Causeway Chronicle

Younger fans favour Friday night football – NIFL survey

Thousands of supporters made their voice heard through the NIFL Supporter’s Survey, and the results are now in!

The NI Football League’s first ever survey of this kind was launched last month to better understand the views and experiences of all fans across the league and continue the development of the NIFL Strategy; ‘A bold & brighter future for professional football’.

With over 3,000 responses from supporters of all demographics across NIFL’s 47 member clubs, fans provided invaluable insights on a broad range of issues affecting their support of their favourite club, with some interesting results.

Some of the key findings highlighted include:

  • Fans are very open in their thoughts to match scheduling, with 65% of supporters surveyed open to their team playing occasional matches on Sundays.
  • Matchday experience from supporters is resoundingly positive, with atmosphere (72%) and quality of football (71%) are the most important factors to respondents on matchdays,
  • Those surveyed are still undecided on seasonality (change of season) however older supporters (aged 31-60+) are most in favour of a tweak to the playing calendar.

Gerard Lawlor, NIFL Chief Executive said, “A huge thanks to all our supporters who took the time to give their valuable feedback on their thoughts and experiences of the NI Football League. This data allows us to focus our efforts in the right areas, but I’m really encouraged that the positivity and pride our fans have in the league shows we are heading in the right direction!”

“As we set out in our strategy, engagement with fans is a top priority if we are to continue the levels of growth we aspire to achieve, NIFL will continue to liaise regularly with supporters, both through our own direct channels and through more work Supporter Liaison Officers (SLO) this coming season.”

Further analysis on the survey results confirms that overall, the matchday experience for fans is hugely positive, with 83% of respondents providing positive feedback; female fans are particularly glowing about their experience with 97% approval to their club’s matchday experience.

Whilst the traditional Saturday afternoon (3pm) remains preferred kick-off time, however younger fans (particularly Under 16’s) are more open to Friday nights as their preference, coupled with nearly two thirds of respondents being open to occasional games on Sundays.

NIFL’s communication was commended by respondents with 90% approval, with younger supporters positive in their feedback around digital communication with fans, who also generally believe that their club is covered fairly by the NI Football League, with 83% approval regarding balanced coverage.

Respondents have outlined that they consume news primarily through club social media (70%) and NIFL social media (54%) are the most popular media platforms. The survey outlined that supporters prefer to get their news media from their clubs as a priority, followed by NIFL channels and independent third parties next.

Commercially, respondents were overwhelmingly positive as to using the services of both league and club sponsors, with supporters aged 31-45 were the most likely to use services of either a league or a club partner.

The eagerly anticipated new season kicks off on Saturday 10 August with many new supporters expected to join the drama, excitement and action of live football on offer within the NI Football League, and we encourage you to be part of it too!

Causeway Chronicle

Causeway Chronicle