London Sports Business Internship Blog #9: Day 3 at QPR

6.10pm. Marble Arch tube. The Smiths ‘There is a light that never goes out’
Today was a late start owing to the fact that we had a fan forum happening tonight from 530-730pm. One of the interesting things to learn by working at a major sports club has been to see how the team manage their week. All departments work 5 day weeks but then also work home matches, making this week a 6 day week due to the Liescter game on Saturday. Therefore there is no real staff timetable as theres so much on in terms of meetings and matches so being flexible is a must with this job.
Not sure how this got here!

Not sure how this got here!

I had a brief sleep in followed by a quicker transit due to less people on the tube and made my way to the stadium at 10am to get stuck into more of the research I was doing yesterday. I sent off a few emails to a few organisations followed by some emails to some A-League teams regarding their great fan engagement ideas which I was going to bring up at the forum tonight in response to fan queries. Im really passionate about promoting the great work that the FFA and the clubs back home are doing so I’m taking every opportunity I get to talk about the growth of the game down under.
Heres a link (www.pinterest.com/mrblairhughes) to the Pinterest site I set up to collate my ideas regarding fan engagement and marketing in the sports business. Great to see so many A-League ideas on here now.
1967 League Cup trophy

1967 League Cup trophy

Had a few meetings around disability services on match days and issues involved in dealing with these laws plus a 100+ year old stadium and how best to manage situations. Interesting too that the turnstiles have had to be widened and bigger stretchers ordered due to rise in obesity amongst fans not just here but across the UK. Got to make a few calls to the Premier League, wo…rked on collating information on EPL/Championship clubs membership packages for the box office and had detailed discussions with 2 old boy ex MET police detective inspectors now security advisors regarding firms, flare issues and crowd behaviour. Finished up at 8pm after a fan forum looking into stadium wifi, stewarding issues and safe standing and e-cigarettes the latter two of which I collated information and research on and got to talk about what Suncorp stadium/bris roar do at games regarding safe standing. Interesting if anyone wants to know but my info found 6/44 championship/epl clubs have allowed e-cigarettes or have smoking areas, but as my call to the premier league office found out that from 2014/15 all smoking or as they call it here for e-cigs ‘vaping’ will be banned under ground regulations. Also interesting re Hillsborough/standing but its not actually a criminal offence/illegal to stand at games, however it IS a ground regulation to sit on seats therefore failure to do so warrants ejection. Anyway not long til England trials safe standing. Bristol City already have the plans in place for their new ground.
Another pitch view

Another pitch view

I then moved onto collecting some information for the box office in terms of what the Premier League and Championship clubs are doing in terms of memberships, ticketing and loyalty schemes. It will be great to see the game get to a point over in Oz where we have loyalty schemes in place with a points system to purchase tickets for games.
We had an operations meeting in the afternoon which touched on how the club provided disability seating and services. It really brought home how important it was the cater for all fans as well as how far facilities and services for disabled fans around the world has increased over the past decade.
 Another solid day of learning! Everyones been super nice and are giving me heaps of work to do.Massive game coming up 1 QPR vs 3 Leicester on Saturday. Ill get to sit in with the football police unit (thats right a dedicated unit of London Police that control football matches) from the control room on saturday, should be a huge insight!Never stop learning and asking questions, it will get you everywhere!

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