The town’s opinions of Southport FC

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Re: The town’s opinions of Southport FC

Post by Ralphy Rylance »

john riley wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 9:51 am Mr Clapham knockers at it again he actually saved the club.
When and how?
We are the nutters, we come from the sea.
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becbee
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Re: The town’s opinions of Southport FC

Post by becbee »

A lot of good points made.

Turning down the invitation to join the Alliance Premier killed a lot of support. The nonsense about being away to Yeovil on a Tuesday evening. I'd spent the previous season travelling from London for all matches. I was so sickened that I never did that again.
But having said that, that was in the late 70s. Many of current potential fans weren't even born then.

Yes there should be more mention in the town centre but that in itself won't bring in the fans. Borehamwood have a big board showing the next 6 home matches up outside Tesco Metro which is half a mile from the ground. They even sold F A Cup tickets there once. But it doesn't translate into fans in the ground. I was actually in Borehamwood a few hours before they were in the NL P.O. Final at Wembley yet the level of interest shown by the town itself was pathetic. Didn't even turn up to watch the coach drive through the town en route to Wembley.

Even if the team were doing better on the pitch there are far too many who would sneer at non ( or lower) league football and will instead either sit in front of Sky Coverage or have a Prem season ticket. My Husband's family live in Bristol yet are like that about Bristol Rovers. My nephew claimed to support Southampton until they were relegated from the Prem.
I once worked with a Spurs fan who claimed to know about lower league football because he'd watched Swansea v Cardiff on TV!!

As for the F A Trophy day out, there were many fans who just turned up for a day out at Wembley. Some sitting near us missed the first 20 minutes of the second half because they were away buying the overpriced refreshments. Those people would never have turned up at Haig Ave the next season, let alone on a cold wet Tuesday evening. Same applies to almost all clubs.

Barnet have tried all sorts of offers. People turn up when they can get in for next to nothing but don't return. You can take a camel to water but you can't make it drink.

Having said all this, good entertaining wins are far more likely to get fans to return than boring defeats.
Portfan4life
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Re: The town’s opinions of Southport FC

Post by Portfan4life »

How about the club invite people to watch them train and maybe get some of the players to walk around town promoting the club.
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Re: The town’s opinions of Southport FC

Post by Formula Port »

Portfan4life wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 12:28 pm How about the club invite people to watch them train and maybe get some of the players to walk around town promoting the club.
I can just see Marcus Carver dodging the down and outs on Chapel Street whilst talking into his mega phone about the upcoming fixtures. :lol:
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Re: The town’s opinions of Southport FC

Post by Sam »

becbee wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 11:25 am Borehamwood have a big board showing the next 6 home matches up outside Tesco Metro which is half a mile from the ground.
Formby bypass has one, i run/cycle past it often. I can't remember the last time I saw one on it.
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Re: The town’s opinions of Southport FC

Post by Ralphy Rylance »

Portfan4life wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 12:28 pm How about the club invite people to watch them train and maybe get some of the players to walk around town promoting the club.
I doubt anyone who isn't already interested would want to watch them train. Plus we train in Skelmersdale which would probably put off many who are already interested.
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Re: The town’s opinions of Southport FC

Post by Exiled Port Fan »

I doubt the resource exists to prove it, but I would wager the distribution of L1 & L2 vs NL and below is more skewed towards L1&L2 than it was a decade ago.

I did it late last season but our attendances vary slightly by league and slightly by performance but otherwise are very static. I would argue our issue is retention. We all know 5 or 10 people who stopped attending for some excuse (I'll return after Charlie/Phil/Promotion/Liam burned at the stake/ etc etc) but they don't ever return. Given the relatively static attendances, we must be replacing people, we just need to keep them.

We will also suffer because I suspect the age group leaving Southport is very different to the age group moving to Southport.

In terms of ideas, it's about a good social media policy for me. Great goals, big match celebrations (a go-pro on a stick in the crowd when we took the lead vs Brackley, bet that would be bouncing). Content with the players (from.favourite player to who farts in the shower) to humanise them.

