Doncaster Rovers has been named The Football League’s Nickelodeon Family Club of the Year for League 1 at The Football League Awards 2016.Rovers received the award at the gala ceremony at Manchester Central on Sunday evening, attended by over 600 guests from clubs, sponsors and the football industry.
Rovers have engaged with local families and supporters in many unique and innovative ways. The club’s ambition of ensuring fans feel valued whether it is their first game or their 500th has been demonstrated through a number of projects. Earlier this season when we faced Rochdale saw our second Junior Takeover day, where children were able to apply to experience 35 special match day jobs at the club. This resulted in a fourfold increase in Family Stand ticket sales for the game.
The ‘First Time Fans’ initiative also sees the club mascot deliver a scarf and programme for free, while the innovative ‘Donny’s Deli’ gives families the chance to pre-order a lunch box and have it delivered to their seat at half time.
On receiving the award, Marketing and Communications Manager Ryan Murrant said:
“It’s fantastic for the club.We are absolutely delighted to be recognised for our efforts and dedication to making the family experience here a good one. We run a series of initiatives throughout the season that allow us to engage with families, school children and parents alike and we are proud of the journey that we're going on. When we run these initiatives we see a significant increase in matchday ticket sales and it is then down to us to do enough to get them to come back.
"Our junior takeover day is a standout initiative in the Football League, as is our Donny's Deli where children have their lunchbox delivered by the mascot and amongst other things that we do on matchdays, we believe we offer a valued day out in Doncaster.
Results haven't always gone our way this season on the pitch, but with the support from the board, Gavin Baldwin and Liam Scully, Darren Ferguson and his staff, we are confident that we keep families entertained when they are here and we thank them for their support. It's great for us all and shows that we're doing the right things to build a fan base for the future.
"It will always be our aim to make our fans proud of the club and to instill civic pride across Doncaster."
Doncaster Rovers were one of three divisional Nickelodeon Family Club of the Year winners, with Fulham winning the Championship and overall award, and Oxford United being awarded the League 2 accolade.
Football League clubs excel at attracting young fans and families to their grounds to watch live football. By using mystery shopper families, The Football League’s Family Excellence Award scheme acknowledges the clubs that are delivering a fantastic family match day experience. The Nickelodeon Family Club of the Year award honours those clubs that are leading the way across The Football league in continuing to push the standard even higher to providing the very best experience for families.
Shaun Harvey, Chief Executive of The Football League, said: "During another action packed Football League season it is important to acknowledge outstanding performances, both on and off the pitch.
“We’re delighted to recognise this special group of nominees who have shown exceptional levels of talent, dedication and achievement. Congratulations to everyone who was nominated and particularly our winners, all of whom are deserving of their accolade.”
Here's a small clip of what we do for families on a matchday to make it a day to remember for them: