We catch up with Robbie ahead of launch of new ticket option.
The media team caught up with Robbie Cowling this week to ask him about the launch of the Match Credits on Monday 1st August and why he has such high hopes for this unique way of buying access to Colchester United games.
With the league season just over a week away, the U's will soon be launching Match Credits as another means by which fans can get their match tickets.
"However, these required far too much administration work in the Ticket Office and we either needed to change these dramatically or come up with something else."
"Our previous solution was the 6 and 12 game passes, which allowed games to be swapped about and were quite popular.
"It is fair to provide a discount for buying early, but it is also fair to provide a discount for bulk and we felt there should be something in between a single match ticket and a Season Ticket.
"As it stood, we had keen supporters that could not enjoy the discounts we provided for buying in advance, because of issues that were out of their control.
Describing the reasoning behind Match Credits, Robbie explained: "The initial concept for Match Credits came from our desire to find a cost effective way for those fans who were prepared to commit to attending several games, but needed the flexibility to decide maybe at the last minute which games to attend.
"It allows groups of fans to club together and buy in bulk, and it also allows you to buy credits for someone as a gift and let them select the games they attend."
"For example, it allows businesses to buy in bulk and enjoy the flexibility to entertain more guests at a game that is suitable to them.
"Once we came up with the Match Credits, we felt we had found a solution that not only solved our initial objective, but had other advantages for our supporters too.
"Therefore we knew a successful solution would be one that our fans could easily manage themselves online.
"We learned from the 6 and 12 packs that flexibility was really important, but difficult and expensive to deliver when being handled manually.
With Season Ticket sales up on last season and supporters keen to get on board with the Match Credits, Robbie continued: "We want to provide cheaper ways of buying tickets, but ultimately it will only benefit the club if it proves to be more popular, so that we can sell more of them.
As with the online Season Tickets, the IT work has all been done in house by Robbie's IT team in Tiptree.
A full price grid of credits and the prices available in each stand can be found HERE
How They Will Work
• All Match Credits must be purchased and redeemed online, with the exception of Corporate Credits and disabled concessions which must be redeemed at the Ticket Office.
• An online facility will allow Match Credits to be purchased in batches of 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100.
• Match Credits become valid from midnight on the day of purchase and unused match credits remain valid until 12 months from the date that the first credit from that block is redeemed.
• As long as the credit is redeemed within the valid period, it can be used against any home league fixture that is live on the website at the time of redemption (subject to availability). For example, if a credit is redeemed in August a day before it expires it can be redeemed against a fixture that is online for the following April.
• A Match Credit is purchased for Football League home fixtures in particular blocks. However, it can also be redeemed to secure a seat at any Football League fixture in any block so long as the seat is in the same stand and priced the same or cheaper. For example Match Credits purchased for W3 & W7 can also secure a seat in any other part of the West Stand apart from W4 & W6 as these blocks are the only 2 blocks in the West Stand that are more expensive.
• Match Credits will be redeemed automatically whenever a supporter goes online to buy one or more tickets and selects a seat in an area and an age group for which they already hold valid Match Credits.
• If a supporter with Adult Match Credits wants to take someone to the game who is a concession then they will either need to redeem 2 of their Adult Match Credits (one for them and one for the concession) or alternatively they can redeem 1 Adult Match Credit for themselves and buy the concession.