Published: 24th January 2024
Since the beginning of the 2023/24 campaign, Dundee United has made significant steps in enhancing our digital reach, output and growth.
There are several key areas in which we have embraced digitalisation, allowing us to broaden our engagement, connect with supporters across various touchpoints and enhance the overall fan journey.
Here’s how you can keep up to date with all things #DUFC!
Shed Talk – Matchday Programme
Before the beginning of the campaign, Dundee United made the difficult decision to move away from the traditional matchday programme.
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There were multiple factors considered in the process, including declining programme sales and a wider look at sustainability within Scottish Football.
The transition has allowed for greater flexibility in our content offering and distribution, enabling fans to become more engaged with the programme. Our matchday programme is also completely free to view for supporters – with Season Ticket holders and Hospitality Guests getting exclusive access the day before each home league fixture.
Since its inception, we’ve now had close to 70,000 impressions and over 30,000 reads across 13 editions - boasting an almost 500% increase in readership.
Whilst reducing costs, this also offers a significant opportunity for our partners and corporate network. The digital platform allows businesses exposure to their selected target audience, enhanced visibility and the ability to forge links with our supporters. The nature of the online programme also offers a different kind of touch point to a traditional printed advert, with video and web links easily incorporated.
As part of the change, Dundee United and Curtis Sport have continued our long-standing partnership, with printed programmes still being produced on a made-to-order basis. You can pick up any of our issues for just £3!
Dundee United's Head of Marketing, Luke Bain, commented: "We have been encouraged by the enthusiastic response, uptake and readership of Shed Talk so far this season."
"The prevalence of social media and online content has changed the way supporters digest club-based information - with multiple online platforms offering fans on-demand content that was previously synonymous with a traditional matchday programme.
"As mentioned, the shift from a printed and charged-for copy to a free online programme demonstrates our commitment to embracing technology and evolving the matchday experience for supporters.
"Switching to digital has allowed us to provide more enriched copy, featuring behind-the-scenes footage, in-depth insights and interactive elements."
Social, Web and DUTV
The club continuously strives to enhance the connection between supporters and the club through various storytelling pieces.
Last season, our overall social media following grew by 16% - ranking as the highest among Scotland’s top clubs. Delivering best-in-class match-centric content is of paramount importance, whilst also striking a healthy balance to spotlight various other areas of the club, such as our Women’s Team, Academy and Community Trust.
Our weekly ‘Story of the Match’ feature has received widely positive reviews as we issue an access-all-areas pass to Arabs by offering them a cinematic insight into a first-team matchday, whilst more unique pieces showcasing our United for 100 Years Exhibition and DUCT’s Festive Friends initiative attained fabulous engagement.
In tandem with video content, further emphasis has been placed on improving the frequency of our written pieces on the club website - ranging from highlighting the key points from first-team press conferences to reviews of off-field events taking place in and around Tannadice.
Aligning with our rebrand just over 18 months ago, our website homepage had a facelift, bringing it up to date as a site fit for the digital modern era. We are continuing to work with our Website Provider, MTC, to give more life to the website in its entirety and bring secondary pages up to par. Supporters can expect to see more positive changes over the coming months.
There have been challenges faced in our DUTV output this season – which has come as a frustration to both the club and our subscribers. At away matches, stream quality and availability are highly dependent on facilities at the opposition’s stadium – much of which is extremely limited. Significant investment has been made in hardware to help alleviate any potential issues, however, the club is committed to providing live coverage and we are continually looking for short-term improvements.
Another difficult decision was to move to cashless transactions inside the stadium. Card or contactless transactions are a more efficient way of taking payment, resulting in shorter queues at our kiosks – allowing you to see more of the match instead of concourse walls.
As we and other Scottish football clubs become more digitally aware across the board, it allows the club to align with broader trends in consumer behaviour and expectations.
While the transition has initially come with some frustration for some supporters, the long-term benefits allow for a more efficient, secure and streamlined experience.
Online Retail Sales
Our online shop allows us to connect with fans all over the world, bringing the wider Dundee United community closer to home.
Despite online stores being old news, online sales have seen an upward trend in recent seasons, with the split between in-store and online orders becoming closer. We’ve also seen several pre-sale items listed exclusively online such as our Paint Splatter retro shirt and Street Black third shirt.
Ticketing and Season Tickets
Working alongside our Ticketing Provider, Future Ticketing, we’ve also given supporters the opportunity to add their digital Season Ticket or individual match tickets to their Apple or Google Wallets.
We are currently in the process of having all individual match tickets available to download to your mobile device rather than the standard e-ticket that has been used in recent seasons.
The change allows for seamless entry to Tannadice Park making it more convenient for both supporters and security. Switching to digital tickets allows the club to reduce costs while contributing to environmental sustainability with minimised paper waste.
Hospitality and Events
We’ve also seen a switch to digital in many aspects of DUFC Hospitality.
The approach to purchasing tickets for Hospitality and Events has been streamlined as we work with Fanbase – making it quicker, easier, and hassle-free to join us on both a matchday and at club events.
ShedTalk and matchday team sheets are now both available digitally through QR codes within our matchday lounges for all hospitality guests.
If you've attended a match this season, you'll also have seen our Hospitality Photographer visiting the lounges, with images made available the Monday following each match.
The club is committed to enhancing dialogue with supporters and this season, we have offered all hospitality guests the opportunity to provide online feedback following their visit. Supporters’ feedback is valued, allowing us to make continual improvements and enhance the matchday experience at Tannadice Park.
Chief Executive, Luigi Capuano, added: "The ongoing digital transformation of the club will continue to be a vital part of our strategy here at Dundee United."
"Evidently, there is a lot of forward momentum in the way we are embracing change, and each department is working to continually enhance the supporter experience.
"By embracing digitalisation, we can both improve our operational output whilst continuing to enhance and transform the way we engage with our supporters.
"We are eager to explore innovative avenues that bring fans closer to the action, both on matchday and non-matchdays as we continue to enhance our digital engagement."