We’re not that far away from the beginning of the 2018/19 season and whilst most teams within the Elite League are announcing their rosters and engaging with their fan base keeping interests peaked and the wheels moving, Fife Flyers have gone almost quite, with no new signing announcements and an extreme lack of PR.
Is Fife Flyers that old relative that refuses to embrace a new way of life?
Gardiner Conference Champions and without a doubt, one of the best performing teams and their most successful season in the Elite League era, yet the Flyers have failed to capitalise on it success during the off season.
Fife Flyers are the oldest professional team in the UK’s Ice Hockey history and with that title you would think they would be the masters at PR and engaging with their very loyal fan base but sadly that is not the case.
In regards to announcing their next seasons rosters, fans are generally split into three groups.
1. There will be a team, just wait, its the Fife way
2. Frustrated, but accept its the Fife way.
3. The Frustrated.
“The Fife way” of announcing their roster with little time to spare may have been something that worked in the past, when social media was not a thing, or was still finding its feet but now, in the generation where more and more content is being consumed and there is a constant need for more information, Fife remain set in their ways. Many fans comment their reasoning for this is the organisation fear that players will be poached if they announce them early, however if that was the case wouldn’t this not be the same thinking of all the other teams in the league, and this could be something that is covered within the player contracts.
Fife are a gate based club, and being on top of signing announcements, keeping fans informed and generating buzz around the club is something that is not being done and the Flyers are losing out, especially with this being a really important year for the club.
Lets look at the Dundee Stars for example. Last season the Stars enlisted Omar Pacha as their new coach and though he didn’t have much of a hand in putting together the 17/18 team, through hardships and having very little interest Pacha generated so much buzz around the Stars and gained bigger sponsors and packed the DIA every weekend at the last quarter of the season.
Having spoken with Stars fans, a large majority have only started following the team and a large majority have fully committed to season tickets for the coming season on Pacha’s media work alone and lets not forget to mention, they have already smashed their season ticket sale targets.
There are so many issues that need to be addressed for Fife to truly progress. Social media is a large issue, keeping fans in the dark is an issue, and lastly taking the fans for granted is a very big issue.
As I said in the beginning, this way of operating may have been something that worked in the past but in the future, it wont, and Fife need to take action now before it’s too late or the club may not see 2038.