Boro given fifth 'Family Excellence Award' and also given 'Magic Moments' award in recognition of work with First Time Fans
Stevenage FC has been awarded ‘The Football League Family Excellence Award’ for the 2015/16 season.
Created in 2007, the Award recognises the outstanding experience provided by clubs for young fans and families as part of a scheme that won the Gold Award at the European Professional Football Leagues’ Best Practice Awards.
A total of 44 clubs from across all three divisions of The Football League have been given the Award for 2016, with a significant increase in the benchmark standard being applied by the judging panel. More than ever this year, Football League clubs are providing families with engaging family areas and offering innovative matchday entertainment that delivers a money can’t buy experience for young fans.
With an increase in the number of juniors and families now attending matches around the country this is both testament to clubs’ work to attract them, and an indication of the challenge and importance of retaining them for generations to come.
In achieving the award Stevenage FC has been recognised as offering superb entertainment for families at The Lamex Stadium throughout the 2015/16 season, engaging with young fans and families through such initiatives as our extensive First Time Guide, Kids Takeover event, creating the ability to identify first time fans and much more.
As part of the Family Excellence Awards Stevenage was again shortlisted in the 'Feed the Family' category, highlighting its excellent catering range, and were also presented with the 'Magic Moments' award in recognition of its work identifying first time fans and welcoming them to games.
An example of this came in the following feedback from the first of two mystery family visits this season: "Before the game we heard our children’s names mentioned on the PA, which delighted them both although my daughter claimed to be embarrassed! In which case worse was to come for her! As at half time, a chap jumped down beside us and once identifying me as Matthew welcomed us to the club, shook our hands and presented the children with a certificate signed by the manager. Joe was over the moon! We then heard the children’s names again over the PA. What a great idea so easy to do but a real talking point for us and one we have all shared with friends. We think they must have identified us as new fans from booking online."
When asked "When you consider all of your family’s leisure & sporting activities, to what extent do you believe that this club offers value for money?" the answer was "Definitely. Price doesn’t really come into it when something as special
as this happens".
In announcing the successful clubs, Football League Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey, said: “The Football League Family Excellence Award continues to provide Clubs with a standard to aspire to. The objective of the Award is to recognise those Clubs who have successfully attracted more families and young fans to matches.
“Innovation is at the heart of Clubs’ success and our partnership with both Channel 5 & Nickelodeon (Nick Kicks) is part of our central contribution in supporting Clubs’ work in this important area by increasing the profile of our games among the next generation of fans.”
6 clubs have secured the Award in every year they have been eligible to receive it - Doncaster Rovers, Huddersfield Town, Ipswich Town and Milton Keynes Dons, Cardiff City and Reading. Wigan Athletic has been awarded the accolade for the first time.
The Award recipients are decided by an independent assessment using real families that has been commissioned by The Football League, at all 72 League clubs, during the 2015/16 season.
For more about The Football League visit www.football-league.co.uk.
Clubs receiving the Award in 2016:
Brighton & Hove Albion
Preston North End
Queens Park Rangers