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Phuket’s footy club turnover doubles

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PHUKET: Ticketing and merchandising revenue for the island’s pro soccer club, Phuket FC, doubled year-on-year, while the club’s fan turnout has swelled by 93% during the same period.

Now at the mid-season point, business seems to booming for the island’s pro soccer club, at least compared to this time last year when fan support for the club was dwindling.

But thanks to strong financial reinforcement by primary sponsors, Kata Group, Phuket FC’s prospects are looking up this year round.

Out of the 18 clubs in the Yamaha League One (YL1) – Thailand’s 2nd-tier national soccer league – the club enjoyed the second highest home match turnout.

However, it came in seventh in terms of revenue turnover, and second-to-last for its fans’ per-head spending average.

According to preliminary statistics for the 2013 season’s first 17 of 34 scheduled matches, a total of 33,336 fans bought tickets to attend Phuket FC’s first eight home matches at Surakul Stadium, held from March through June, this year.

In the first half of the 2012 season, the club sold only 17,275 tickets for its first nine matches, equating to only 1,919 fans per match.

This year, average match turnout has more than doubled to 4,167 fans per match, which is second only to Nakhon Ratchasima FC (Korat) who averaged 7,603 fans per match.

Phuket FC’s highest turnout for a match so far this season was on April 7, against Royal Navy (Phuket won 1-0), which had an official attendance of 5,540.

The club’s lowest turnout so far was on May 18 against Rayong FC (a 2-2 draw), with 2,753 tickets sold.

By far, Korat is the YL1’s most popular team, as measured by both turnout and turnover.

Earning an average of just under 600,000 baht per match, the Isan-based club sold tickets to 68,427 fans for its nine first home matches – that’s twice as much as the team with the second highest turnout, Phuket FC.

But unlike Phuket, Korat maximized its fan base’s per-head spending, churning out a whopping 5,384,280 baht from ticket sales (about 4.3 million baht) as well as merchandising (1.08mn baht), or 78.6 baht per fan – the league’s 12th highest or 7th lowest average.

This is compared to Phuket FC fans’ average spending of 62.9 baht per-head – the league’s second lowest average, ahead of just Bangkok FC (44.29 baht).

However, due to having a relatively larger fan base (2nd highest in the league), the Islanders were 7th out of 18 clubs in gross turnover, earning just over 2mn baht from ticketing (about 1.6mn baht) and merchandising (429,260 baht).

From its eight first home matches, the club made on average, just over 262,000 baht per match – 142% more than last year’s 108,500 baht per match revenue.

The YL1 team with the highest fan spending average was table toppers Air Force United, who earned over 3.5mn baht from ticketing (2.05mn baht) and merchandising (1.5mn baht), or 147.9 baht per-head (24,036 spectators so far).

In addition to Air Force, five other clubs had fans’ per head spending average higher than 100 baht. These were Trat (143.1); Port Lions (133.6); Nakhon Pathom (133); BBCU (121.7) and Ayuthaya (112).

It should be noted that the above turnout figures may not include all match attendees (children and students who were admitted for free), nor do the turnover figures include all of the clubs’ sources of revenue (rewards, sponsorship, advertising and broadcasting).

Keep checking our online Phuket Business pages, join our Facebook fan page or follow us on Twitter @PhuketGazette for the latest local and national business updates.

— Steven Layne

 

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