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Game Day Program


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Many people have asked us over the first three seasons to come up with a relevant game day program - like you see at the other sports in Toronto, and perhaps more importantly - like you see in other footballing cultures. We're looking at giving it a go next season I think, with the help of a local publisher.

The economics (not the only reason to do things I know, but important!) are difficult to wrap our heads around for one key reason: unlike the other sports in Toronto, our Season Seat Holders come to almost every game. That means it is the same 16,000 people coming through the turnstiles game in and game out. So when we are looking at the prospect of selling this thing (I think $5 is the right price) we need to achieve something rare: you (our faithful supporters) need to want to buy every single issue.

We have tossed some ideas around but if you guys have taught me anything its that you ALSO have good ideas!

So, we can:

- first and foremost make it relevant. current stats, other data

- affordable ($5)

- an education tool (who the heck are we playing? tell us about the other team!)

- some sort of collectible component (some sort of incentive to collect all 18!)

What else?

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Paul, I think it would be a burdensome task to produce 18 standout, 1st quality programs.

I'd suggest doing 6 issues only (a new one for every 3 games).

For instance, week 1, come out with something glittery that people will want to buy. However, to keep it as generic as possible, don't print game day rosters for either team or a scouting report for the team we will be playing. Instead, provide that information in the form of a 4 page insert that fits nicely inside each program (size it so it doesn't stick out) and make that insert customizeable for weeks 2 and 3 as well (the TFC info might not change much but you can have up to date scouting reports for the next 2 opponents as well).

Then, for game 4, come out with something new and repeat the process above...

The insert can allow you to provide the relevant stats, league stories, etc. etc... without costing you an arm and a leg in weekly printing costs.

That's my 2 cents. I'd be inclined to pick up a program a couple of times per year at $5-$10 each but its unlikely I'd buy 18 and I'd suggest it could be pretty challenging to produce interesting content to fill 18 unique editions. I'm sure there are plenty of freelancers out there more than happy to try to help you fill those pages but the internet is going to make most of that info pretty redundant (more often than not) by the time it hits the news stand.

Allow season ticket holders to receive free copies of the folded insert by presenting their TFC card that comes with each season ticket package.

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Even semi-pro teams with under 500 regular supporters are able to come up with a match day program that is an interesting read in a Scottish context. This should be highly doable when crowds of 20,000 are involved. I think people who use the TFC messageboards lose sight of the fact that only a minority of the fanbase obsessively keeps up to date with TFC related developments online. There is plenty of website content about TFC, the opponent in the game and the league in general that could be recycled primarily for the benefit of those who don't. I wouldn't lose any sleep if people on the messageboards find most of the content boring and tend not to buy the program but having a supporters group page containing key contact info about things like upcoming away trips and the lyrics of new chants might be a way to keep that portion of the fan base involved.

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I would suggest that some copies (at random) have real autographs of TFC players. Now the programs become collectors' items as well.

I've seen the QPR programs (thanks dsqpr) and they're high-gloss, high-quality books. People will pay if they perceive value in their purchase. And have the programs available later for online purchase, for those TFC fans outside of Toronto or those who missed the match.

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Glad you raised this topic cause its something that has been bugging me for from day one.

I would really like to see lineup sheet (for both teams) available to all fans at the entrance. Doesn't have to be anything fancy, just a piece of paper with name, number and position for each team. Crap, we used to get this at the Lynx games. Cant count the number of times that I have wondered:" OK, whose number 8 for the visitors".

Plus often with the noise in the stands, you cant hear the PA anouncement of the subs.

A program can be bulky to carry around but if I have to, i'll take it if its affordable (like at 5 bucks) and it has the rosters.

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