games. We have also made our stadium gender and family friendly. We intend to do more by creating this carnival-like atmosphere in all our home games all through the season.”