Saturday, October 10, 2015
This footy season, I've produced a matchday programme/brochure to cover every home game at RSN. It's not something that's been done before, whereas of course, it's part and parcel of most professional matches around the world. Hell, I started writing programmes in my mid-teens for my hometown non-league club in the mid-70s. We've given the 16-page colour brochure away for free with the entry ticket (which costs fifty cents or a dollar), so it's obviously a loss-leader as we seek to secure fans for home games at RSN in this our first season. I've asked for feedback today on what the fans think of it and how they'd like to see it improve - it's important to listen, especially when it's something very new to them.
As for matchday programmes: They began at Preston in the UK some 135 years ago, doled out free or sold for a halfpenny, pieces of cardboard naming the players and, possibly, the club's upcoming fixtures. The first FA Cup final programme (1 penny) to allow advertisements (for Madame Tussaud's and two music halls) was in 1892 at the Oval. Programmes became even more useful when shirt numbering (1-11 and 12-22) arrived in the late 1920s: the first FA Cup final when the teams were numbered was 1933. And so on. Today, its a global hobby with auction houses like Christie's and Sotheby's reporting a brisk trade. The word record sale is for a programme from 1882 that sold for $54,000. So hang onto your PPCFC match brochures, they could be worth something in years to come.