Gold Coast “United” – How to lose fans and alienate people

cmag Roar Rookie

By cmag, cmag is a Roar Rookie

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    As a Gold Coast resident and football fan, I am embarrassed by the board’s decision to cap crowds at 5,000. It is a backward step for football on the Coast and the A-League in general.

    I feel sorry for the players, and Jason Culina in particular. He came home to support football in this country and it is a pity he has been let down badly by an incompetent administration, not the fans!

    I am sick of hearing people (including players) say once they start winning again and play more attractive football, crowds will increase. No, this is not and never has been the issue. The two major issues are ticket prices and marketing. A ticket to a Gold Coast game is the most expensive in the A-League. I am at a loss to understand how a new club entering the league can charge more than other well-established clubs, and more than double the price of other new club, North Queensland Fury!

    I know a lot of people (including some who never watch football) were very interested in going to watch a game, but couldn’t justify spending over $30 for “cheap seats”. And they all ask the same question – “Why didn’t they build up a following first and then increase ticket prices later?”

    The average person couldn’t care less about stadium deals and high operating costs – patrons shouldn’t have to pay for its administrator’s poor business negotiations. I believe if the ticket prices were more reasonable from the start, we would be seeing nearly double the recent crowd numbers.

    As for marketing, I am going to have to take their word on all the work they say they have done in this area, because I have not seen or heard any.
    If you look at any successful football club anywhere in the world, they have built a following by listening to the fans and engaging the community. The Gold Coast United owner and CEO have done the complete opposite by alienating fans and ignoring the rest of the Gold Coast.

    Last week, CEO Clive Mensink was at a loss to explain the poor crowds, now this week he uses the global financial crises as an excuse. While this may be a valid reason (I too lost my job earlier this year), if they knew people were struggling financially, why did they set the ticket prices so high from the start?

    I hope Mr Palmer and his board enjoy a challenge, because it is going to take a long time and a lot of work to win back the supporters. While for the majority of the Gold Coast public, it is already too late. You only get one chance at a first impression.

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    The Crowd Says (20)

    • November 1st 2009 @ 12:30am
      ABCDEFG said | November 1st 2009 @ 12:30am | ! Report

      Agreed,

      I don’t know if there is some contract that states that Gold Coast United will keep playing for X amount of years in the A-league but if there isn’t and there isn’t a decent improvement then they might be kicked out of the league. I also don’t know why the hell they just don’t put out a television ad showing GCU scoring goals and the voiceover guy saying something like “….and with Socceroo Jason Culina and the competitions highest goal scorer Shane Smeltz…..you to can see the Gold Coast in action this week” then there’s the queue for a family ticket price of $39 and then cut, I reckon I’d work.

    • November 1st 2009 @ 1:01am
      Rusty0256 said | November 1st 2009 @ 1:01am | ! Report

      Good on Fox for making some sort of effort to make the most out of the embarrasing ‘acres of emptiness’ but the reality was, it was and continues to be, a complete farce.

      Thank God for Fury and Fowler; they have definitely become my second fav team (a long way behind MV, of course).

      Remembering back to the start of the season with GC Bleiberg and and Palmer poncing around like they were Real Madrid while Fury were doing it tough and building from the ground up, well it seems to me like the peacock and the feather duster have swapped roles.

      Oh, and to the players of GC; keep those nice memories of private jet travel as you shuffle down the arse-end of the cheap seats on Jetstar from now on.

      • November 1st 2009 @ 8:33pm
        constantine said | November 1st 2009 @ 8:33pm | ! Report

        hey hey me too, nqf are my second favourite team as well. just look at their website and read how much they engage their community. its premature to say, but there are many indicators that nqf will take off

        • Roar Guru

          November 1st 2009 @ 8:37pm
          Pippinu said | November 1st 2009 @ 8:37pm | ! Report

          I wonder whether it’s easier to engage with the local community in a smallish place like Townsville, than a place like the Gold Coast that is spread out, and full of vagrants, vagabonds, passers-through, castaways and schoolies.

          • Roar Guru

            November 1st 2009 @ 8:39pm
            Dogs Of War said | November 1st 2009 @ 8:39pm | ! Report

            I don’t think you have a choice in places like Townsville. Every person you employ will be part of the fabric of that town.

            While places like the Gold Coast have plenty of ring in’s etc, and engaging a more fragmented community can be hard. Their are reason’s why League had a few attempts on setting up a team, Giants and Seagulls where both failures. Chargers were fine (though kicked out of the comp due to Super League), and the Titans are showing all the lessons they learnt from the first few attempts.

    • November 1st 2009 @ 2:35am
      Jeff Baxter said | November 1st 2009 @ 2:35am | ! Report

      I think you football neophytes are being a bit naive about the nature of football, the owners and the community. Thay have always been the playthings of rich men going well back; from the factory owners to todays russian and yank wideboys. the community has always taken to their club despite the owners not because of them.

      • November 1st 2009 @ 6:58am
        Mr cheese said | November 1st 2009 @ 6:58am | ! Report

        Jeff,

        I believe you are a convert from football to RL. Aren’t you being a little naive ? Rugby LEague clubs would be the plaything of rich “wideboys” if the sport had the same popularity.

        • November 1st 2009 @ 11:51am
          Jeff Baxter said | November 1st 2009 @ 11:51am | ! Report

          What does that have to do with the price of fish or my comment?

    • November 1st 2009 @ 8:31am
      thinker said | November 1st 2009 @ 8:31am | ! Report

      Palmerland is awesome, but you can’t come

      esspecially you stan and kyle

    • November 1st 2009 @ 3:05pm
      GazGoldCoast said | November 1st 2009 @ 3:05pm | ! Report

      We were all having so much fun until Clive picked up the ball and said we had to play by his rules or he was going home.

      Take your ball and go home now Clive. Nobody likes you any more.

      • Roar Pro

        November 2nd 2009 @ 10:04am
        GeneralAshnak said | November 2nd 2009 @ 10:04am | ! Report

        Bad luck Gaz, sorry you are stopping blogging about GCU. Why not switch to the league in general?

      • Roar Guru

        November 2nd 2009 @ 1:28pm
        AndyRoo said | November 2nd 2009 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

        If you are still ging to the games then why not focus more on the match and the players (including opposition players) rather than the off field stuff.

        But totally understand if after feelign so burnt that you want to give it a rest.

    • Roar Guru

      November 1st 2009 @ 7:00pm
      M1tch said | November 1st 2009 @ 7:00pm | ! Report

      Money doesn’t buy you love

      • November 1st 2009 @ 8:43pm
        bever fever said | November 1st 2009 @ 8:43pm | ! Report

        I believe its “Can’t buy me love ” (money can’t buy me love) … off a hard days night.

        • Roar Guru

          November 1st 2009 @ 9:00pm
          Pippinu said | November 1st 2009 @ 9:00pm | ! Report

          Hey – we’re all entitled to an artistic interpretation!!! (thank you Marcia Hines)

          • Roar Guru

            November 3rd 2009 @ 2:05pm
            M1tch said | November 3rd 2009 @ 2:05pm | ! Report

            lol, whatever the saying
            richie rich palmer aint getting GCU fans

            They are like the Gold Coast Chargers, have money but no fans

            They need to rebrand!

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