The EFL Family Excellence Scheme has been highlighted as the Best Fan Engagement Programme at the 2018 Sports Business Awards.
The ceremony, held last week at The Brewery, London, acknowledged some of the very best schemes and initiatives from across the sporting world, with the EFL recognised for its record breaking Family Excellence Scheme.
In a highly competitive category, the EFL pipped the likes of Everton School Supporters’ Club, FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017 and the Fulham Football Club Fan Engagement Programme to the award, in what is a testament to the efforts of all 72 Clubs across the EFL.
The Family Excellence Scheme was launched to support Clubs in their efforts to attract and retain families and young fans. The process encourages Clubs to think strategically about all aspects of fan engagement but specifically to innovate around the matchday experience for families.
Research has shown that family attendance at matches plays an important role in creating committed fans of the future. By analysing the family experience at each club, each season, via a series of ‘mystery visits’, Clubs are incentivised to achieve ‘Family Excellence status’ and a range of best practice and innovation is shared and celebrated across the EFL.
In just 11 years since its inception, EFL Clubs achieving Family Excellence status has increased by over 62%, with 95% of Clubs agreeing that the scheme is significant to their fan engagement strategy.
It has been a record breaking year for EFL Clubs, with a total of 56 Clubs achieving Family Excellence status, ten of which were crowned as ‘Gold Award’ winners for their exemplary work in engaging families on match days.
With attendance figures exceeding a cumulative total of 18million across the three divisions for the second season running, the Family Excellence Scheme can play an important aspect in enticing fans into EFL stadiums up and down the country.
EFL Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey, said: “It’s testament to the hard work undertaken by each of our 72 Clubs who strive for an enhanced matchday experience, and to be recognised for that with the Sports Business Award for Best Fan Engagement is a wonderful achievement.
“The appeal in attending live football across the EFL is as high as it has been in recent times and without the dedication of our Clubs and their innovative engagement strategies we would not be seeing numbers like the 18 million that came through an EFL turnstile in 2017/18.
“It has been a record-breaking year for the Family Excellence Programme and the EFL will continue to work with Clubs to ensure further improvement across all three divisions in future seasons.”