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Guest blog: Entertaining the masses…what, who, where? – by Paul Bell

After following & contributing to the discussion around the post “Get your house in order – some challenges football clubs need to tackle to succeed”, I thought I give you some insight into the entertainment side of football & give you the opportunity to get involved and to make a difference.

One of the biggest challenges facing all sports major venues, events & rights holders is how do you get the fans to the stadium earlier and keep them later?

Hospitality guests typically arrive 3 hours before kick off and experience a stadium tour and a pre match meal. On screen is the ‘Early Kick Off’ game. Other pre match highlights include the delivery of the team sheet and a run down of the starting 11 from the resident MC!

But what about the masses? The 20,000 die hard season ticket holders who come religiously every week and watch their 11 heroes do battle on the pitch.

How do you change their pre match routine? They park the car at 1pm, walk to the Pub, have 3 pints and then leave for the stadium. 10 minute walk, 10 minute queue, 5 minutes to seat and just 5 minutes to kick off! How do you break a cycle that is both comfortable and engrained in a fans match day routine?

So what can be done? Let’s have a think about some options that could work…

Past Players / Legends

Done. Works well but how many seasons can you offer the same match day routine?

Upcoming Pop Bands

Nice idea – how many fans are interested in these bands? Do they fit with your audience?

Family entertainment

Great idea – what does this mean in practice? Is this  Ant & Dec or Barney and Friends?

Kids entertainment

How do you accommodate this requirement when 95% of your audience are adults no kids?

Cheer Leaders

Popular in US Sports. Not as impressive in Super League good effort? Entertainment or titillation?


On a match day they are Out of Bounds. Their  preparation for the match cannot bedisturbed,  so no  chance of them engaging on match day

So what can we add to the party?  What’s new? What changes the UK football fan match day routine? How do we appeal to females and family as well as the bloke who has had five or six pints? How can we link it to social media?

I’d love to hear your ideas in the comment section. The best ones will get invited to see their ideas in action at Elland Road next season.

Marching on Together!

Paul Bell is the Director of Commercial Affairs, Leeds United and can be found on twitter under @belgie123

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