The Arabian Gulf League’s impassioned supporters have been handed an even-greater role by 2019/20’s rewarding ‘SuperFan’ initiative.
The innovative program, of which organisers of the UAE Pro League held a packed inaugural meeting on December 21 at their headquarters in Abu Dhabi, aims to build social bridges to connect with the community through the selection of a group of enthusiastic Emirati and expatriate AGL fans to become distinguished ambassadors of the competition.
Just like on the pitch, the UAEPL is aiming to foster a competitive atmosphere between the program participants. Their input will be routinely assessed and the chosen ‘SuperFan of the Month’ will be rewarded for their valued contribution during the month.
This special gathering in the capital was attended by dozens of supporters of both genders and ages across the full spectrum, from teenagers to the elderly. They had passports ranging from the UAE, to the United Kingdom, India and Iraq.
All were united in one common passion and one common goal.
“I can’t put in words what Al Wasl has meant to me in my 17 years in the UAE,” Scotsman Gordon Bisset tells Sport360 about the program which remains open for registration via email at [email protected].
“It is not just a football club, it is a family and community. We interact between businesses from around the world from there [Al Wasl’s iconic Zabeel Stadium] and it is a hub in Dubai – it means so much to me.
“It is fantastic to see the UAE Pro League get involved with this initiative. This injection is needed, as the fan base is there.”
A detailed presentation outlined the important role of the ‘SuperFans’. The selected fanatics have been tasked with becoming enthusiastic ambassadors of the UAE’s 14-team top flight, helping to connect the nation’s multicultural communities and drive them to stadiums in 2019/20 – and beyond.
The ambassadors, selected in the first phase after submitting their applications, come from various nationalities, backgrounds and include school and university students, employees and other occupations, ensuring wider reach for the UAEPL promotional activities and community initiatives to create loyalty between the fans and the AGL clubs.
This “loyalty” is certainly boasted by Fujairah fanatic Ammah Al Kaabi
She says: “I have always been watching football. Since my childhood, we used to watch Arabian Gulf League matches.
“My friends also started watching Premier League games and that helped us get more passionate.
“Since I am from Fujairah, I support them. “The SuperFan is a great initiative. Just like I grew up, I am now seeing my nieces and nephews becoming so passionate about football.
“Creating such a thing will help bring the kids and the fans there, plus it’ll teach them about the clubs. We can tell them about the club they support.”
The ‘SuperFan’ program is the latest in a series of the UAEPL’s initiatives aimed at engaging all walks of UAE society and attracting them to become part of the UAE football family.
This sense of community is enormously valued by life-long Al Ain supporter, Abdullah Al Salmani.
“I am a diehard football fan and a huge fan of Al Ain,” says the Iraq national and UAE resident. “I have been a big fan of Al Ain since I was seven-years old and I’m now 20.
“I was born in Al Ain and raised there. Al Ain is the best team in the UAE.
“They have the passion of football there, a lot of people go to their matches.
“I would like to gather people and let people join the fans. Every team has its own fans, but we want to gather more people who are passionate about football but don’t know a lot about the Arabian Gulf League.
“I’d like them to experience what we usually experience.”
The UAEPL had launched its ‘UAEPL Arena’ promotional campaign, which continues with community events in schools and universities as well as roadshows in shopping malls and corporate offices.
The Roadshow will also move to host stadiums for the ‘Match of the Week’ initiative, under the name of the UAEPL FanZone and will be accompanied by a couple of premium food trucks located inside the stadium to deliver a full fan engagement experience.
“The job becomes easier for us when we get the kids on board as fans,” says Indian Ross Ferns, who lives in Dubai and is head coach at Zabeelers academy. “The SuperFan initiative is what we need to be doing, giving back to the community.”
Search #ProLeagueSuperFan on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram now for more information or to register and sign up please email: [email protected]
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