Connection to Fans

And that’s my frustration. Financial yield Vs top line numbers. In reality it should be a balance. Club needs to maximise yield to deliver bottom line.

However as I said in another post, if Essendon had been proactive the last 20 years in building a business that ensured the club wouldn’t be reliant on footy performance to return a profit, ‘yield’ would be less critical (still important) and they could balance it more.

There’s the Collingwood and Richmond economic model. Interestingly Richmond have exhausted their reserved seating capacity at the MCG. So when combined with onfield success, you can deliver maximum growth and maximise yield concurrently. That’s why they’ve become a financial powerhouse and expanded their supporter base. The desirable outcome. Then there’s the Essendon financial model. For many reasons I always preferred the former. That was what Essendon basically pioneered in the late 1990’s before we let Collingwood in.

Now it’s our problem to solve.

It’s generally been successful for clubs. However, there’s a big watch out. Risk is you allow members who’ve always been 11 game members downgrade to 3 gamers / Beyond the Boundary type offers etc. This is especially risky for poor performing sides where members want to remain but go less.

You can see it in financials. I’d say last decade our membership number has grown 100% however revenue has probably only grown only 30%.

The untapped opportunity is in converting your interstate and non active fans to membership. Challenge yet to be solved has always been lack of sufficient value to justify cost. Essendon are unique along with Collingwood to have huge national support. Yet it hasn’t in my view made a good fist of creating packages to encourage our national following to sign up. I’ve always wondered why it doesn’t leverage its sponsors to build up an interstate package to create this value. Eg: 20% discount vouchers for hotels, car rentals, entertainment venues to help interstate fans book an ‘Essendon Footy Bonanza Melbourne Weekend’ during the season. With membership match access for 1-2 games in Victoria… Creative thinking. This also helps create ‘trial’ of sponsorship products / services. Everyone wins. That’s just one idea… There’s always solutions if enough focus and effort is invested.

Gee we’re covering some ground aren’t we!

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not saying or implying it wasn’t smart or doesn’t offer value, merely that it’s a tool used to artificially increase membership numbers, which in collingwoods case was used to sell biggest club in the land, and therefore sell that to sponsors.

It adds value to supporters in the situation you mentioned, it also adds value to potential buys for sponsors products.

I’d love for clubs to have to stipulate how many members are fully fledged supporters who buy the minimum 11 home game membership and how many of the overall are 3 gamers. that or not count 3 game memberships in the overall count, but that’s just a personal bug bear that probably holds no relevance to anyone else that doesn’t really care or value absolute honesty, or as close to it as possible.

This thread would have struggled to last a day if we were winnng (or at least inspiring to watch).


Perfect example of a club that provides value to a local community in need. Not shoving membership and merch sales down people’s throats……… but gaining genuine community support and media attention by doing good for the community.


I’ve complained about this many times before, but the last week they’ve been uploading them.

Please keep it up!

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