Wembley Stadium hosted the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final between Manchester City and West Ham United where the former securing their 2nd cup for the season after a well contested 3-0 win. It was difficult to take our eyes off the pitch but here’s what we observed on the business side.
- Branding The Fan Journey- Usually, on high profile matchdays at Wembley Stadium, the famous Olympic Way is full of banners and flags that make you realise that you have arrived at something special. Sadly, this wasn’t the case this time. The only branded touchpoint with the fans was the tube gates at Wembley Park station that promoted the match for ticket sales purposes only. An FA Cup final is a day to remember, especially with a high percentage of the crowd consisting of children. Sure, there’s a cost attached to brand such a large space but making sure the fans are engaged throughout their journey is key.
- Fanzones- Ever since the Boxpark on Olympic Way was opened it was hosting pre-match activities. A variety of food and drinks on offer, plus being a closed venue makes it an ideal fan zone. In contrast to previous matches where the Boxpark acted as the host for only one set of fans. This time, it was access to all. However, pre-registration was needed to enter before the match, after it a match ticket was enough. A guest appearance by Arsenal’s Beth Mead and Birmingham City’s Ellen White was the highlight. An alternative fan zone was set up at down the line providing with activations such as a photo booth and a shot power tracker by SSE.
- Digital engagement- Snapchat filters, Instagram stories it was all there to choose from and share your support with special features created by the SSE. Official accounts related to the event kept pushing different content and glimpses into the players’ personalities in addition to the usual performance stats. The #SSEWomensFACUP was trending on Twitter since the morning (probably as of Friday too)
- Sponsors- Whether it’s a rights issue or not, apart from the SSE which is the competition’s title sponsor and Budweiser which is one of the FA’s sponsors and was providing the drinks in the Fan Zone no other sponsor was activating it’s brand and trying to connect with the fans. Considering the amount of space around and within Wembley stadium. We’d expect more brands to come to life.
- Attendance- 52,000 tickets issued, Official attendance was 43,265. Leading to the World Cup in a month’s time we are seeing women’s games being made more accessible which leads to higher attendances. While it is not the first time a Women’s Cup Final is played in Wembley Stadium but attracting 40,000+ again is important. Adult tickets at £15 and kids go free certainly helped. It wouldn’t be wrong to assume that given West Ham’s mens team played as well attendance would have been higher.
These are the 5 things we learned from the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final. Were you there? Share with us your experience in the comments section below!