Leinster Supporters Journey to the Future

Paul Dermody, Leinster Rugby, Dublin. Pic: Feargal Ward 09/04/15Leinster Rugby supporters are being taken on a carefully plotted journey.  It’s not to Twickenham, Thomond or Kingspan Stadium, it’s to the future, and the planning going in to make sure they enjoy the ride is meticulous.

Paul Dermody joined Leinster two years ago having served in the commercial departments of the GAA in Dublin and Danone in London before that.  We sat down in Dublin this week, in the shadow of the Anglesea Stand at the RDS to talk about what the next three years will be all about for the province.

“The thing that is always front of mind for the supporters is how the team is doing on the field of play.”

“It goes without saying that it’s the promise of a great performance, the thrill of a win and the last result that keeps them excited and coming back for more.”

“We have no Champions’ Cup knock outs this season to keep everyone warm over the winter but the emergence of players

“The game against Munster in the Aviva will likely have a real impact on the Guinness Pro12 and, added to the emergence of exciting young talent like Josh Van der Flier (seen learning of his Irish call up in the video below), and Garry Ringrose it has created a real buzz around our games recently.”

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“We’ve a heavyweight advertising campaign on at the moment with radio and posters talking about the pride colliding and sales are ahead of where we were planning.”

“The future though is a lot longer than the couple of weeks to the game, or indeed to the opening up for general sale of our season tickets for next year on the same day.”

“For the next three years we are changing the future for the supporters engagement with Leinster Rugby through the redevelopment of the RDS Arena.”

“What we have is great in the amount of space, the history and the central location.”

“What we will have though will be so much better.”

“Increased attendance and the development of the Anglesea stand will give us far more space and facilities for those most dedicated of supporters that sign up to the season ticket.”

“We have begun the process of bringing their experience up through the phases already and technology has been an important part of that.”

 

“This season we have added new functionality to the Leinster Rugby app – 32,000 downloads to date – by partnering with a US company called Experience.”

“Leinster is the first team outside the US to adapt this functionality and it will enhance the flexibility and value of the season ticket significantly.”

“We are only just at the beginning of what we can do with that for the fan experience in the stadium and during the week.”

“We have used it for upgrades to the Blue Room on match days which has been sold out every game this season. Supporters can enjoy a free pint, courtesy of Guinness, free match programme and access to all of the players that aren’t in action on the day.”

“Our biggest competitor is the couch at home. We need to give people as many good reasons as possible to come to the game and walk away hungry to come back again and again.”

“We work closely with our sponsors and partners to enhance the experience on match day and throughout the rest of the season as well.”

“Bank of Ireland are great to work with and really committed to what we are doing.”

“Others like Windsor Motors, Deep River Rock and Communicorp really get involved on match days, while Canterbury and Lifestyle Sports are really engaged on the kit and gear side. We are very excited about the new alternate kit for next season which will be a little bit different.”

“The introduction of fluid ticketing as well has been a real winner. Supporters who have friends coming to a game can swap back their own season ticket and sit with their friends where they are going.”

“If your season ticket is in the North Stand and it’s raining or cold you can use the app to upgrade your ticket into the stands and pay only a third of what it would otherwise cost.”

“If you can’t make it to the game you can let us know and we will release your place back on sale and provide you with credit to redeem at another date against money can’t buy experiences and upgrades.”

“The idea of cultivating the next generation of supporters as well as players is important to Leinster so we have also introduced a Student Pass.”

“Full time students can put their names onto a waiting list and if seats become available they can get access to them for as little as €10.”

“Building up knowledge of our wider audience is a hugely important element of future planning.”

“We have 350,000 followers on social media and we are catering to that through a real effort on content creation like the academy videos and announcing the team through social video as well.”

“The Leinster zine keeps supporters up to date with what’s happening and we are building out capacity to deliver and respond to them in a way that has never been possible before.”

Leinster Rugby Training Open Day

“The players and Leo and the management team are very switched on to what part they play in engaging with the supporters.”

“This year’s Season Ticket package has been out for renewals for a couple of weeks now and the response has been great.”

“We froze the price for those who renew by March 21st,  added exclusive benefits and have a season ticket holders exclusive training session at the end of the season where you can get to really get to know the players you follow through the year.”

“That idea came from Leo and it promises to be a real winner for all our supporters.”

“We are coming into the redevelopment at a time when technology is changing the fan experience in so many ways.”

“It’s a great opportunity to be right on the cutting edge in terms of what we offer to fans and the benefit they feel from being a Leinster Rugby supporter.”

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