I know the push is on for NRL clubs to increase membership numbers and it’s very pleasing to see we are heading towards achieving 12,000 members for the first time. I think we are currently 11th for total members and there are two clubs just ahead of us, that we can probably overtake with a win this weekend. A pretty solid performance after a tumultuous offseason.
Increasing member numbers and positive comparisons to other clubs is a great barometer for how the club is performing and engaging with fans BUT does it really make that big a difference to our (and other clubs) bottom line? How much more “profitable” is a member to a club versus a regular fan? Is a regular fan who attends games more profitable because he/she hasn’t received discounts?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for memberships but most people become members, at least partly, due to the benefits received (eg, that could be discounted ticket pricing or the supporter gear or access to member days, etc). My point is all these things have a cost, so becoming a member is not like a donation to the club.
I’m sure members must be worth more to clubs than ordinary fans or clubs wouldn’t go to the trouble. And every bit helps! If the economics are each membership is equivalent to an extra $30; than that’s an extra $350k to run our club at our current membership number. And in the case of Souths that would be $1M (with their 30,000 members).
There will be people that read this a say “my membership cost $184”; the point is you would have paid most of this anyway as an ordinary fan.