POV training session clips, pop a go-pro and head harnace on a few players, no need to trek to Skem, when you can watch at home.

It's a decade old, but the best SFC social media content was the videos of Sandgrounder James, a recreation of these would work well (splicing in match footage etc).

Vox pops with fans (favourite player, goal, game etc). Making Instagram reels and TikTok videos. Find out the right hashtags and go for it.

Might not gain any fans, but might aid retention....
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Re: The town’s opinions of Southport FC

Post by Portfan4life »

Exiled Port Fan wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 2:05 pm I doubt the resource exists to prove it, but I would wager the distribution of L1 & L2 vs NL and below is more skewed towards L1&L2 than it was a decade ago.

I did it late last season but our attendances vary slightly by league and slightly by performance but otherwise are very static. I would argue our issue is retention. We all know 5 or 10 people who stopped attending for some excuse (I'll return after Charlie/Phil/Promotion/Liam burned at the stake/ etc etc) but they don't ever return. Given the relatively static attendances, we must be replacing people, we just need to keep them.

We will also suffer because I suspect the age group leaving Southport is very different to the age group moving to Southport.

In terms of ideas, it's about a good social media policy for me. Great goals, big match celebrations (a go-pro on a stick in the crowd when we took the lead vs Brackley, bet that would be bouncing). Content with the players (from.favourite player to who farts in the shower) to humanise them.

POV training session clips, pop a go-pro and head harnace on a few players, no need to trek to Skem, when you can watch at home.

It's a decade old, but the best SFC social media content was the videos of Sandgrounder James, a recreation of these would work well (splicing in match footage etc).

Vox pops with fans (favourite player, goal, game etc). Making Instagram reels and TikTok videos. Find out the right hashtags and go for it.

Might not gain any fans, but might aid retention....
There is some great ideas here and worth giving a go. As fans we could try more to get people through the gate.
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Re: The town’s opinions of Southport FC

Post by Ste_B »

First step would be some market research. Stick a survey online, get out into the town, at the ground, school fairs, community events, and give away a pair of free tickets to anybody that completes a survey. Ask them why they go/why they don't go/why they used to go, what would make them go more etc. Although probably best to do this at a time that we might actually offer some form of entertainment for people (perhaps at the start of the season when hopes are high, and so not to upset a season ticket holder).

We've been shit for a decade and attendances haven't changed much, so while results can definitely make a difference there must be a lot more to it than that. As well as what's stopping people coming, we need to find out from people who do go what it is that keeps them coming back. I suspect it's the community aspect, who they stand/sit with etc - it certainly isn't results or quality football. Ask the existing fans why they still come, and if it is anything but the football then we need to build on that. Find out what age they started coming, why they started coming, ask them if they know people who no longer attend and why.

Any marketing idea without doing any research is just guesswork at what the solution might be.

Aside from that, we should be doing everything we can to collect email addresses and phone numbers from everybody that comes near the club (WhatsApp messages get significantly more conversions than emails). Had someone taken half an hour to set this up a decade ago we'd likely have had access to tens of thousands of peoples contact details. I've bought tickets online, I've been a member, a season ticket holder, a volunteer - the club has my email address and phone number several times over, yet I've never received a promotional email or text from the club, not even to renew my season ticket or membership. I've never been asked my opinion on anything.

Once we do all that, then we can look at what Step Two could be.

Anyway, this has taken up far too much of my afternoon. Hopefully someone with some marketing nouse on the board can put this right.
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Re: The town’s opinions of Southport FC

Post by Olá »

The people I have asked like football just not boring and dull and awful football
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Re: The town’s opinions of Southport FC

Post by Ste_B »

Re: EPF's post above.

Retention is definitely a big problem. We need to keep filling the bucket while plugging the gaping hole at the bottom of it. If every group of "Jack Carr Lads" that I've known of still went to games, the Jack Carr would be rammed and bouncing every game. Again, we need to find out why they stopped going and how we can get them back. We can speculate but until we ask these people, we won't know the real reasons why, or how to get them back.

