Membership and Supporters’ Clubs
What a season to be a Cityzen. And it seems that many people agree, with the community growing by 74% in 2018-19. Wherever they are in the world, we want Cityzens to have the best possible experience, and so we have significantly scaled up our in-person engagement in key markets, as well as offering new ways for fans to engage with us through our digital and social channels.
This year, members were given the opportunity to vote on a range of initiatives. These included the Etihad Player of the Month and Player of the Season – with both receiving a record number of votes – along with alternative designs for the 125th anniversary shirt and the Trophy Tour destinations. A highlight for many was a chance to vote on the design of the banners to be unveiled at Wembley for the Carabao Cup Final, at which photographs submitted by Cityzens also adorned the dressing room walls. Competition winners were flown in from around the world to see games in Manchester, and from Manchester to attend European away games. We also held a Cityzens v Supporters Club match, played on the pitch at the Etihad.
Junior Cityzens were offered some unbelievable experiences, including taking part in the Christmas photoshoot, grilling Vincent Kompany at a Junior Press Conference, and leading the team out on matchdays throughout the season. Two young fans had the surprise of their lifetimes when David Silva and Phil Foden turned up on their doorstep to help decorate their house for Christmas before joining them for a back-garden kickabout.
2019 sees our Official Supporters Club (OSC) celebrate its 70-year milestone, having been founded in 1949. By June this year, its membership had reached almost 22,000 members from 277 branches in 57 different countries. It grew its membership by 17% in the last season alone.
Ask any member of the OSC what’s most important and you’re likely to hear that it’s about getting together with other City fans to watch and enjoy games, but it’s really important to us to make their experiences supporting City better still.
To that end, we have worked with 210 branches (and counting) to produce custom plaques for them, and as many as 50 branches welcomed the Premier League trophy at their regular venues. City executives went on the road six times in 2018-19 to visit OSC branches in Manchester. OSC members from around the world who visited the Etihad Stadium this year were given the chance to put on their boots and step on the hallowed turf for a 'Play on the Pitch' experience.
And of course, the OSC had a very special part to play in the Premier League Trophy Parade in Manchester in May, presenting the Etihad Player of the Season award on stage at the Trophy Parade, and driving through the city centre just behind the players in their own bus.
City Football Schools, which offer coaching to young fans around the world, continued their international growth, with two new programmes opening in Beijing and the first ever joint Manchester City-New York City courses delivered in the US.