Luton Town’s back-to-back promotions have yielded another successful period for the Hatters, and matching that success on the pitch is the ever-evolving official streaming platform, iFollow.
The iFollow Hatters service replaced the Hatters Player product at the beginning of the 2017/18 season, and has enabled the Club to expand its fanbase globally, whilst offering an alternative means to domestic subscribers who can’t attend fixtures at Kenilworth Road.
Ahead of Luton’s first midweek fixture of the season against Sheffield Wednesday, which is available to supporters both domestically and overseas, we spoke to Marketing Manager, Ed Smith, to discuss the benefits of the product.
“We have embraced the service and actively marketed it to our supporter base, using it as a platform to enhance supporter engagement and provide opportunities to feel a part of the matchday experience, especially for those supporters who are unable to attend Kenilworth Road.
The Club has enjoyed a sustained period of success on the pitch over the last two seasons, with back-to-back promotions and the Sky Bet League One title secured last season. This success has undoubtedly contributed to a marked increase in iFollow subscriptions and match pass purchases and iFollow has helped us to maximise the opportunity presented by success on the pitch.”
What are some of the benefits to Luton Town joining iFollow?
“The service has enabled us to extend our reach way beyond the capacity of Kenilworth Road, especially during a season which has seen home sections of the stadium reaching capacity or near-capacity for well over 50% of the games.
A good example of this was for our Tuesday evening clash against Portsmouth in January, where our live stream broke previous streaming records on the platform.
In Leagues One and Two, this has been particularly valuable from a commercial perspective, but more importantly from an engagement point of view where relatively few games are available to watch via broadcast networks.
So there is an ability to grow the fanbase further than the Luton area?
“By our calculations we have been able to reach an additional 18,000 supporters during the course of the season who would otherwise not have been able to watch or attend a game at Kenilworth Road.”
What about the expansion of Luton’s overseas fanbase?
“iFollow has presented an excellent platform to engage with our overseas supporter base, with in the region of 4000 subscription or match-pass interactions with the service coming from outside of the UK as well as helping us to grow our website traffic.
Visits to the match-centre increased by 40% year on year in 2018/19, helping us to retain visitors within our domain which offers clear marketing benefits.”
From a financial point of view, the Club has also benefited, hasn’t it?
“We have seen very positive results across each of the iFollow product types:
• 11% growth YOY in international season passes
• 70% growth YOY in international match passes
• 15% growth YOY in UK season passes
• 36% growth YOY in UK Monthly passes
• Strong new demand for domestic match passes
• Overall revenues up 70% on launch season”
The product itself – would you agree that it is constantly improving?
“There have been a number of enhancements to the production values of the live streams including the integration of commentary, four-camera footage, in-match graphics and action replays over the last two seasons which make the viewing experience more engaging.”
Click here to subscribe to your Club and view all the information regarding iFollow. Follow your team live, wherever you are in the world with an iFollow subscription in 2019/20.