Ticketing research, commissioned by Advanced Ticketing, has revealed UK football fans are creatures of habit when it comes to buying match day tickets. It showed 72% of football fans stated the ability to choose their favourite seat was one of the most important considerations when purchasing their ticket.

In addition to their favourite seat, fans always want to secure the best price with 97% saying they’d consider or take up early bird ticket offers to get this.

The research was carried out by Goodform’s research arm, Sportswise. The findings also suggest purchasing online is now the preferred option for obtaining tickets, with 91% of fans favouring the convenience of the internet to buy their ticket.

Andrea Brown, Customer Services Manager at the Football League, said:
Football League clubs have been at the forefront of the ticketing innovation in recent years. Ideas such as ‘pay what you want’ promotions at Brentford to the dynamic pricing system at Derby County helped drive attendances over the 15 million mark once again last season. Research such as this study help highlight even more ways in which clubs can help attract people through the gates of Football League every weekend of the season.

The research reveals that UK football fans are price conscious and are keen to secure the best deal. More than 96% of respondents stated that cost was the most important factor when purchasing tickets, while 73% also welcomed details on deals and offers from venues in advance.

Katie Holmes, Ticket Manager, Leeds United FC, commented:
Ticket pricing in football is always a contentious issue. This research proves that price remains a key factor amongst fans when buying tickets. We’re very conscious of this and are looking to reward fan loyalty whilst attracting new audiences to attend our matches with offers and promotions. However, we don’t want to risk alienating season ticket holders, who are our most loyal supporters. They need the reassurance that they get the best value, making pricing a real juggling act for clubs.

For football clubs looking to inspire fan loyalty, fans also stated that they would come back again and again if clubs knew details of and preferences on:

  • Birthday dates

  • Family packages

  • Favourite offers

  • Purchase habits

Mark Dewell, Managing Director at Advanced Ticketing (pictured), said:
Football fans will happily give clubs information about themselves, but only clubs that then act upon these preferences will increase their loyalty. The question that clubs should be asking is whether they know exactly who is sitting in each and every seat at their stadium and at every match. If clubs don’t know this, can they deliver a personalised fan experience that rewards loyalty with relevant discounts and offers?

Clubs that respond to these findings from fans will reap the rewards of loyalty with the next generation of supporters. There are already several examples of clubs who are striding forward in these areas. It’s a call to action to those clubs who have yet to grasp how the issue of loyalty needs to be driven by what fans value.

Note: The research polled opinion from more than 2,500 fans using Sportwise’s Fan Panel during September 2013.

Advanced Ticketing has been chosen as a UK Trade and Industry (UKTI) North West Export Champion for 2014.

At the beginning of 2013, Advanced won a ticketing contract with Istanbul’s Galatasaray FC and through its partnership with UKTI, secured a contract with the new Zorlu Centre. Galatasaray enjoys the largest football fan base in Turkey and has a global following. The Zorlu Centre is a new arts and culture centre situated just outside Istanbul. Customers will be able to buy tickets online for a range of events, with all purchasing being managed by TALENT.

Advanced Ticketing has expanded its international network through a partnership with Computicket in South Africa to assist in achieving its target of 25% of new business from global sales this year.