Not promotion as in going up to J1, that can wait. But the promotion of the club in general. And to be fair, FC Gifu have done a very decent job of promoting the club this year. The gates for this year are:
- Kamatamare Sanuki – 11,069
- Kataller Toyama – 7,879
- Shonan Bellmare – 7,222
- Avispa Fukuoka – 5,022
- Total = 31,192 / Average = 7,798
The first two games were on Sundays, while the second two games were on Saturdays. I’d say that in my experience, Saturday lunchtime KO’s don’t work too for Gifu in attracting crowds. I’d much rather have Sunday lunchtimes or afternoons. Still, if the J.League thinks that putting J2 on a Saturday is a good idea, then all J2 teams have to live with it.
Still, the club have done a great job of promoting the club around the town/prefecture. Previously I’ve put photos up of the “Ramos bus” – part of a collaboration with the local bus company. Also they’ve initiated the “Kids dream passport” – a system in which all elementary school children from Gifu prefecture can attend games for free. Any game, and as many as they like. This is a great system, and I hope it takes root with other clubs.
Along with the buses, FC Gifu are gradually being made more visible around the town. A couple of examples are:
This is a huge banner located in the central “Yanagase” shopping arcade in Gifu. This place has lots of shops, markets and a Takashimaya and thus it gets a lot of foot traffic. This flag/banner is so big that no-one can miss it.
These schedule posters have popped up all over the central area of Gifu, and have even been spotted at highway service areas, supermarkets in Nagoya and lots of other places you wouldn’t expect. It is great to see these where lots of people can take notice of them. You can see them at both major train stations in the city, bus terminals and shop windows.
The Gifu PR department have done a really good job in what is, in reality, a small period of time. There is still a way to go, but foundations are being put in place. Now, if Gifu had a winning team……