Enhancing the away day experience
For over two decades, the Premier League has been renowned across the world for its gripping football and sensational atmospheres, and right at the heart of its ongoing success are the supporters of the twenty clubs. In August 2013, the Premier League announced a three-year, £12 million initiative to improve the match day experience for travelling supporters. A 10% decline in away attendances over the past five years has been attributed to factors such as rising ticket prices and a lack of reliable information regarding places to eat, drink, sleep and park. Future Platforms were tasked with creating an engaging and informative ‘away days’ mobile application for the 2014-15 season and beyond. We have designed and developed an app that will ensure the journeys that tireless fans embark on across the country are as smooth as possible, whatever the result, further enhancing the match day experience.
Delivering what the fans need
From St. Mary’s Stadium to St. James’ Park, the Premier League Away Days app gives loyal fans a comprehensive slate of information during their trips around the grounds. Away supporters are invaluable to both their clubs and the ongoing prosperity of the Premier League, and when developing the content and functionality of the app we put their considerations at the core of our strategy.
We know that the match day experience spans beyond the 90-minute game, so every moment of the away day adventure from dawn to dusk was considered, incorporating fan feedback at all stages of development. At the planning stage, we ran a series of supporter and club workshops to explore the user experience from the bottom up. The results of the focus groups validated our initial thinking, ensuring that users’ needs were always of paramount importance. Key utilities and functionality of the app include:
- Ticket information concerning all away matches for season ticket holders, club members, and general sale customers (where applicable)
- Driving and public transport information to ensure the best route to the stadium
- Approved away-friendly pubs, bars, restaurants, parking locations and hotels, with tailored offers for travelling fans
- Fan-powered reviews, ratings and recommendations, meaning a more informed and enjoyable away experience for fans of every club
- Up-to-the-minute match day info, scores, team news, substitutions, and travel disruptions (currently only for the London Underground)
The comprehensive stadium guides for all 20 Premier League clubs are always accessible from the app, meaning even the most ardent fans can discover somewhere new to grab a drink or bite to eat before and after home games.
We had some useful conversations with Future Platforms at the start and I quickly realised that, rather than think about it as 'producing an app', we had to think about it as producing a solution to a problem, which happens to be through technology.
AWAY DAYS WILL BE GETTING BETTER, WHATEVER THE RESULT
The Premier League’s three-year funding initiative will allow partial subsidies for the cost of tickets, food and drink, and supporter travel, amongst other things. In line with this new investment, the Away Days app will help aid the improvement of the match day experience for travelling fans, giving them a regulated and reliable list of locations to use during their trips around the grounds. For 2015 we’ve added exclusive score-sensitive offers, an all-new dashboard design that improves navigation, update flags for important travel and stadium information, alongside under-the-hood performance enhancements.
Fans of the Premier League have been pining for a comprehensive guide to accompany them on their away travels for some time, and as the battles heat up at both ends of the table, the Away Days app will become a vital part of the match day experience. The app is available now and free to download on iOS and Android.