A couple of weeks ago we travelled to Molineux for the first ever junior fan parliament (as a part of the new Wolves website development). The aim was to gain a deeper understanding of the online habits of younger fans and also to find some ways of making this new platform really exciting for them. We met with the group of 5 junior fans – 4 of which were season ticket holders. All were incredibly passionate about the club with Helder Costa being a firm favourite!
At the beginning of the workshop we asked junior fans about their current habits and what would they like to see on the new wolves.co.uk. The answers proved to be very interesting! It turned out that they didn’t really use the current website on the regular basis and gained the majority of information about the club via social media. Traditionally written content wasn’t what they were looking for at all. Video content (interviews, highlights) and games were the order of the day. As a main part of the workshop, we ran a couple of exercises. One of them was where two groups had a choice of a strapline of a potential Wolves campaign. The idea was that, unconstrained by the limits of possibility, young fans would come up with some thoughts for content that they would love to see as a part of the new website.
One group took the tagline “Start the Ball Rolling” and straight away they turned it into a game! You could create your favourite historical Wolves team through answering multiple choice questions. If you gave a correct answer, you could choose best ever player in that position, if not – you had to move one step back. Once complete, your all time greatest Wolves line-up could be shared via social channels for everyone to see. The other group had the tagline “Past Vs Present”. They came up with a number of ideas. One of them was to create a video piece based on a career development of a popular Wolves player starting from his early days at the training academy and going all the way to the present. The other suggestion was to make a stats comparison between past Wolves legends and current first team members to see who is better and also to create a social debate over their achievements. It was amazing to see how enthusiastic kids were about learning some facts from the club’s past and bygone fans (what they wore, what their interests were).
The most striking insight though, from the whole workshop, was the vastly different relationship younger fans had with the internet in general. In their view, they were not consciously “online” – WhatsApp was a thing on the phone, not the Internet. Youtube was merely a video service. They consume content wherever and however convenient – less and less desktop, more mobile and more connected TV’s through game consoles. It means that different platforms will have to continuously adapt to the behaviours of the next generation of users, with less of traditional text articles and more video, more gamification and interactivity, which of course brings certain challenges but also presents many exciting opportunities!