Making the match day experience memorable

This week's newsletter looks at how clubs are keeping fans informed about what happens on match days, as well as how they focus on first time fans.

Making the match day experience memorable

Thank you to everyone who's taken the time to read and comment on the results from last week's State of Football Social Media survey. It's very much a labour of love, and I hope that it helps you make decisions and see where teams are putting their focus over the next 12 months. As far as I know it's the biggest survey of its type in the world, and that's thanks to everyone who takes the time to submit responses.

Around a day after sending last week's email I added an interactive version of the report to the original article. You may have missed it, but you can use the link below to have a play around. It doesn't work brilliantly on mobile - that's a limitation of Looker Studio rather than anything I've done - but it allows you to filter responses by level, country, and the size of each marketing team.

The State of Football Social Media 2024
Looker Studio turns your data into informative dashboards and reports that are easy to read, easy to share, and fully customizable.

I'm still taking expressions of interest from anyone who wants to attend an in-person event in London this June. Gauging interest is a big part of putting an event like this on, and hopefully I can nail things down and start planning the event itself soon.

Anyway, on we go.

Welcome to Between The Lines, a regular round-up of what you might have missed in the world of sports marketing, as well as a deeper look into some of the topics from social media. Got a story or tip to submit? Send it to or via DM on social media.

Helping fans make the most of match day

Last season saw 39 million fans attend games across England's top four divisions, as well as in competitions such as the FA Cup, Carabao Cup, and EFL Trophy.

Given the numbers, it's probably fair to assume that some of these people were setting foot in a stadium for the first time. Particularly for cup competitions.

Not everybody knows how a match day works. Some stadia aren't particularly close to city centres and require public transport, or have limited parking that needs pre-booking. That's before we start thinking about things such as ticketing and how we navigate a turnstile. Many may be bringing young children with them for their first experience too.

Not to mention the fact that you'll also be welcoming opposition fans who have a higher chance of not having been before.

So how do you communicate all of this with visitors? In this week's newsletter I've picked out a few good examples across the leagues that you can copy from.

Crawley Town

If you want an example of simple but effective, take a look at Crawley Town's first time fan guide.

Screenshot of Crawley Town's first time fan guide, taken from their website

All of the key bits of information are here:

  • Parking arrangements.
  • Fan zone information.
  • How to pick up your ticket.
  • Club shop opening times.
  • Public transport information.
  • Stadium map.

It's a simple, one-column, mobile optimised page, with the occasional picture. It just works, and it's got everything in one place without needing to navigate across several pages.

Salford City

For Salford City's recent home game against Barrow they gave timings of all the day's activities as well as information about this specific match.

Screenshot of Salford City's match day guide for their home game against Barrow, taken from their website

It contains a lot of the same information as Crawley's, with the exception of the information being tailored just for this fixture.

As a result you get the kick off time, as well as information on what activities are happening at certain times. There was also a happy hour between 5pm and 6pm after the game.

This information was also published on social media on an image carousel.

There are two improvements I'd recommend with this approach:

  1. Feature these timings and information on the web page too.
  2. Work on getting the stadium visitor guide turned into a web page rather than a PDF, for accessibility purposes. PDFs can be a pain to access on a mobile.

Tranmere Rovers

Tranmere have a dedicated social media account for their supporter liaison team, which is a great idea.

Not only that, they have a dedicated WhatsApp number for any issues fans may experience on the day. And the match day assistants are named, with their locations mentioned too.

Click the image to view the post on X

This gives fans a lot of comfort, especially if they're new. Having a point of contact in case of issues can be more reassuring than approaching stewards.

Tranmere have also published a video detailing all of the ways they have made the stadium experience accessible for fans with disabilities. The video shows which routes are flat and easier for wheelchairs, as well as how to spot safeguarding stewards, where the stoma-friendly toilets are, and how fans can get access to audio-descriptive commentary in the stadium.

Exeter City

Helping your fans access your own stadium isn't the main thing these guides can be used for. You can also help your fans when they're travelling to other grounds as away fans.

Exeter recently published a guide to help their fans with arrangements for their trip to Peterborough.

Again it's a straightforward single-column approach. It more than does the job. You'll find:

  • Ticket prices and availability.
  • Background information on the ground.
  • An embedded Google Map with the route from Exeter marked out, as well as the stadium post code.
  • An embedded journey planner for people travelling by train.
  • A stadium map and timings for the fan zone.
  • Catering facilities and prices.
  • Away fan-friendly pubs.

Peterborough United

Speaking of Peterborough, the club have a "new fan guide" for people attending the stadium for the first time.

My favourite part of this is a page showing you what all the numbers and details on your ticket mean.

If you're a new fan attending a game for the first time the club also invite you to get in touch and have a pre-match photo taken pitchside about an hour before kick off. Another great way of ensuring that people leave with a great first impression.

Speaking of first impressions, Oxford United published a short video of someone receiving their first time fan pack at last weekend's game.

Click the image to view the video on X

Doncaster Rovers

One different approach to a stadium guide is this video from Doncaster Rovers. It's hosted by the team's supporter liaison officer, who talks you through access arrangements and the activities available on a typical match day. A great idea to accompany written instructions.


A final one, featuring a team that does a good job of covering all bases on their website.

Walsall published a specific match day guide for their game against Accrington Stanley, as well as a linked first time fan guide. And both are dedicated web pages, rather than downloadable pdf files.

Things like timings are all on the relevant pages, and everything you might need is available across both links.

Fun fact: this one is so long it broke my screenshot tool and split it across two pages


Clubs across the divisions are doing fantastic work informing fans about what's going on during match days. And there's some great ideas for helping travelling fans, as well as people visiting for the first time.

Unfortunately I can't feature absolutely everything that goes on in one email, but the ones I've picked out are good starting points if you're looking to improve the information you provide to fans.

The first time fan experience, in particular, is so important for engaging them and encouraging them to return. First impressions are massive and will shape someone's views of your club for a life time.

Keep making match days memorable.