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Aberdeen’s drive to improve the matchday experience for fans

Aberdeen's commercial director Rob Wicks in front of some of the new artwork at Pittodrie
Aberdeen's commercial director Rob Wicks in front of some of the new artwork at Pittodrie

Aberdeen are determined to improve the matchday experience for supporters.

The Dons have been embarking on a number of initiatives to improve the Pittodrie experience for the Red Army.

The Merkland Road Stand has been brightened up with new graphics following a consultation with supporters.

Aberdeen have also invested in a single sign on customer management system to try to gain a better understanding of what fans want.

‘It’s about getting fans to enjoy their matchday experience’

Dons commercial director Rob Wicks said: “Fundamentally we want people to have a more enjoyable matchday experience.

“That’s absolutely key for us. If we can improve Pittodrie; whether it’s for Mum and Dad turning up, Mum, Dad and kids or fans who go into the Red Shed.

“That for us is top of the tree. Pittodrie is an ageing stadium where it’s quite difficult given the constraints to do a great deal on matchday.

“We’ve changed that by getting innovative with the graphics and graffiti, but there’s lots more we want to do in terms of a fan zone and some other things we might trial before we think about the new stadium.

“Fundamentally it’s about getting fans to enjoy their matchday experience at Pittodrie.

“To do that graphics can only go so far. If we can cut queuing time at the kiosks because we’ve got a better technology systems that can help people pay in a cashless environment then all the better.

Rob Wicks beside one of the new graphics at Pittodrie which Aberdeen hope will resonate with fans

“We’ve invested better in a CRM (customer relationship management) system, which the club has never had, we’ve relied on a ticketing system for a number of years.

“That will enable us to take a ticketing system, a retain system, the website, our social media channels and look at all those holistically.

“That will give us a better understanding of our fans and create and tailor content that is better for them.”

Testing things before stadium move

The Dons are keen to try a number of new things at Pittodrie this season and beyond.

And with Aberdeen still hoping to build a new stadium – whether it’s in the city or Kingsford – Wicks is keen to see which ideas work before moving to a new ground.

He added: “We’re treating some of this as a palette really when I talk about fan zones and other things.

“We know we want a traditionally home end in the new stadium and it might have some safe standing.

Rob Wicks and Aberdeen are considering new innovations to improve the fan experience

“We’re going to make the application because it has come through strongly in the research we’ve done that people would love to see some safe standing.

“This is a great opportunity for us to test and trial things.

“This will be a testing and a proving ground and if we can get into the new stadium with those ideas reasonably well set and can link that with other fan engagement bits and pieces then I think we’ll be in good shape.”

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