Brentford FC awarded Football League prizeBrentford Football Club has been awarded ‘The Football League Family Excellence Award’ for the 2012/13 season.
Created in 2007, the Award recognises the outstanding experience clubs provide for young fans and families at their grounds.
The winners are decided by an independent assessment, using ‘mystery shopper’ families commissioned by The Football League, at all 72 League clubs during the 2012/13 season.
A total of 47 clubs from across all three divisions of The Football League were given the Award for 2013.
Brentford were given the award for the fifth time in six years and the fourth year in a row.
In announcing the successful clubs, Football League Chairman, Greg Clarke, said: “The Football League Family Excellence Award provides clubs with a benchmark in their efforts to attract families through their gates.
“It is hugely encouraging to see so many clubs receiving the accolade, demonstrating The Football League’s commitment to securing the next generation of fans.”
At Brentford, a family of four - two adults and two children - could watch a Football League game for just £30.
The Club revamped the Family Area at Griffin Park with upgraded toilet facilities, a new female furry mascot - Buzzette, and the introduction of Family Helpers.
The Brentford players went over to the Family Area before every game to sign autographs and pose for pictures and a Junior ticket in any part of Griffin Park cost just £5.
Mark Devlin, Brentford FC Chief Executive, said: The Club is working hard to attract families and young people to Brentford.
"They are our future support base, we want Brentford to be the football club of their choice and we are delighted that our efforts have been recognised by the Football League.
"We are aware there is still more we can do to improve the matchday experience for families and we will be making further improvements to our Family Area next season."
The judges noted there was a greater use of family areas, matchday entertainment and family pricing initiatives throughout the Football League and the 2012/13 season has seen an increasing focus on making the experience itself more compelling.
The provision of specific pre-match information for families and first-time fans, dedicated family stadium entrances, specially trained family area receptionists, technology-supported entertainment, and a comprehensive effort to rid family areas of abusive language and anti-social behaviour, have all combined to increase the benchmark.
The judges were particularly impressed with the efforts clubs are making to engage with families through matchday entertainment, refreshment facilities and mascot activities, all ensuring they can enjoy the match in a dedicated, safe, welcoming and entertaining environment.
The Football League also aims to give encouragement to those clubs that have not been successful this time around.
Best practice guidance, benchmarking feedback and training will be available to the remaining clubs to encourage their efforts towards achieving the mark next season.
The Football League has also recognised the clubs delivering the very best family experience in each division through the ‘Family Club of the Year’ award at this season’s Football League Awards.
AFC Bournemouth, Brighton & Hove Albion, Cardiff City, Doncaster Rovers, Oxford United and Plymouth Argyle were shortlisted for the award with Cardiff City being announced as eventual overall winners.
Bournemouth picked up the npower League One award with Plymouth crowned League Two winners.