Social media is definitely a useful tool but it needs a talented group of people with a good strategy, and lots of time. If the "product" we're putting out there isn't attractive then no number of posts will ever make it attractive, unless we're compiling something that makes supporting Southport FC look fun (depends on what demographic we're wanting to appeal to, making it look like a great family day out, or to the football "lad" culture - but generally good football, good goals, good food, footage in the crowd of people enjoying themselves, other stuff going on in the ground) - then we need a real life experience that's going to match that.

People will follow where others go (see Tamworth Potato Man). Incentivise people to take photos and tag themselves at games, in our shirts, our scarves, whatever. Again, this needs to be something actually worth tagging us in that'll make us/the experience look good. If people see others doing it, and it looks fun, they'll do it too.
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Re: The town’s opinions of Southport FC

Post by bnek »

We'll always be hamstrung with Liverpool and Everton being on our doorstep.

We're playing in the sixth tier of English football.

We're not very good in the sixth tier of English football.

People move away, get out of the habit and support from afar. I now live in Leigh but since COVID I've seen two games, of which one was away at Chorley.

This thread isn't anything new, we had the same discussion 20 years ago on this forum. 20 years ago?! I feel old. 😄
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Re: The town’s opinions of Southport FC

Post by cobby7 »

When friends and acquaintances enquire about Southport FC and how are they going on etc, in other words
what do you see in watching our level of football?
I explain I know all about top level football watched it as a neutral for donkeys year from Tom Finneys Preston to watching them fall over in Premiership on TV every week.
And playing locally into my 30s.
I explain I go with my mates who did similar, we have a pint before and a couple after and talk about the game and the past and the state of the sad world nowadays.
As regards the football we see 22 giving their best on the pitch putting far more effort in that most premiership players.
In between we see worldy goals and saves obviously not as many as higher level, and exciting finishes but most importantly it’s our towns team and we always live in hope of better times.
And you can leave home and be in the ground in 10 minutes.
And some still travel 100s of miles.!
Since their FA Cup run thousands of Liverpool people have realised this with Marine.
There is a world outside of Anfield !
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Re: The town’s opinions of Southport FC

Post by Port on the Kent »

Have we considered a meat raffle?
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Re: The town’s opinions of Southport FC

Post by Any Port In A Storm »

We might gain a few fans when City end up playing in the Craven Minor League. Most of their fans jumped ship from Bury Stockport and Oldham in the last 10 years.
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Re: The town’s opinions of Southport FC

Post by Gambo's Left Boot »

If everyone would just bring a friend ....

See - Haydn was right!
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Re: The town’s opinions of Southport FC

Post by Ralphy Rylance »

Gambo's Left Boot wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 6:34 pm If everyone would just bring a friend ....

A sure fire way to end any friendship
We are the nutters, we come from the sea.
We must be nutters to watch SFC.
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Re: The town’s opinions of Southport FC

Post by JJWK1302 »

Ste_B wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 3:24 pm First step would be some market research. Stick a survey online, get out into the town, at the ground, school fairs, community events, and give away a pair of free tickets to anybody that completes a survey. Ask them why they go/why they don't go/why they used to go, what would make them go more etc. Although probably best to do this at a time that we might actually offer some form of entertainment for people (perhaps at the start of the season when hopes are high, and so not to upset a season ticket holder).

We've been shit for a decade and attendances haven't changed much, so while results can definitely make a difference there must be a lot more to it than that. As well as what's stopping people coming, we need to find out from people who do go what it is that keeps them coming back. I suspect it's the community aspect, who they stand/sit with etc - it certainly isn't results or quality football. Ask the existing fans why they still come, and if it is anything but the football then we need to build on that. Find out what age they started coming, why they started coming, ask them if they know people who no longer attend and why.

Any marketing idea without doing any research is just guesswork at what the solution might be.

Aside from that, we should be doing everything we can to collect email addresses and phone numbers from everybody that comes near the club (WhatsApp messages get significantly more conversions than emails). Had someone taken half an hour to set this up a decade ago we'd likely have had access to tens of thousands of peoples contact details. I've bought tickets online, I've been a member, a season ticket holder, a volunteer - the club has my email address and phone number several times over, yet I've never received a promotional email or text from the club, not even to renew my season ticket or membership. I've never been asked my opinion on anything.

