19 September 2009 at 3:52 am #9098StandishWalkerPlayer
Apologies in advance, but this is lengthy, and a lot of people will dismiss it.
Don’t know how many of you do Fantasy Premier League, but I do with the folk at work, and it’s recently brought back a few frustrations that have laid dormant for three of four years.
When you set it up, you enter which team you support, and the icon is displayed on your profile. So, as the season progresses, you can see how well you are doing against other Wigan supporters.
Anyway, clicked on this tonight, and you’ll be surprised how many people there are who claim they are Wigan fans and are from Scotland, Ireland, Wales, mainland Europe, and further afield.
So, I was thinking, where are all these people at home games, and why do we not cast a wider net to bring them in?
Wigan will never be big enough to warrant a larger stadium than we have, and we’ll never attract an influx of supporters from the immediate surrounding area as they either have a inherent dislike of anything Wigan ( St Helens, Leigh, Skem – Sorry Dave, I mean new Skem), have strong links to other teams or their own within their town’s boundaries .
Why have we never targeted areas where they have no negative preconceptions of Wigan? All the sales development seems to be focused in Chorley, St Helens, Warrington, or Leigh.
Target Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Europe, or everywhere else outside a ten mile radius to Wigan. If they provide proof of address and travel details, give them a free ticket. If they provide three ticket stubs, they get a free season ticket and a shirt, and a discounted season ticket for your second season. (Yes, I pay for a season ticket, but I’d be more than happy if the club gave free tickets to people outside the region if it was going to boost the fanbase. It’s all a bit Wigan Warriors, but would ultimately benefit the club.)
Get ‘em in, and get ‘em interested. If you want to watch the best players in the world playing in the best league, why not watch them live in Wigan? Make Wigan your second favourite team if need be.
Remember your first game? Didn’t you soon get hooked? Did you also root for another ‘bigger’ team when you were younger, but once you started to watch Wigan your allegiances totally changed?
Live football draws people in, and the more you can get through the doors, the more chance you have of hooking some of them. People will travel to watch football. Get people from outside the region to come to games, and it will eventually attract those from closer to home. It’s a reverse ripple effect.
I used to get every Rangers home game programme sent to me through work, and, I am honestly not exaggerating on this, they choose a fan each week and ask them various questions, one of which is, ‘Do you support any other team?’ At least half dozen times a season, the name Wigan Athletic came up.
We’re the none-offensive, little boys competing in the big boy’s league; the new club (under Martinez) playing nice football, and owned by the outspoken bloke who has clothed them in football shirts and sports gear for the last decade. We’ve always had managers who were renowned for their amusing post game interviews, and the club who turned Jimmy Bullard into the media darling clown that he is. Why wouldn’t people come and watch us if they had an incentive? A lot of people see us as a nice place to go and watch football at.
Friends from Cardiff went to Egypt on holiday last year, and their taxi driver was a Wigan fan, as was his brother and mates, all because of Zaki. Now, the Egyptians are not a renowned market in official merchandise so, why not get another Asian player in alongside Cho – preferably a popular name from China, Korean or Japan. His shirt sales would pay his salary even if he never made the starting lineup. Sell shirts and make fans.
I’ve always been a supporter of Whelan and all he has done for this club, but I think his people’s approach to marketing and fanbase development has been woeful.
Anyway, it’s my opinion, but I honestly think the more diverse cross section of people we can get through the doors, the more chance we have of getting some of those to stay with us.19 September 2009 at 4:09 am #9104The EggChairman
Maybe they just pick a random PL side and pick us?19 September 2009 at 5:11 am #9113Anonymous
Maybe your more to the dark side than us :lol: :lol: :lol:
seriousley the man as a point “we will never attract a fan base in excess of twenty thousend” ,not for the next five years at least when all the young tics start having families of their own .yes i mean that the JCLS the ones who as some people say jumped on the bandwagon i hope and prey will stay with us through thick and thin
And he is right we should be branching out to places like Dublin,we have connections in central America,eastern europe and places like that19 September 2009 at 11:58 am #9116shaun martinPlayer
A good post Standishwalker, but I think we are all looking into the attendances problem a bit too much.
The credit crunch is having a massive impact on everyone these days and not just Wigan fans…
Watch virtually any football match outside home games for the top 4 and you will see empty banks of seats around those grounds. Something you would never have seen 3/4 seasons back.
Folk are just proper broke and cutting back on non essentials.
I know our ground looks terrible on the TV, but we have to face the fact we have a small fan base, so when you knock off 25% of it, it will seem to have a bigger impact.
Look at the following for the West Ham game last Saturday….I reckon they were about 2k down on their usual following (not having a dig at them btw it was still a decent following for the current times).
We all used to go on when we were in the lower leagues about how when we got to the “promised land” :roll: our attendances would bloom and we would have a full stadium all the time. Well apart from a couple of games in our first season that has never happened. There are a few reasons for that….Whelan putting the prices up in the second season knocked the keenness out of a lot of folk, the constant failure to build on a team and instead having to rebuild every season has pished many a fan off. Poor hoof ball football being played for good parts of our time in the prem. The taking away of the supporters club especially the kiddies club and sticking folk in a gym is having an effect. But above all it’s the credit crunch hitting us hard in an area already riddled with unemployment.
But like I have always said numbers don’t always make for a good atmosphere…give me 12,000 proper Latics fans in the ground any day above 20,000, when a huge number of them are day trippers or even worse only there to watch the other team.
Up the Tics!
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