The UK was one of the countries that went through an extended lockdown in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus also brought all sports to a complete standstill in the UK including football which was a big disappointment to both players and fans.
When the Premier League re-started, games took place in empty stadiums but clubs were able to bring in revenues because they were still earning revenues from adverts and television and streaming rights.
Grassroots Clubs Struggle Financially
Hundreds of grassroots football clubs in the UK did not have the luxury to fall back on streaming rights and were unable to raise any funds due to the lockdown restrictions. A number of these football clubs were close to going out of business and it forced a few of them to be innovative and look for answers.
Chester-le-Street United was one of the few grassroots clubs that were better prepared to handle the pandemic because they had unknowingly put together a plan in 2019 that helped them stay afloat financially in 2020.
In 2019, Philipp Cummins who is the chair of Chester-le-Street United took the responsibility for building a website and app for the club and putting together an online fundraising model to help the club bring in more finances.
Phil spent a lot of time looking online to see if there was an existing website or mobile app that they could adopt and use to connect with fans and raise funds. To his surprise, he found out that there was no such fundraising app specially designed for grassroots sports teams.
How Club Supporter Was Born
He immediately realized that there was a gap in the market to create such an app that would enable not just football teams but all grassroots sports teams to build a connection with their fans and open new channels for funds to come in. Phil pitched the idea to his school friends David Copple and Anthony Daglish about creating a free platform that would allow sports teams to achieve this objective.
The team worked on building this free app and decided to launch it in October 2019 under the name Club Supporter. The core idea behind the app was to bring club fundraising initiatives into the 21st century and allow the team to connect with friends, fans and supporters who would be willing to interact with them and also make financial donations.
Club Supporter Gets License From UKGC
The UK Gambling Commission granted their license request and Club Supporter was up and running. Within the first year of operation, Club Supporter managed to bring in over £35,000 in combined revenues for all member clubs that were now using the fundraising app.
Club Supporter offers clubs a variety of different options from interacting with fans, offering lottery games and raising funds through charity donations. Lottery-based games offered by Club Supporter represent a milder form of gambling, which calls for responsible gambling practices.
Club Supporter has grown significantly during the last 12 months and the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the reasons for this growth. UK grassroots clubs in multiple sports such as football, cricket and rugby have embraced the app and have used its features to create more fan interaction and bring in more revenues.
Club Supporter Bringing In £25,000 Per Month
Club Supporter reported that it is now bringing in over £25,000 in combined revenues each month for all of its registered members. Those numbers are expected to go up as more clubs start making use of this app and building a stronger fan base.
Whitley Bay Football Club was one of the first football clubs to start using the app. The club takes part in the Northern Football League and signed up in Jan 2020. The latest reports show that the club has brought in over £2,000 in total revenues and created interactions with over 150 fans.
Whitley Bay F.C. director Martin Kelly spoke highly of the Club Supporter app stating that it enabled the club to step into the 21st century and adopt the latest digital trends to their advantage.
About Club Supporter
Club Supporter is based out of Houghton-le-Spring and operates out of the Evolve Business Centre. The free app cannot be downloaded on a PC/laptop. The developers have made it compatible with both Android and iOS mobile platforms. To download the app, you will have to open your Chrome or Safari browser and then type in “clubsupporter.app”
Once you do this, the download will start. Follow the instructions to install the app successfully on your mobile phone. There are two options to use the app. The first option is for you to use the app as a fan and get in touch with your favorite sports club. The second option is for you to use the app on behalf of your club.
If you are looking to bring in more funds for your sports teams and build a bigger fan base, go ahead and try out the Club Supporter app.