poster advertising the new London Irish subscription model

London Irish offering rugby for the Netflix generation

London Irish are hoping to attract a new generation of fans by offering a monthly subscription service based on a Netflix model as a fresh alternative to traditional season tickets.

Supporters will pay as little as £30 a month for adults and £9 a month for children for home games and all the added perks of a season ticket.

London Irish marketing and communications director Ian Taylor said: “The main challenge with millennials comes down to cost and commitment, and the subscription based model takes that challenge away.

“This is the way that millennials are used to paying for their services and entertainment, so we are making attending London Irish fixtures more accessible than ever.”

Just like your Spotify account, these subscriptions can be cancelled anytime at a month’s notice, tempting younger fans who might balk at the price of a season ticket.

Combined with last season’s move from Reading to the newly built Brentford Community Stadium in west London, the Exiles could find themselves in an enviable position, attracting new supporters through the turnstiles.   

The Netflix type subscription-based model launched for the 2021 season may be a first for top-flight sport in this country, but London Irish should feel confident looking across the Atlantic, because subscriptions have been a mainstay of live sport in the United States since 2015.

The Oakland A’s saw their membership increase by 44% in three years thanks to subscriptions, with average subscription buyers 11 years younger than average season ticket holders, and the Los Angeles Rams were able to convert 66% of their subscription members to full season ticket holders.

London Irish will also be able to take advantage of benefits that include freezing payments instead of offering refunds in the event of a future lockdown, and ending the summer scramble for season ticket renewals with marketing opportunities and matchday revenue more evenly spread over the calendar year.

When asked if other clubs might be tempted by the subscription model, Taylor said: “It’s the future, for sure. From Netflix to gym memberships, you name it, subscriptions are the model are they’re all adopting, so I can only see it lifting off.”

As clubs across our sporting spectrum seek to tempt fans back into their stadia after coronavirus, you might wonder whether London Irish are about to become more than the beneficiaries of a new generation of supporters, but the frontrunners in an English ticketing revolution.

Tickets can be purchased here.

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