I was standing in that ridiculous line waiting for my ticket on saturday and with time to kill began to think about our support and what as a club we can do about attracting more supporters through the gates.
I am aware that the catalysts for increased support is determined by two factors, cost and ultimately performance, and although the club has improved its marketing strategy, is it sufficient?
In my opinion we live in the hardest place in the world, yes the world in attracting supporters with two of the biggest clubs on the planet just over 25 miles away and a host of other clubs even closer. Therefore we have to be innovative and pro-active in our marketing strategy, the trouble is, we are not.
This prompted me to think of Ricky. When i was involved with PSG, Ricky Post of Post’s Ice Cream approached me and handed me a cheque for £150. A die hard north end fan, he does not get on the games as he is usually flogging his 99’s on Preston flag market. Astounded and delighted I knew straight away how I was going to spend it.
When I was a young lad I remember behind the old kop many buses and coaches from places such as Arnside, Milnthorpe, Lancaster, and Kendal, so I thought why not replicate that for one game only, courtesy of Ricky Post.
I therefore booked a coach with his cheque and offered free travel from Kendal, as well as pick up points, all the way to Deepdale. The coach was full by the time it would take you to eat one of Ricky’s finest ices.
Proof, if it was ever needed, that we have a lot of support in the north of Lancashire and Cumbria. (I am delighted that Brownie recognises this and attends the North Lancs Supporters Group meetings).
What about the club going further, why do they not consider putting on a subsidised coach? Surely in the long term this would be cost effective and it would also give the supporters up there a sense of belonging and an indication that the club values them, and indeed need their support.
Whilst still waiting in line, thoughts turned to other ideas like the way Morecambe and Southport advertise their games on hoardings like the one we see outside Deepdale, in areas away from the ground, for instance Morecambe advertise outside Tesco’s in Carnforth. It just gives shopppers a constant reminder about the next home game and who the opposition are.
I am not a marketing man and don’t claim to be, but I am sure that there are many fans that have some great ideas on marketing strategies. The fact is we need our ground full and if we can get the ball rolling in the north – one coach may turn into several and could be replicated in other points east, west, and south of Deepdale.
Any way, tired of standing in line I told my lad to queue for me, I needed to sit down which I did outside the old footy museum (don’t get me on that one) you’ll never guess who i sat down next to, only two fans from Kendal!
Thanks for reading. Do you think that North End should try and draw in more fans from afar?