About the Family Club of the Year Award
Football League clubs excel at attracting young fans and families to their grounds. By using 'mystery shopper' families, The Football League's Family Excellence Award scheme acknowledges the clubs that are delivering a fantastic family matchday experience.
The benchmark to achieve the award has been raised every year since its introduction in 2007. This year's award will honour the club that is leading the way in continuing to push the standard even higher and providing the very best experience for families across The Football League.
For the 2013/14 season, Birmingham's objective was to improve the family experience and decrease the age demographic attending matchdays. By introducing family season tickets around the whole stadium, offering free tickets to fans under the age of 10 and increasing the family activities within the stadium before the match, and at half-time, City have seen a positive impact. The St Andrews family stand sells out for most games, while the percentage of new young season ticket holders has increased - 31% of season ticket holders are under-10. The average age of matchday attendees has also dropped.
Against a background of relegation, redundancies and departures of key members of staff, Bristol City redoubled their efforts to go the extra mile and offer the best possible service to all supporters, particularly families. As a result they saw hefty praise for 'Scott Murray's guide to Ashton Gate' video and increased sales of family season tickets against the 2012/13 season despite relegation, thanks to targeted marketing campaign, a dedicated family stand and price reductions (it now costs £655 for a family of four season ticket). The club have put on a variety of family events in the community park, and offer a signed cap presented by a first-team player to a young fan making their first visit to Ashton Gate.
Middlesbrough proudly unveiled their 'Generation Red' family zone at the beginning of the 2013/14 season. The 3,000-capacity, dedicated family space is packed with innovative activities and family-focused supporter care at every home game. Boro's values of honesty, respect and humility are central to the creation of a family experience that goes beyond the few hours of a matchday. Although operating with a limited budget, the club have already achieved tangible success in attracting family groups through the efforts of their Generation Red team, who introduce new innovations at each game and continually strive for customer service excellence.
Oxford United continue to build on the family nature of the club with the creation of a brand new family area, with prices for children starting from £4. The club have also enhanced the matchday experience for youngsters, including offering coaching sessions for juniors and a half-time penalty shoot-out for youngsters. The club also engages with families on non-matchdays through the community trust and events such as 'United on Ice', the club Christmas party and several family fun days.
Plymouth Argyle and its community trust have introduced a number of new initiatives at Home Park and enhanced existing initiatives to attract more families to games and also ensure that current users have an enjoyable experience. This included starting the PL2 crew - a new, exclusive club for young supporters, as well as offering exclusive access to first-team training sessions. The club also launched the new community trust website and the formed the Argyle Angels - a group of 14 females who supplement family activities.
Wolverhampton Wanderers launched the 'Your Club: Your Voice' campaign in 2013 - the largest fan survey the club has ever conducted, with over 6,000 fans responding. Wolves decided to invest in their family facilities as a result of the survey feedback, introducing special family pricing, welcome volunteers and matchday product offers to enhance the fan experience. These initiatives were developed in partnership with the supporters via the club's Fans Parliament and also a brand new Youth Fans Parliament.
2013: Cardiff City
2011: Cardiff City