Andrew Griffiths has become Widnes Vikings 2500th Full Vikings Stronghold Member.
Lifelong fan Andrew, aged 26 from Chestnut Lodge, beat the early bird deadline to secure his Stronghold Membership for 2016 and was gifted a free Blacker, Whiter, Stronger shirt to mark the milestone sign-up.
He said: “I was in yesterday but my card was declined and when I got home I thought I’m going to have to come back in to get it before the early bird.
“There were other people queuing and when he said ‘you’re the 2500th member’ I was made up. I’d beat another guy by about 10 seconds!
“It’s a great deal. I’ve booked Magic Weekend so you get the ticket for that, the discounts in the Vikings Superstore, the discounts all across Widnes on stuff that you’re going to use. As a whole it’s a bargain compared to what other clubs do.
“We can definitely get in the top eight next season, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t.”
The Vikings have enjoyed a fantastic period of sales during the early bird period which has also seen 512 new General Members and 231 access pass holders bringing total season package sales to over 3000 Members and supporters.
The Club are also pleased to announce that season package sales are (to date) up 23.5% compared to the end of the early bird period in 2014.
Steve O’Connor, who took the Club from administration to Super League looks back at the rise of the Viking Stronghold initiative:
“The Membership platform now appears to be widely embraced by many Super League Clubs. As pioneers of the Membership model in Super League, Widnes Vikings have worked hard over the past six years to grow its Stronghold offering.
“There is no underestimating that the Club faced a huge challenge when making the vast step from the Championship to Super League. For the Club to have every chance of being competitive on the field it is imperative that we remain in touch with the revenue that our Super League rivals enjoy from season packages.
“The easiest mechanism would no doubt have been for the Club to substantially increase the price upon its return to Super League and again when the competition structure evolved to include a greater number of home fixtures, however this was considered to be excessive in a short space of time to ask our loyal supporters to make this jump with us in one pre-season.
“The decision was therefore taken in 2014 to split the Membership product away from the traditional season pass which ensured that the season pass price remained low whilst the Membership element offered fantastic value and brought the product up to its natural price structure.
“Our aim is ultimately to unify our Club back to one single Member base. The current 2016 model is built in such a way that the Club’s Members can earn rewards, discounts and cashback throughout the year which will, no doubt, go some way to covering the cost of part, if not all of the cost of the Membership.
“However, the Membership product is not simply about the savings that Members can make. It is a passionate commitment from our supporters to become an official Member of this great Club and one that should by no means be underestimated. Everything that we do as a business is Member driven. At whatever level an individual joins the Membership family, we will strive to ensure that they enjoy the very best deals that the Club has to offer.
“We have seen a fantastic number of General Members commit for 2016, a large majority of which are new supporters. Although we have a large number of general Members from around the country and abroad, many are from the local area of Halton. These individuals will no doubt take advantage of the large array of community discounts available. Widnes Vikings, as one of these discounts will be doing all they can to encourage these people to attend a game at the Select Security Stadium in 2016.
“We still have a small number of supporters who have chosen the access pass alone and have not yet committed to Stronghold Membership. I would like to thank all of our access pass holders for their commitment and remind them that Stronghold Membership can be added to their package at any time by paying an upgrade at the relevant pre/post early bird tariff – it could even be added to your Christmas gift list!
“I would like to personally thank all of our Members and supporters for playing their part in the Growth of Widnes Vikings Rugby League Club. “
For all the information on the Viking Stronghold Membership, click here.
To sign up, call 0151 495 2250 or visit the Vikings Superstore.