At Parken Stadium, thousands of subscribers will welcome back Christian Eriksen
Tuesday, the 29th of March 2022 is an important date in Danish football history. It’s the date of Christian Eriksen’s comeback at Parken Stadium in the red national jersey – 262 days after the dreadful night in June during the European Championship, where Eriksen’s heart – and the heart of a nation – stopped beating.
Luckily, it ended well. Eriksen’s career came back on track with the transfer to Premier League and Brentford. Now, Eriksen’s comeback to the national team is a reality. Now, the preparations for the World Championship in Qatar can finally begin.
The summer of 2021 was defining in other ways as well. It was the summer when the ‘Danish Dynamite’ national team won the hearts of a nation. The football fever was at its peak and therefore, Danish Football Union (DBU) had the perfect conditions for success with their new business area: Building a solid subscription business around the Danish national team and Parken Stadium.
45.000 football fans now subscribe to the national team
In March of 2021, DBU launched its subscription concept “For Denmark” as an upgrade for the existing fan club. As a member of “For Denmark”, subscribers, for around $15 dollars a year, get access to buying tickets at a 10% discount and get them before anyone else. Additionally, subscribers get a series of benefits like a headstart on away-match tickets and discounts on merchandise.
In addition to the “For Denmark” subscription, DBU also launched its “Dynamite” subscription. Here, subscribers pay $10 or $15 dollars a month (depending on stadium placement) and in return, they get tickets for home games, without any additional payment.
Both subscriptions have succeeded for DBU and for the national team. By the end of 2021, DBU announced that they now had 45.000 “For Denmark” subscribers and more than 10.000 “Dynamite” subscribers. So, when Christian Eriksen enters the field with his teammates on Tuesday, it will be with tens of thousands of subscribers at the stadium.
The subscription is such a success that there is now a waiting list for the “Dynamite” subscription. I was on the waiting list myself for 6 months, but now I am part of the exclusive subscriber club and ready to enter Parken Stadium!
Since the launch of a subscription, FC Copenhagen has increased its stadium count dramatically
It’s not just the Danish national team that experiences success with selling stadium experiences as a subscription. In the summer of 2018, the football club of the Danish capital, FC Copenhagen launched a subscription concept.
Until then, fans of the club would buy a season card, if they wanted a seat for matches in the stadium. Every season, fans had to assess whether they wanted to buy another season of matches. But my colleague, Jonas Juul Jeppesen, challenged FC Copenhagen with the question: “Well, you’re not just a fan for a season, right? If you’re a fan, you’re a fan for life!”
This means it’s actually quite strange to sell season cards when customers want a continuous relationship with the club.
This became the starting gun for an exciting subscription project and now, fans of FC Copenhagen can buy a subscription for both fixed seats and for the possibility to get a ticket for every home game at Parken Stadium. For example, it costs around $10 dollars a month to have access to all of FC Copenhagen’s home games.
Recently, the club announced that now, more than 18.000 fans have a subscription or a member card. This number has almost doubled since 2018 and it is a significant part of bringing the average number of visitors this spring up to more than 20.000. This is the most in many, many years and an important number since the subscription is actually meant to get more fans into the stadium.
A fanship never expires – neither should the customer relation!
The idea of letting the subscription model take over from the traditional season cards is even looking to expand to other sports and cultural institutions. Lars Seier, the main investor in FC Copenhagen has brought the idea to a hockey team north of Copenhagen, and institutions like Tivoli and The Copenhagen Zoo are now selling subscriptions instead of member cards.
At Subscrybe, we’ve been involved in some of these processes and our recommendation is clear. It makes no sense to sell a season card with an expiration date, if more than 50% of your customers come back, year after year. The task of renewals is way too big and the risk is too high. The churn ends up being more than it should be. At the same time, it’s not very convenient for customers that they have to renew their ‘membership’ for places where they feel at home. It can even create a strange feeling that you’re not really welcome or valued.
Being a fan of your favourite sports team or cultural institution isn’t something that automatically expires. The customer relationship shouldn’t expire either!