New Delhi: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) receieved a big boost as the average stadium attendance for I-League 2015-16 has witnessed a sharp rise compared to the previous season.
As talks are running regarding the possible merging of the I-League with Indian Super League, the rise in attendance gives the AIFF hope about the path they had undertaken to market the former.
I-League CEO Sunanda Dhar said that the AIFF has done things a bit differently this season, bringing in innovations in marketing the league.
“We focused primarily on marketing the I-League with utmost professionalism and all the nine clubs along with AIFF joined hands to run the process smoothly. The first step in the marketing initiative was the I-League launch ceremony with all the nine captains in Kolkata on 6th January which was first of its kind,” said Dhar.
Social media plays an important role in reaching out to audience and Dhar said that the AIFF has tied with renowned agency to manage pages.
“We have tied up with one renowned agency to manage our social media pages, which are the most eminent tool to reach out to more people nowadays.”
Reports state that the figures are positive as the conclusion of the current season is still a long way to go. The recorded average attendance so far is 8296, while the entire of last season saw an average of 5909.
Kolkata duo of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal have seen a big rise in their I-League encounters at home. Games involving other teams across other centers too have also improved as far the turnout is concerned.
Dhar went on to add that they have bought commercial times in various regional channels to tap in the local crowd.
"Besides, syndicated columns in frontline dailies have attracted more eyeballs during the Hero I-League matches this season. who'll cheer their heart out for their home team. We would like to believe that all these efforts have played a significant role to boost the already-existing support base of the I-League clubs."
The Goan clubs play an important role in the I-League and Dhar has praised their approach.
"In-stadia attendance for both the Goan outfits has risen by many folds from the last season. Sporting Clube de Goa and Salgaocar FC have tied up with local FM channels who air the match day information, run contests to spiral the fan base. Merchandising is another aspect where both teams have focused to churn the support base."
(With PTI inputs)