Football Trade Directory

Virgin Media subsidising Southampton tickets has been amazing

 Football News 24/
The response to Virgin Media's decision of subsidising away tickets for fans travelling to Southampton has been "amazing" and more initiatives are planned, the company's chief marketing officer, Kerris Bright, told IBTimes UK.

Last week, the group announced it had joined the Football Supporters' Federation's "Twenty's Plenty" campaign, which aims to cap the cost of away tickets in the Premier League at £20, and unveiled plans to subsidise tickets for away fans.

From this season, Premier League clubs have agreed to cap the cost of tickets for visiting fans at £30 but Virgin Media went a step further and fans visiting the south coast this season will not pay more than £20.

The FSF immediately praised the initiative, which was also met with widespread approval on social media.

"It has been amazing, and I have to say rewarding, to just watch the reaction to the initiative," Bright said. "For us, it tells us that we are on the right track in terms of our presence and plans in football and that we need to keep looking for ways to support football fans."

However, it is not only visiting fans at the St Mary's who would benefit from Virgin Media's magnanimity. The Hampshire-based company, which in June signed a deal to become Southampton's main sponsor, arranged 27 free coaches for fans travelling to Old Trafford as the Saints face Manchester United on Friday night.

It has also discounted tickets for bundles including UEFA Europa League group stage matches and, last week, treated fans to a free drink ahead of their opening Premier League fixtures.

Bright said Virgin have been working closely with Southampton on a number of initiatives to support both the club and the fans, as the telecoms group wanted to be "more than a shirt sponsor" at the club.

"We believe that football fans should be at the heart of the game, and the company's presence in football is all about supporting those fans both home and away. It is about the atmosphere at football matches and the passion and enjoyment that comes with supporting and following a team. So our increased presence in football is all about being on the side of fans."


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