Horsham FC Stadium

Horsham Football Club
Case Study

Isthmian League Premier Division side Horsham reap the benefits of digital ticketing both home and away.

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The Story

The FA Cup doesn’t usually get mainstream media attention until the Third Round. But, the early rounds form an important part of the season calendar for many non league clubs. A regionalised draw in the early rounds can throw up many logistical challenges. Some fixtures need segregation between fans whilst others need a reliable sales process to ensure that visiting fans are not able to buy tickets in home areas.

Horsham had a memorable run in the competition on the pitch during the 2023/24 season. The achievements off the pitch from a ticketing perspective were also very impressive. They drew local rivals Dorking Wanderers at home in the Fourth Qualifying Round, with tickets limited to just 300 for the visitors. There was a legitimate concern that visiting fans may try to buy home tickets just to be able to attend the match.

To overcome the issue, Horsham restricted sales to ‘known’ supporters on their database. Only accounts that had a previous history with the club. They also utilised the Kaizen Network feature, allowing them to send Dorking their 300 ticket allocation digitally. Dorking could now set their own sales rules on the 300 tickets. As they are also a Kaizen customer, they made them available through their own ticketing site, allowing them ensure that Season Ticket holders had priority.

The two sets of fans bought tickets from their respective clubs’ ticketing sites. This further reduced the risk of visiting fans buying in the wrong end. After a convincing 2-0 win against the higher placed opposition, Horsham were rewarded with an away tie at League One Barnsley in the First Round Proper.

A valiant effort and last gasp equaliser to make it 3-3 meant a replay would ensue at home. A record crowd was in attendance for that match, with home tickets selling out in 90 seconds. The Kaizen system sold tickets at a rate of 135 tickets per second for part of that sale period.

Barnsley ran out 3-0 winners in the replayed match in South Yorkshire, but Horsham’s FA Cup adventure wasn’t over just yet. It emerged that Barnsley fielded an ineligible and were expelled from the competition. Horsham would take their place in the 2nd Round.

This time they found themselves away at local rivals Sutton United. With time against them, both clubs were able to use the Kaizen Network to get tickets on sale. Sutton were able to share their away stand manifest digitally with Horsham, allowing them to control sales through their own ticketing site. This allowed them to add their own sales rules on the number of tickets per person, deciding to limit sales to season ticket holders during a pre-sale, all whilst selling from Sutton’s seating plan.

Sutton could now avoid having to print 2,500 paper tickets and deliver them to Horsham. Their ticket office also benefited from transparent reporting, allowing them to see Horsham’s sales in real time. This meant they had an accurate view of home and away sales throughout the sales period. Horsham receiving a digital allocation removed the manual work that goes hand in hand with this scenario. Not to mention the challenge of sales and distribution that comes with paper tickets.

"The Kaizen ticketing system sold tickets at a rate of 135 tickets per second for the FA Cup fixture versus Barnsley."

The Feedback

The Results

“Our 23/24 FA Cup run will be long remembered in the club's history. Digital ticketing really played a part in helping us to save many hours selling and distributing tickets. We were able to prioritise our season ticket holders for our matches at home and away. Being able to have Sutton share their away seating plan with us digitally was a real help given the short turnaround we had to the game taking place.
“We already had paper tickets in circulation for the away end when the fixture was against Barnsley. Being able to go 100% digital with Horsham meant that there was no chance of any old Barnsley tickets being accepted on the day as they looked obviously different. Ticket scanning was seamless on match day and being able to do this without having to worry about uploading files or cutting off sales means we have one less thing to be concerned about on the day.”

Sam Borrett, Commercial Manager

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Seconds is How Long it Took to Sellout the Barnsley Tickets.

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Tickets were Sold Every Second for the FA Cup Match.

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Tickets Were Sold. A Club Record Attendance.

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Tickets Were Shared Digitally for the Sutton United Away Fixture.