Atletico de Kolkata have accredited an official supporters' club which will sell up to 4000 memberships in a mouth-watering deal that is bound to attract a lot of fans.
Club owners have accredited 'ATK Fans Fraternity' to offer supporters a membership that will cost Rs 800, which will include a home season ticket (seven games) and an official club jersey. All these members will be seated in the same stand at the Salt Lake Stadium during Indian Super League 2015, which starts on 3 October.
"Atletico's management wants to actively start keeping a fans' register and this is just the beginning of that. These 4000 fans will be seated in the same area and are promised lots of media coverage during games. The area designated will most probably be opposite the VIP stand," Pradip Chakraborty, president of the ATK Fans Fraternity, told Firstpost.
The fraternity has not purchased these season tickets from the club: so for example, if they manage to sell only 3000 memberships, the remaining tickets will go back on sale on a match-by-match basis.
"We made three presentations to the club management, showing them all the type of activities we planned for these fans at the stand and how it would create a guaranteed home support for them. It's a win-win situation for both the club and the fans," Chakraborty added.
This is similar to what most top clubs do in the world's most popular leagues: sell a huge percentage of season tickets to fans, meaning they are guaranteed to be cheered on during home games. Some tickets are reserved for away fans and some for online and offline sale. Though 4000 fans is a very small number considering Salt Lake's 68,000 capacity, but at least it's a start.
"This is the first official fans forum in the ISL and Delhi Dynamos and FC Pune City are also planning something on the same lines. But we don't know of any other club offering season tickets in such a way," Chakrobarty said.
The fraternity has more than 11,000 likes on Facebook and showcase a unique way to garner support. More season tickets mean less worry for clubs to sell tickets per match. For clubs with smaller stadiums, it could be even more beneficial to come up with such an idea.
Last year, Atletico offered fans two home tickets free if they bought five. This year, the same offer has been bettered and considering Kolkata's passion for football, selling 4000 memberships won't be an issue.
Chakraborty is also looking to tie-up with big brands to spread the word, not limiting the offer to only those who are active on social media. The defending champions play their first match in Chennai, against Chennaiyin FC.
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Updated Date: Aug 27, 2015 15:56 PM