The Pro League Committee unveiled a number of new marketing projects and technical developmental initiatives planned for the 2017-18 season. The announcement came during the pre-season workshop, organised by the PLC annually ahead of the start of the football season, in the presence of match officials and clubs’ representatives.
The 2017-18 season is set to witness a substantial shift in online tickets sale. The PLC looked to move from print tickets to online tickets in line with the 2017-2020 strategic plan. This step aims to make it easier for fans to obtain tickets as well as contribute to a smoother attendance counting process and provide a database. The project is expected to become an important factor in increasing club revenues by using the online ticketing system as a marketing tool.
The new marketing assets for the new season announced by the PLC include the 3D advertising carpet, which provides four additional advertising opportunities during matches, located on the sides of the two goals. The new technology offers a high commercial value due to their significant exposure during live play and highlights replays, thus providing an additional revenue generation resource.
The new marketing plan includes 25 fan activations in various clubs, in an effort by the PLC to create a better environment for fans in stadiums in create a festive matchday experience. These events aim to achieve several objectives including engaging fans with the match proceedings, attracting more fans to matches and enabling investors to communicate with fans directly in addition to providing an investment opportunity for clubs.
The announced marketing initiatives focus on the importance of clubs’ engagement and collaboration with the PLC to implement the new projects and following a defined strategy targeting an increase in attendances based on studies and research about attendance figures.
The new technical initiatives for the 2017-18 season, including the increasing “Actual Playing Time” initiative, the PLC targets achieving 55 minutes playing time in every match. The initiative will take place at the start of the season. Children will carry the “Actual Playing Time” flag ahead of kick-off in every match in support of the initiative.
The new season will also see electronic accreditation cards adopted instead of the previous system where paper accreditation cards were used for players, coaching and administrative staff. This step comes in line with the new strategic plan for the PLC aimed at improving work through smart apps and adopting new technology in match administration.
The competitions department highlighted several changes to the competitions regulations, where the U21 League has been renamed the Arabian Gulf Reserve League and the registration of resident expat players to reserve teams has been approved. This initiative enables clubs to retain players they have invested in since grassroots and allows for the integration of expat communities into the football community and the increase of attendance figures.