“No more us and them.”
Those are the words of Partick Thistle Marketing Director, Jim Alexander, talking about how fans and the board have come together on the OneThistle project.
Started during 2012 the project was inspired by the troubles of Spanish club Espanyol many years before, where fans stepped in to run the club when a cash crisis put the club on the verge of bankruptcy.
Although the Jags didn’t have the same financial motivation there was an understanding that in order to improve the club’s fortunes they needed to do things differently. And tapping into the experience of the fan base seemed an obvious route to do more with the limited resources available.
Matchday Experience volunteers identify improvements, feed this back to the club then monitor the outcomes. Simple examples of quick wins include getting the row numbers repainted on the steps of the stand and changing where stewards stand to enable fans to celebrate goals without spilling onto the pitch.
Dave Johnston, a fan who got involved in improving the experience of attending the matches, explained, “The Matchday experience goes from the minute you leave the house to the second you walk back through the door after the game. OneThistle strives to make that the most enjoyable experience possible. If you do that, people will tell their friends and colleagues, invite them along. And if they enjoy it, they will come back.”