Season ticket subscription is the future
How can football clubs grow their season ticket sales, reduce their churn and strengthen their relationship with their core fans?
Season ticket subscriptions may very well be the magic remedy to achieve all of this at the same time.
This season the Norwegian top side Viking FK have tested subscriptions as their only available season ticket solution, with great success. Despite some teething issues they have achieved a 20% growth, which is massive!
Viking FK is historically one of the most successful clubs in Norwegian football. They have played more top-flight league games than any other club in Norway, and since 2004 they have been playing their home matches at Viking Stadion in Stavanger with a capacity of 15,900.
(By the way: That year Viking’s head coach was current Watford manager and previous Halmstads BK, Bristol City, IK Oddevold, Malmö FF, Blackburn Rovers, Copenhagen, Fulham, Liverpool, West Bromwich Albions, England and Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson, for those of you who are into fun facts).
Prior to this season Viking FK showed great courage and went “all-in” on subscriptions with TicketCo, even if this solution is not fully developed yet and some technical issues therefore have been unavoidable. They have named their subscription product Viking+, and four matches into the 2022/23 season their conclusion is as follows:
“Viking+ has been a slam dunk for us, and the reception has been absolutely incredible. We have an increase of more than 20% compared to last year,” says Marketing Manager Kjartan Salvesen at Viking Fotball to the official web page of the Norwegian top league, Eliteserien.
“We now have a season ticket base of more than 5,000, which is very positive and an important foundation for our club. We still notice a demand from people who want to make use of Viking+ since this gives them access to their very own seat throughout the season for a small monthly fee”.
These two quotes pretty much sums up what season ticket subscriptions are all about. Traditional season tickets require a tall up-front payment, and if a family of three to four members all wants season cards, the sum is quite massive over a monthly family budget.
A subscription model radically changes this, and makes season tickets commonly affordable.
So why is a subscription model for season tickets yet not available for everyone?
The reason for this is simply that even as simple it sounds, it requires A LOT of innovation work to develop a smooth subscription model that will work for everyone, regardless of size or nationality of the club.
What we have launched yet is far from perfect, but we are adding new functionality consecutively and new up is a subscription dashboard where the clubs themselves can monitor their subscribers and act on subscriptions with problems.
Innovation takes time and requires lots of hard work (as our partners Innovation Norway luckily enough are well aware of). But we are slowly getting there thanks to great effort by people like Mateusz Drachal and Kjetil Sørtun, and for the upcoming season we will roll out subscriptions also in the UK, starting with a small number of clubs as our pioneer clients.
If your club is open to new business models and wants to copy the subscription success of Viking FK, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.