Once we do all that, then we can look at what Step Two could be.

Anyway, this has taken up far too much of my afternoon. Hopefully someone with some marketing nouse on the board can put this right.
I really and I mean really love this idea, but we would need a trust or a group of trustees who would be willing to help start this up and not just sit here and talk about doing these things every couple of months, we simply need to take action.

I also think this is where the idea I had of a fundraising campaign to fund the serveys and free tickets would come to action, the question is. Who at this club are we supposed to trust anymore?

If people would be willing to volunteer which im sure alot will, when and how would we organise it?
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Re: The town’s opinions of Southport FC

Post by JohnnyGerana »

Email marketing is one of the bigger keys to increase average attendance. Every week few days before game send email out to supporters (I believe, there is approx. 17k emails in database. Increase it on every opportunity) about why the next game is unmissable. Explain rivalry, table situation, who is a new signing, who is coming back from injury, create the story. Throw in an occasional shop deal. Engage. There are loads of people who are not following social media for one reason or another, and email is the only door they keep open to let the important stuff from the internet in. Engaging email could be the last nudge to push a 50/50 goer to attend. It is great remainder that there is a fixture coming up as well. People need a story to get behind. Create it. Email is more personal. Make it personal.
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Re: The town’s opinions of Southport FC

Post by Ubbe »

JJWK1302 wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 9:56 pm
Ste_B wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 3:24 pm First step would be some market research. Stick a survey online, get out into the town, at the ground, school fairs, community events, and give away a pair of free tickets to anybody that completes a survey. Ask them why they go/why they don't go/why they used to go, what would make them go more etc. Although probably best to do this at a time that we might actually offer some form of entertainment for people (perhaps at the start of the season when hopes are high, and so not to upset a season ticket holder).

We've been shit for a decade and attendances haven't changed much, so while results can definitely make a difference there must be a lot more to it than that. As well as what's stopping people coming, we need to find out from people who do go what it is that keeps them coming back. I suspect it's the community aspect, who they stand/sit with etc - it certainly isn't results or quality football. Ask the existing fans why they still come, and if it is anything but the football then we need to build on that. Find out what age they started coming, why they started coming, ask them if they know people who no longer attend and why.

Any marketing idea without doing any research is just guesswork at what the solution might be.

Aside from that, we should be doing everything we can to collect email addresses and phone numbers from everybody that comes near the club (WhatsApp messages get significantly more conversions than emails). Had someone taken half an hour to set this up a decade ago we'd likely have had access to tens of thousands of peoples contact details. I've bought tickets online, I've been a member, a season ticket holder, a volunteer - the club has my email address and phone number several times over, yet I've never received a promotional email or text from the club, not even to renew my season ticket or membership. I've never been asked my opinion on anything.

Once we do all that, then we can look at what Step Two could be.

Anyway, this has taken up far too much of my afternoon. Hopefully someone with some marketing nouse on the board can put this right.
I really and I mean really love this idea, but we would need a trust or a group of trustees who would be willing to help start this up and not just sit here and talk about doing these things every couple of months, we simply need to take action.

I also think this is where the idea I had of a fundraising campaign to fund the serveys and free tickets would come to action, the question is. Who at this club are we supposed to trust anymore?

If people would be willing to volunteer which im sure alot will, when and how would we organise it?
Genuinely don't think you'd get that many interested in doing it, whole thing is time consuming and I think the attraction for a lot of our fans is you can easily turn up pay to watch and go home.

We have some brillant volunteers at the club already that really keep it alive but Im not sure they would be of the skillset or have the hours outside of what they do already to invest in the above ideas.

For me the only thing that will bring numbers back is success. If we were winning every week or steam rolling the division then momentum would build behind us, word and interest would spread, people would turn
up. Unfortunately for many reasons we are a long way off that currently. I actually have wondered recently with this in mind, would going down a division, as horrific as it sounds, give us as opportunity to do this and reset the club.
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