Bytes Ahead are delighted to confirm that we are now an official supporter of AFC Bournemouth. The decision was a fairly easy one to make.
In a world that seems increasingly divided, football fandom has the ability to cross the gender, race, age and class divide and generate a sense of community. Many fans don’t just follow their local team but will travel hundreds of miles to support a team they have cheered on since childhood. (We did enjoy Damon Green’s article for The Guardian on the joys and sorrows of supporting your local team: https://www.theguardian.com/football/when-saturday-comes-blog/2017/jun/28/football-team-family-kids-club.) That’s even before you include the away fans – and the Cherries have two international pre-season friendlies coming up early in August! (https://www.afcb.co.uk)
More than that, football clubs – and Premiership Clubs in particular – contribute to the UK economy on a national level, as well as to local economic fortunes. (This report is a few years old now but calculates that the premier league contributed £34m to the UK economy in 2015 alone: https://www.consultancy.uk/news/2946/premier-league-and-clubs-add-34-billion-to-uk-economy).
There are also statistics to suggest that most fans will spend more than 2½ hours in the stadium, meaning any advertising they see has plenty of time to stick with them.
So not only was this an opportunity to give Bytes Ahead a diverse new audience, it felt like a great opportunity to support our local community too. (If you look carefully, you might spot our pitch-side banner on the TV. Well, that’s certainly what we’ll be doing!)