Managing a football club requires a lot of passion and dedication, and as Kate Nolan (Fitzroy Football Club's Director, Communications & Media) will tell you, Fitzroy Football Club (FFC) is unique.
"We have a very wide and diverse following for an amateur football club," Ms Nolan told us during an interview. “People from overseas, from Brisbane, from all over Australia and all over Victoria will follow us, because of the long, historical link with the old Fitzroy."
"When I came to the football club roughly three and a half years ago, we had a very ancient website; it was almost tied together with a piece of string," Ms Nolan said.
"It certainly didn’t represent the modern football club or keep people up to date on the latest news. It didn't enable us to transact any business online."
Volunteers at FFC give their time to organise and manage events, sell merchandise, memberships and more and it can be very labour intensive. "There are many different moving parts in running a football club, and while most volunteers are jacks of all trades, activities like selling tickets or memberships, running an online store, creating awareness, or any other administrative tasks, require good support so we can be more efficient.
"Tim, Justin and Khy have all done an enormous amount of work with us to get the site up and running and to keep it going; nothing is ever too much effort for them. As an in-kind sponsor, they support us all year round, whether it’s helping us make changes or adding new features. Fitzroy IT always go beyond our expectations: they want to keep things improving, they're committed to it, and they maintain their involvement with the club, which is great! They're always thinking about how they can support us.
“The Fitzroy IT philosophy is important in terms of continually reviewing and making sure things are still working as they should. Each year, we go through a review of how the business can improve.
"They definitely bring those ideas forward and are always happy to look at how we can work more effectively, so I enjoy working with them from that perspective as well".Kate Nolan, Director of Fitzroy Football Club
Being a passionate fan of the old Fitzroy Football Club, Tim Jenkinson (our director at Fitzroy IT), saw that there was a real opportunity to do something great for the club.
"Fitzroy IT has created something that represents the essence of our football club by capturing the brand really well," Ms Nolan said, "it enabled us to showcase a lot of great, strong imagery, capturing both the old and the new - the changing nature of the club. Members can also easily sign up to our newsletter or view our photo galleries."
FFC's new website also helps board members and volunteers consolidate and manage even the smallest administrative tasks - which had been previously managed manually - on a single online platform.
"A lot of our transactions like purchasing and memberships were previously done manually and offline," Ms Nolan said, "It certainly has made things easier for us - it's reduced an enormous amount of manual transactions, which also means that it's much quicker for us to have people make bookings or purchases online. Now, all event bookings and payments are made online. It all works very well. We have a shop online and people can even order things from overseas."
Potential visitors and members can now access the site via tablet or mobile. The website also allows the club to accept new memberships online, to sell merchandise and player gear, and keep existing members up to speed on current activities with the club’s social media and events calendar also integrated with the site. FFC has seen a turnover increase of $40,000 in the last three years, which will only keep increasing. In the past year over $100,000 was transacted via the site.