Gimcheon Sangmu Professional Football Club is applying for the third edition of the 2023 Fan Friendly Club Award, which recognizes clubs for their fan-friendly marketing efforts. Gimcheon Sangmu ranked fifth (33.2 points) in the first round of judging. Having won the inaugural Fan Friendly Club Award in 2023, the club is aiming to win the overall award for the 2023 season with a third win. If Gimcheon Sangmu wins the third Fan Friendly Club Award, it will win the Fan Friendly Club Award for the entire K League 2 category.
□ Unique event for Gimcheon Sangmu, the only ‘military team’ in the world
As the only military team in the world among professional teams, Gimcheon Sangmu held various events that utilized the team’s characteristics. The team held fan-player communication events such as fan signing ceremonies and memorabilia raffle events, as well as military retirement ceremonies held when players retire. In particular, the team held an early retirement ceremony for Cho Young-wook for the first time in the team’s history, which elicited a strong fan response. The ceremony is a traditional event unique to Gimcheon Sangmu and was ranked as the No. 1 event for fan satisfaction.
At the Gimcheon 6th retirement ceremony held on November 26, the club also held the first female sniper flower shoes event. It is a storytelling event where the players themselves present flower shoes to fans who have been waiting for their favorite player’s retirement. The winner was selected by the player himself after reading the story, strengthening the bond between fans and players.
In addition, the team also made sure that individual fans were satisfied by organizing a military retreat. This is an event only available to Gimcheon among the 25 K League clubs, and it is the only fan service that can only be seen during the military career of your favorite player.
□ ‘Gimcheon everywhere!’ Gimcheon Sangmu all over the region
Gimcheon Sangmu has implemented various events to promote local ties, participate in local events, and grow future generations. The annual ‘Gimcheon Here’ event, which introduces local attractions in Gimcheon City, attracted 152 participations and a participation rate of 88.9% for all matches. The team also implemented a local win-win project by making cup holders and wet wipes and distributing them to local cafes and restaurants. The two events ranked first and second in fan satisfaction, respectively.
In October, Gimcheon Sangmu participated in the Gimcheon Grape Festival, a local event, and set a record for the largest number of visitors (3,200) among participating booths, and was well received by fans for operating an interactive booth. As part of the project to grow future generations, we implemented soccer clinics and traffic maps to improve children’s satisfaction.
In addition, fans’ opinions were reflected through a survey to improve the viewing environment and two-way communication was achieved through the planning and implementation of club events.
Finally, we overcame the structural limitations of Gimcheon Sangmu, a military team, and implemented various player utilization events through constant communication with the Armed Forces Sports Department. The team increased fan satisfaction through various efforts to meet fan needs, such as fall workouts, fall athletic competitions, and open training.
As a result of these efforts, Gimcheon Sangmu achieved an increase in the number of paid spectators and fan satisfaction. Compared to the previous period, the number of paid spectators increased by 71.3%, with a maximum increase of 591%, and the average number of paid spectators continued to increase during the third period.
With both the process and the results, Gimcheon Sangmu is determined to win the Fan Friendly Club Award, which is determined by the sum of media and fan votes, for the 2023 season.