Ayodeji Babatunde with ageny report.

If other clubs across the world can emulate how Chelsea increased it fan loyalty off the pitch, it will be an excellent marketing strategy for them to capture more fans.

Gone are the days when fans converge to watch matches in stadia with just small capacity. In today’s world, what should be paramount in the minds of club managers is how to make their fans scattered all over the world have a sense of belonging wherever they are.

Recently Chelsea Football Club launched a mobile app to drive engagement across the world on match days and beyond, knowing-full well that their fan base comprises a global social media following of 100 million people – and a stadium capacity of just 42,000. To help the club’s legion of fans feel better connected, Chelsea created The 5th Stand, a mobile app for fans around the world.

The reason behind this innovation is to further increased it broad gamut of fans, from loyal season ticket holders to more casual followers across a range of ages and demographics. The 5th Stand was designed to improve the match day experience for users. It was also seeking to create a deeper level of engagement between club and fans that was less reliant on performance on the pitch.


The club set itself two broad targets: to develop the fourth most downloaded football app in the world and to engage with an audience of more than 1 million monthly active users (MAU).

To meet these goals, the platform needed a distinct point of difference. Restrictions on the use of match footage, and comprehensive commentary and score updates from the BBC Sport and Sky Sports apps, meant Chelsea had to offer something unavailable elsewhere to keep fans connected.

The club dug deep into its mobile data, creating lookalike personas of its most engaged users, while using paid media and push marketing to tempt inactive audience members with content relevant to them.

It calculated a cost-per-monthly-active-user metric to evaluate the cost and value of app users over the longer term.

Key app launches have included a pay-per-view model for preseason fixtures, exclusive free streaming of Premier League 2 and Women’s Super League matches, text and audio commentary of major matches, and franchised evergreen box sets of historic matches.

The app has succeeded in meeting its goals. Within six months of launch it became the most downloaded football club app in the world, becoming the fourth most popular overall. According to a fan survey, 92% of users strongly agreed with the statement, ‘as a Chelsea fan, you have to have The 5th Stand app’.

There is nothing stopping clubs in the Nigerian Professional Football League from emulating what Chelsea have been able to achieve with the 5th Stand App. All that is required is the will to do the needful and set the clubs on an historic marketing strategies to increase their fans

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