We recently wrote about Everton’s lack of a social media strategy during the Women’s World Cup, despite many former and current Blues at the tournament. So what about ticket sales? Attendance rates are an issue in the WSL and especially at Everton. How has excitement surrounding the Women’s World Cup impacted ticket sales for Everton Ladies’ games?
The Telegraph reported that six WSL teams are experiencing increased season ticket sales after the World Cup. West Ham United has doubled their sales figures from last year while Manchester City has seen a 28% increase and Arsenal reported a 10% increase. However, Everton does not have season tickets available to purchase but instead is pushing fans to buy a £30 Everton Membership for free entry to women’s games. Some anonymous person from the club is quoted as saying:
“We feel that this is a much better value for our fans, and the reach is much greater given the 10k+ members that we have.”
But what about player salaries? The WSL has a salary cap and 40% of player salaries are determined by ticket sales & sponsors. Official Membership costs £30 but most WSL season tickets cost around £35. By Everton citing “value” for their fans they are saying women’s games should be free but season tickets already are a value.
West Ham also has a membership program for their fans too but offers a discount rate for members rather than making them free. For instance, a Claret Member pays £15 for an adult season ticket but a non-member pays £25. By doing this, West Ham is providing a perk for their members but also keeping track of metrics of how many season tickets are being sold each season.
Everton has no tracking system in place and seems to think that 10,000 members will be interested but if you visit their website, the women’s games are not a heavily marketed perk of the membership. It is not mentioned on this page that explains the membership but is at the very bottom of the list of what is included in the membership on this page.
Everton Ladies have started their preseason games, which consists mostly of opponents from the second tier of English women’s football. So far, all of the games have been behind closed doors and Everton has not been providing any updates as to how the preseason is going.
Everton Ladies had the lowest attendance of their league last season, with only about 200 - 300 fans showing up to games. This season, the team is going to start playing at a new stadium in a much more convenient location, not far from Goodison Park. Their first two home games in September will still take place at their old stadium, Southport, before they begin playing at Walton Hall Park on 27 October.
The new stadium will have 500 seats, upgraded standing areas, a TV gantry, VIP and press sections. The team has made five new signings so far this summer (3 midfielders, 1 goalie, and 1 defender) they could really use a new striker. The transfer window closes on September 5th and let’s hope that the club not only gains a goalscorer but also markets their team and builds excitement for a team that contains three World Cup players and many future ones.