Slow tickets a concern ahead of A-League Sydney derby
SYDNEY FC and Football Federation Australia will ramp up marketing of Saturday's derby, amid fears that the A-League's subdued opening has slowed ticket sales for one of the competition's showpiece fixtures.
Though the Sky Blues expect the game will be a sell-out by Saturday, the club has conceded that ticket sales have been slower than recent derbies at Allianz - the last six of which have sold out.
It comes as questions continue to be asked about the A-League's overall promotion, including a season launch at a grassroots club in Melbourne.
Sydney CEO Danny Townsend said the club would increase its marketing of the game for the rest of the week, bolstered by the $300,000 that FFA distributed to each club in the off-season after scrapping the so-called "marquee fund" that had been allocated to bring high-profile names to the A-League.
It's believed FFA will also increase its advertising of the derby, which will be shown on the Ten Network under the A-League's new free to air TV deal.
Townsend said he had already forged one major ticketing initiative, under which fans going to the derby will also get access to the Spring Carnival at Randwick Racecourse earlier in the day.
Though he acknowledged that the club had not had to market the derby before, he said a significant focus of his role would be to increase the club's attempts to advertise itself.
"I think it comes down to several factors including the fact there's been a lot of football on - we have three home games in a row, and the Socceroos played in Sydney last week," Townsend said.
"We've been really happy with ticket sales over the last 24-36 hours - they're definitely picking up and we're confident it will be a sellout.
"But yes, typically that point has come earlier in the week, and we will beef up the marketing to promote the game, including a deal with the ATC which will give all ticket holders access to Royal Randwick on Saturday.
"Definitely marketing is something for me to focus on - part of my charter as CEO is to drive awareness of the club from the grassroots up."