Wednesday, February 19, 2014


SLeague Plan Initiatives For New Season

Singapore — Average attendances for last season’s Great Eastern-Yeo’s S-League may have improved, but S-League Chief Executive Officer Lim Chin concedes that it faces an uphill battle to attract more fans to stadiums as a slew of initiatives are being introduced in a bid to make that happen.
This season, fans will be given match-day programmes with previews, pictures of players and statistics (good move).
Under a new Food Initiative Programme, the first 500 fans at matches can also exchange their admission tickets for complimentary finger food provided by the S-League’s partner merchants, and vouchers for items such as movie tickets or complimentary cups of coffee.
(I'm sorry but this thing with free food at football me the evidence of it working. Have Warriors/SAFFC reported fans queuing at the gate to get their free ice cream? For any business mode; to include giving things away willy nilly like this, obviously ain't a good business model.
Wanna give things away? Fine. Try this. Fans go to five games, keep their ticket stubs, then present all five and get a free scarf. Go to every home game, hand over ticket stubs and get a free shirt. At least involve the club and incentivise fans attending and most importantly paying.)
There will be also be photo opportunities with club mascots at home matches. (Cringe. Just google DJ Bear.)
The S-League will also use its social media platforms to reach out to football fans, including plans to provide video highlights of matches for those who cannot make it to the stadiums.
Local football fans will get to experience these initiatives when the S-League kicks off on Friday with the Charity Shield match between defending champions Tampines Rovers and Singapore Cup holders Home United at the Jalan Besar Stadium, which will also be a league match with three points at stake.
The initiatives are being rolled out in a bid to maintain and even improve on last season’s average attendance of 1,200, which is a 30 to 40 per cent improvement on the historic low of 932 for the 2012 campaign.
“We have to be realistic even as we try to get more people to come to our matches. In the minds of Singapore football fans, it’s all about the action across Europe,” said Lim.
“Singapore has a population of 5.3 million, of which 1 million are foreigners. We are also a vibrant city filled with many other kinds of attractions. (Welcome to la la land. Has this guy been to London or Melbourne of Munchen? There are a few things to see there I believe but sports are also quite popular). So, it will be a huge challenge to bring in more fans to the stadiums.
“But with all our new initiatives, the signing of marquee players by the clubs, and the performances of local players, things will get better.” 
COMMENT - ok, they are making an effort but like Jakarta's efforts to solve its traffic problems, it is too little too late. Singaporeans spend big money on hand phones, hand bags and Certificate of Entitlements but they won't pay five bucks to watch their local team because they prefer a team thousands of miles away they will never see.
It's about mindset and no amount of free ice cream will change that. In fact, it probably cheapens the game even further in people's eyes. 
There may also be an element of identification. Do you see kids from Geylang schools fighting with kids from schools in Tampines? I am guessing not. People identify with Singapore but not where they come from in Singapore.
Still, when an FAS officials says Singapore contributes $200 million to the local economy annually what can we do but just smile?

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