Melbourne Heart FC worked closely with fans and members to establish a fan ‘Representative Group’ in March this year, in order to develop a key communications channel between the Club and its fans.
Melbourne Heart FC worked closely with fans and members to establish a fan ‘Representative Group- in March this year, in order to develop a key communications channel between the Club and its fans.
The Melbourne Heart Fan Representative Group, or FRG, has been meeting regularly. Read the latest update from member Briget McPherson, below:
The Melbourne Heart Fan Representative Group (FRG) again met on Thursday 19th September. Although we were missing a couple of our members due to overseas travel and impending parenthood, the group had a fruitful discussion focussing on the Match Day Experience for fans.
After the first FRG newsletter, the group received emails that generally comprised three themes: the Club song, strategies to increase the Club-s membership base, and security concerns for the upcoming Melbourne Derby. The FRG chose to focus its attentions on the match day experience, incorporating the Club song and both pre-match and half-time entertainment. The concept was clear: Melbourne Heart wants to look beyond what happens on the pitch on game day, to consider how fans can be provided with an enjoyable and entertaining experience every time they attend a Heart match.
Much discussion was held about the Club song - “So Happy Together” was launched last season, and the Club is now asking fans whether this song should continue to exist as the official song, whether an altered form might be more effective, or whether a completely different song would be preferred. The FRG were in agreement: the idea of a Club song that is played before each match is a good thing. Certain songs are synonymous with particular football clubs, and Melbourne Heart is keen to use a song to create solidarity among fans before kick-off. However, whether “So Happy Together” is the perfect song for Heart remains uncertain - some members of the FRG, and the wider fan base, love the song, while others are unsure. The FRG also felt that thought needed to be given to how the whole fan base could be involved in the Club song - the Active fans sing along to “So Happy Together”, but it seems that fans sitting in other areas of AAMI Park were perhaps less able to get involved. We talked about ways that this might be rectified, by changing the volume of the PA system, or incorporating clapping, or reducing the song to include just the chorus.
You might have noticed that last week-s Melbourne Heart newsletter invited fans to have their say on the official Club song, as well as other songs that could be played before and during matches. The FRG would definitely encourage fans to get involved in this process. We-d also love to get your ideas on how to get fans all over the stadium involved in pre-match activities, including the song. What can we do to encourage fans to sing along? Should the song involve clapping or particular movements attached to it? Are player announcements a good way of involving fans? If so, how would this work?
Email us at email@example.com with your ideas.
The FRG also discussed pre-match and half-time entertainment. We were really supportive of the Club-s plans to improve the experience of fans out on the concourse, before they enter AAMI Park. We talked about digital interaction and engagement, music and incorporating food or merchandise stalls in that area. We also thought about using The Bench Café as a way of encouraging fans to congregate before the game. The FRG felt that any player appearances before the match would be hugely appreciated by fans, and would definitely increase excitement before kick-off.
Half-time entertainment is limited by time constraints - any activities held at this time need to be just 7-8 minutes in length. The FRG agreed that half-time entertainment should focus on just one or two activities, as well as using the screens to engage and interest fans.
Finally, the FRG spoke about the fact that SBS are increasing their coverage of A-League football this season, with televised Friday night matches and a new TV program on Thursday nights. This will hopefully mean that some Melburnians are watching A-League football for the first time - this is a fantastic opportunity to build Heart-s profile, and the FRG are hoping that SBS will provide great coverage of our many Friday night matches.
The FRG meets again on Tuesday 12th November, but we-ll be checking emails before then in preparation for the season. It-d be great to hear your ideas and comments about the Match Day Experience for fans. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions for pre-match and half-time entertainment, and send your song ideas to email@example.com
Read FRG Newsletter No.1 here.