Football League plans top division makeover

The Football League is in talks with PR agencies as it bids to overhaul The Championship’s image – and woo more families and sponsors to matches in the English game’s second tier.

Football League plans top division makeover

The League wants matches to be ‘more of an event’ and to build the division as a ‘strong, vibrant, premium brand’, said Football League Championship director Stewart Regan.

The PR firm will devise initiatives to promote ‘more of a family offer’ and encourage fans to ‘come to the ground earlier’ – and spend more money once through the turnstiles.

It also wants fans to ‘experience similar messages’ at all 24 Championship grounds.

Initiatives being mooted include Champions League-style centre-circle flags and music, competitions and what Regan called ‘lamppost branding’ in stadia localities.

A heavily branded show could also be broadcast on TVs at grounds.

The Championship was known as the First Division until this summer – Regan conceded many fans had not noticed ‘a great deal of difference’.

He said that despite rising Championship attendances this season, ‘clubs are still reliant on opening the gates and letting fans flood in’.

Regan, who joined from Coors in March, added:‘We can’t sit back and do nothing – we are at 65 per cent capacity but we want to fill the grounds.’

Hill & Knowlton, retained by the League, is one of four agencies in the running.

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