Author: Blair Hughes

I'm a passionate advocate for fans and an authority in the fan engagement/experience space. I consult for global sporting leagues and teams around analysis, ideation and implementation to help deliver creative and innovative fan engagement solutions that grow fan bases and increase revenue opportunities. I'm an award winning marketer and accomplished writer who brings a diverse and creative approach to my consulting work as a result of a career and valuable life experiences gained from the education, sport, music and digital sectors.

Cricket Australia 4th Test Match. Australia V India, The Gabba, Brisbane, 15th January 2021

Outstanding fan experience at the The Gabba for the Cricket Australia test match on day 1 and 5. 

I took my daughter Ramona Josie along for her first ever game day on day 5 as it was free with a donation to the Movember charity. A moment I will cherish forever!

A fantastic day and a highlight of my sports calendar to head along to the test, especially on day 1 as I never miss this day.

Grateful to be able to attend and impressed by all the covid safety messaging and notices as well as the ushers and staff being helpful and well trained around these tricky new event day experiences for fans.

Well done to the stadium, staff, Stadiums Queensland, teams, Queensland Government and fans for all doing the right thing with masks and covid safety👏☀️🏏

Images of Brisbane 2020

2020. What a year!

On my walks and rides this year I decided to document life in Brisbane city and around the suburbs especially as it was so quiet out and about. 

Many of the photos below are from lockdown in Brisbane from late March to May. I would cycle or walk near my home in the early morning each day and capture life as I went by to later look back on this period of life in Brisbane. 

Enjoy

STATE OF ORIGIN III QUEENSLAND VS NSW, SUNCORP STADIUM, BRISBANE, 18/11/2020

49,155!

Biggest crowd ANYWHERE in the world since the COVID pandemic lockdowns began. What an achievement for Queensland and Australia.

What an absolutely incredible night at Suncorp Stadium for the National Rugby League State of Origin game 3 match between Queensland Rugby League and NSWRL. One of the best events I’ve had the chance to go to. Proud to be a Queenslander. Well done to everyone involved from the players to the venue and the staff to the fans.

📻 Quick chat with BBC London after the game too: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w172x2t408fvv6q

2020 AFL GRND FINAL, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 24/10/20

Went for an early morning walk around the The Gabba this morning to check out the set up ahead of the AFL – Australian Football League Grand Final tonight in Brisbane.

Had a couple of good chats with security and fans who are here already at 7am. It’s sure to be a memorable event in Australian sporting history. Have fun to anyone heading along.

Well done to all the staff at the AFL and clubs this year who kept the game running for fans (especially all the staff unfortunately let go – you all did a great job, be proud!)

Gold Coast Titans NRL Fan Experience, CBUS Stadium, Gold Coast, Queensland, 12/09/20

Checked out the impressive Gold Coast Titans Cbus Super Stadium game day against the Brisbane Broncos tonight on the Goldie. 

Here are some quick snaps from what was a quality match at this great game day out. It’s one I encourage any sports fan to get along to as well. 

Brisbane Lions AFL Game Day Fan Experience at The GABBA 23/08/2020

I headed out to the Brisbane Lions AFL – Australian Football League match last night at The Gabba in Brisbane and was mighty impressed by the hard working Lions and venue staff who put on a stellar show keeping fans safe during these crazy COVID times in the sports business.

I thought it’d be a good idea to document with my camera as many interesting angles of the game day fan journey back at the Gabba for a Lions game during this COVID period to look back on down the track too.

With so many folks losing their roles across the globe I also think it’s important more than ever that we give thanks to the security guards, the ticket ushers, the F&B staff, cleaners and club land folks….staying positive, saying thanks, it all goes a long way in any industry really and helps us stick together and get through this together.

Great win by the Lions too.

It’ll be good to have the Grand Final at the Gabba 😉

Here are some snaps from the game day out at the Gabba.

Brisbane Broncos Vs Gold Coast Titans NRL Fan Experience, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Queensland 27/06/20

Here’s a snapshot documenting the fan journey tonight heading back to the Brisbane Broncos game days at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia on Saturday night.

10,000 fans were allowed back on the night for the NRL game.

Train to the game. Chelmer station to Milton station. Free transport still on offer for fans here heading the game.

Note the clear communications around ticket conditions for the COVID19 plan on this game day.

The march to the stadium from the station. Not as vocal as usual but grateful and lucky to be back here.

Ticketing. Paper PDFs or mobile ticketing only. Gates open only from 45 minutes before kick off.

F&B. Cashless/card only. Line markings. Social distancing maintained and respected by fans. Speed was fast to be served. Staff friendly and good on them for being back too. They need this for jobs as well.

Seating. Strictly only allowed to use the 2 seats you were able to purchase and must keep 1.5m away from each other. Must remain within the zone allocated on your ticket.

Hand sanitizer stations abundant throughout the venue.

Well done to all of the staff from the Broncos membership team to the venue staff and everyone else in between who put this on for fans with only a few day’s notice. Huge respect for that team work.

3AW Radio Melbourne: How to engage yourself as a footy fan during COVID-19 times

A quick chat with 3AW Radio about the NRL/AFL return and fan engagement. 

Footy fans are being encouraged to get creative as the codes return over the coming weeks.

Tom Elliott spoke with fan engagement specialist Blair Hughes about the matter on Thursday, ahead of the NRL’s return.

He’s set up his own stadium in his shed at home.

Click PLAY below to hear more on 3AW

Channel 7 Brisbane News NRL Segment 27/05/2020

So this was fun 😂 Thank you to 7 News Brisbane and Steve Titmus for coming round to film this segment last night on my passion for fans, mental health, NRL and the Brisbane Broncos.

Hey you! Yes, you! Are you missing live sport?

Perhaps you have had some time on your hands to get creative and improve your arts and crafts skills during COVID19? Do you have a shed?

Well, you too can create your very own game-day fan experience with your very own stadium at home.

Introducing……’Hughesy’s Shed Stadium’.

– Seating capacity: 000,005. Stadium upgrade to 000,020 in June TBC ✅

– Ticket booth and working turnstile ✅

– Kids fan engagement zone with trading card station ✅

– F&B outlet with inclusive food options including vegan pies, chippies, and traditional lolly bags! ✅

– Highly engaged crowd atmosphere ✅

– Realistic turf ✅

– Merch stand ✅

– HD Mega 50 inch scoreboard ✅

– Sport LED ‘fluro’ lighting ✅

Total cost: $4.50

Keep smiling. Keep laughing. Stay positive and look after yourself and your family and friends. More sport will be back soon and fans will be back in the stands sometime soon too.

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