Less than three years ago, the Canberra Raiders were struggling to reach 10,000 members.
Fast forward to present day and the Raiders have reached their all-time membership record by nearly doubling that in the space of three seasons.
Raiders Commercial and Marketing Manager Jason Mathie said the new record of 19,319 spoke volumes about how the club was able to engage fans to come to matches.
“It is fantastic. We have 19,319 members currently and I know that our club is really optimistic about hitting 20,000 which is something we have banded around for a couple of seasons now,” he said.
“We really need to thank most importantly Greg Johnson and his team from AustBrokers Canberra because it is a fantastic number for our club but it wouldn’t have been achieved if we didn’t have the fantastic support of our membership partner.”
Mr Mathie believes the membership would continue to rise if the Raiders had a city stadium but is content to play with the cards he is dealt.
“I know our club is very supportive of a city stadium and potentially one with a roof,” he said.
“If we could have a better facility, then I think there is a great opportunity that we can grow.
“Having said that, we just have to live with what we have got and I think we have shown that notwithstanding the cards we are dealt at the moment, we are able to grow our membership.”
Mr Mathie said the next step was getting all the members to the stadium to enjoy their improved game day experience.
“This morning I was chatting to the ticketing and membership manager and she mentioned that of all the ticketed members we have, which is just over 80 per cent, we are only getting 50 per cent of those people coming to each and every game, so there is plenty of scope for growth in game-day attendance.”
“To improve that, we just need to keep chipping away and having conversations with the people who are absorbing our product.”
“The changes that we made were not just about promoting the game of football on the field but actually giving people the opportunity to come here for the experience.”
Teenage sensation Nick Cotric thanked the members for their support and believes the fans help the Raiders to get over the line in close matches.
“It means a lot for the players and a lot for me too to have great support from the members and the fans that come out to help us get through the game,” he said.
“It’s good to have all that support from all the fans and the Viking clap. The more spectators and members that come to the game is better for the players and helps us get home in the close games.”