Reading recognised for outstanding matchday family experienceWe are delighted to announce that Reading FC have once again been awarded the Football League Family Excellence Award for the 2015/16 season.
Created in 2007, the Award recognises the outstanding experience provided by clubs for young fans and families as part of a scheme that won the Gold Award at the European Professional Football Leagues’ Best Practice Awards.
Reading, along with the other Football League clubs, are visited by independent real families throughout the season who compile comprehensive ‘mystery shopper’ reports on various aspects of the matchday experience – from their first call to the ticket office, right through to the ‘thank you for visiting’ email they receive after the match. It is far more than a box-ticking exercise – every area is scrutinised, and the families’ opinions and experiences count for a lot.
In receiving the accolade on Thursday at a best practice seminar and awards ceremony, hosted at Molineux, home of Wolverhampton Wanderers, we maintained our record of receiving the Family Excellence Award in every one of our Football League seasons since the programme began. Only five other clubs across the three divisions have also achieved this feat.
A total of 44 clubs from across all three divisions of the Football League have been given the Award for 2016, with a significant increase in the benchmark standard being applied by the judging panel. More than ever this year, Football League clubs are providing families with engaging family areas and offering innovative matchday entertainment that delivers a ‘money can’t buy’ experience for young fans.
At Reading, our focus has consistently been on building long-term relationships with our supporters and providing a top-class matchday experience for everyone that visits Madejski Stadium – so that our fans of the future will grow up to be proud of the affinity they have with their club.
In recent seasons we have attempted to make attending matches more accessible to families and young supporters by offering discounts for 18-24 year-olds and offering free 7 & Under Season Tickets, as well running our matchday Fun Zone, offering family parking areas at the ground, and much more matchday activity. On top of these offerings, we have also made efforts to improve other important experiential factors – from the first point of contact, through to the journey to the stadium, activities around the stadium,the catering experience at the ground, and our interaction after the event.
Chief Executive Nigel Howe said: “To receive the Family Excellence Award once again is a testament to the hard work that goes on behind the scenes at Madejski Stadium to ensure that the matchday experience for families at Reading Football Club is consistently enjoyable.
“We are proud to be recognised in this way – and even though the current season isn’t yet over, we are already working hard to raise the bar even further in the 2016/17 campaign.”
In announcing the successful clubs, Football League Chief Executive Shaun Harvey added: “The Football League Family Excellence Award continues to provide clubs with a standard to aspire to. The objective of the Award is to recognise those clubs who have successfully attracted more families and young fans to matches.”
We wish to pass our thanks to every one of our matchday staff for helping to deliver such a positive experience for our fans at Madejski Stadium, as well as our supporters for creating an environment that is welcoming to everyone.
Next week we will be launching our annual End of Season survey, which will give all fans an opportunity to provide useful feedback on their matchday experiences, and helping us to keep improving what we do at Madejski Stadium. So please keep your eyes peeled on readingfc.co.uk for the launch of the survey!