Last week saw the second meeting of the Fans Working Group where staff met fans to discuss improving the matchday experience.
Meeting: Working Group and Fans Open Meeting
Agenda: Ticketing, Matchday Experience, J’s Sports Bar
Venue: J’s Sports Bar
Date: Wednesday 27th February 2019, 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Club Working Group Attendees:
Matt Everett (Commercial & Marketing Director) Lee Barton (Head of Ticketing & Retail) Adam Harris (Commercial Sales Executive)
J’s Sports Bar Attendee:
Salli Merola (Owner)
The informal meeting took place at J’s Sports Bar and was a follow up from the first meeting on Wednesday 16th January 2019. Supporters were invited to raise questions, concerns or make suggestions regarding anything to do with ticketing or matchday experience as well as ideas on how J’s Sports Bar could become more of a supporters bar not just on matchdays but throughout the week. The working group also discussed points made via email in advance to SLO Kath Faulkner at email@example.com
The meeting started with Matt Everett (Commercial & Marketing Director) introducing the club personnel in attendance and then working through the points and queries that had been raised at the last meeting.
Update from last meeting:
Why can’t people pay on the day if they are on the database for all ticket matches?
The club has now extended the option for supporters to buy tickets up until noon online on the day of an all ticket game.
Music and PA on a matchday – walkout music is not uplifting and is quiet?
The feedback has been positive for the new walk out music, looking at producing a proper playlist containing local bands in the summer ready for next season.
Can we play Sweet Caroline when we win?
This will continue to play after wins at home until the end of the season, in the summer we want to engage with fans and have a poll on social media and through the club website as to what they want to hear after the game when we win.
Can we issue teamsheets upon entry for U18 and U23 matches?
A programme and teamsheet is always produced for competitive Under 23 matches and FA Youth Cup matches.
Programmes/teamsheets will not be produced for under 23s friendly games as they are behind closed doors and may feature trialists on either side. We are also unable to produce this for the U18 games, this is due to the Child Protection Act if one of the players, either OUFC or opposition, is under the age of 16.
Can the Family Area move back to the South-West Lower?
This is up for discussion, we would like the next working group to focus on this specific issue, we would encourage as many fans with an opinion on this topic to either attend or email in.
Can we have fliers in all schools in Oxfordshire and do offers?
We are delighted to announce that the game with Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday 30th March 2019 will be “Oxfordshire Schools Day” This will see us giving away 4 tickets to every Primary School in the county. The day itself will see many different activities here at the stadium as well as competitions that the kids can get involved in, in the build-up.
Points raised from 27/2/19 Meeting:
How will we replace the colour of the Ultra flags on a matchday?
The Football Club is disappointed that the Ultras will no longer have a presence on matchdays, but we understand their decision. So, we now move forward with what we can do to bring more atmosphere to games. One thing we are looking to do is create more colour in the empty area next to the segregation netting in the North Stand. This is an area that is visible all-round the ground and prominent on the television/highlight platforms. We are currently looking at the dimension of space available and will work closely with Yellow Army to maximise this. One idea that has been mentioned is a surfer or fan flags.
Anything that we are able to organise, will be done within the terms of the License Agreement at the Stadium – ie after Midday on a matchday. This prevents any confusion or issues around entry to the stadium.
Other clubs have a team of SLOs (Supporter Liaison Officer) who volunteer to help the full time SLO Is this something we could put in place?
This has been in place throughout the current season
What will the Ox4Life package look like next year?
We are currently reviewing all packages for next season including Ox4Life. We would again encourage as many people to come to the next meeting where this will be one of the key topics discussed.
Regarding this season we have just released details of the Family Away Day that will be on Saturday 23rd March when we travel to Coventry City. We are also looking at more events throughout the year including a summer event.
Is there any indication where the pre-season tour will be next season?
Nothing to announce yet. Assuming it will be a venue where fans can travel, we would again like to work closely with Yellow Army to plan travel and events during the trip.
Will we be having an Open Day this summer?
Very much in the club’s plans, would ideally take place at the new training facility. As and when this is available to the public.
This could work in the form of an open training session, with activities and a chance for fans to meet the players. The big photo with all junior and the players is something that has also been discussed.
Ideas for J’s Bar – Official Supporters Bar
Salli from J’s Bar joined us to discuss how we can improve the venue and make it more of a supporters bar. Below is a summary of what was discussed;
- Salli is massively keen to work closely with the club and supporter group to improve the colour and atmosphere in the bar, both before games and during the week.
- She is happy to display flags on the walls (maybe the flags that will no longer be used by the ultras)
- Salli is looking at setting up the Supporters Wall. This would allow fans for a small fee to in effect buy a brick on the wall in the bar where they could put up a photo or image of what the club means to them. The proceeds of this can be used to buy more OUFC items for the bar and put back into the Club or Trust.
- Junior events are also a passion of Salli’s and we will be discussing hosting an Ox4Life event there and discounts should the members wish to visit in school holidays etc.
- Regarding match days, you can now purchase a programme in J’s before the game, if you show your season or match day tickets before the game you can get a take away tea, coffee or Bovril for £1. Supporters will also receive £1 off their first post-match pint by showing their ticket.
- We will also look in the possibility of the Guest of Honour at the match spending some time in J’s before the game, this would be a great opportunity to meet fans, sign autographs and take selfies. Also, option to build up to a Q&A and other members of the 1st team set up making appearances.
- Both Salli and the Club are extremely keen to work together to make a success of the Sports Bar as a venue that will add greatly to a lot of fans matchday experience.
We anticipate this will take place in April, and we intend to try and focus on a particular areas of the matchday experience – the Family Area.
Supporters will be able to submit any feedback or questions in advance via SLO Kath Faulkner on firstname.lastname@example.org