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いよぎんレポート : リピーター増で愛媛FC観客動員アップを 〜伊予銀行サンクスデー〜
投稿日時: 2015-09-29 15:00:00

「観客数最下位脱出宣言マッチ」
 9月12日、松山・ニンジニアスタジアム。サッカーJ2リーグの愛媛FC−ファジアーノ岡山の「瀬戸内ダービー」は、こんなキャッチコピーがつけられていた。木山隆之新監督が就任した今季の愛媛は快進撃をみせている。この試合前までの順位は6位。クラブ初の5連勝を達成し、J1昇格プレーオフ進出争いに名乗りをあげている。

(写真:今回もスタジアムを彩ったコレオグラフィー)

 そんな好調なチームとは裏腹に、ホームのニンジニアスタジアムのスタンドは寂しい状況が続いていた。8月末時点での1試合平均観客動員数は3,142人。これはJ2の22クラブ中最下位だった。
 
 まずは観客数の最下位脱出を――。クラブでは岡山戦での動員目標を6,000人に定め、チラシ配布やポスターでの告知を大々的に展開した。この試みをマッチスポンサーとしてサポートしたのが伊予銀行だ。伊予銀行は愛媛FCのスポンサーとして、J昇格初年度から毎年1回、「伊予銀行サンクスデー」と銘打ってホームゲームでのイベントを実施している。

 過去のサンクスデーでは、オレンジの巨大ユニホームを作成して試合前やハーフタイムにピッチ上やスタンドで広げ、応援に華を添えた。また伊予銀行オリジナルキャラクターの「とりカエル」などがスタジアムに訪れたサポーターたちを出迎えた。さらには「伊予銀行カップ」と銘打ったジュニアサッカー大会を試合前のピッチで実施。各市町対抗の小学生によるリレー大会を地域の絆を強める観点からスタジアム内のトラックで開いたり、ファンの新規開拓を目指したスタジアムフォトコンテストを企画してきた。

 節目の10回目となる今回のサンクスデーを盛り上げるべく、コレオグラフィーを昨年に引き続き、行うことを決めた。来場者全員にオレンジ色のボードを配布し、一斉に掲げてスタジアムを一色に染める。このプロジェクトを成功させるには、ひとりでも多くの観客がスタジアムに足を運ぶことが重要だ。

 伊予銀行も動員アップに少しでも寄与すべく、サンクスデー前には本店でロビー展を開催。愛媛FCのポスターや選手たちの写真、サイン入りフラッグなどを展示し、PR映像を流した。また松山市の湊町支店では、行員たちが愛媛FCのレプリカユニホームを着用して接客するなどサンクスデーをアピールした。
(写真:歴代のユニホームも飾られたロビー展)

 さらには伊予銀行発行のクレジットカード(IYOCA)利用者にサンクスデーのSA席ペア観戦チケットを抽選でプレゼントするキャンペーンも展開した。当日、スタジアムの特設ブースでIYOCAを提示するとサイン入りTシャツや応援グッズが当たるくじが引けるなど、集客へさまざまな仕掛けを用意した。

 加えて伊予銀行内での関心度も高めようと、本店にDF浦田延尚、DF西岡大輝、MF江口直生の選手3名が練習スケジュールの合間を縫って来店。昼休み中に昼食をとろうと食堂に集まった行員へ、選手たちがチラシを配布し、握手や写真撮影、サインにも応じて触れ合った。
(写真:チラシを手渡して来場を呼びかける浦田選手<右>)

 迎えた試合日、日曜の19時キックオフという決して集客には好条件とは言えない日程ながら、スタジアムには続々と人が詰めかけた。伊予銀行からも約1900名の行員と、その家族が参加。この中から女性と子どもを対象に、試合前はピッチ体験会も行われた。「サンクスデーだけでなく、今後のホームゲームにもスタジアムに来てほしい」との思いから設けられたもので、この後、熱戦が繰り広げられるピッチ上でボールを蹴ったり、選手とハイタッチをしたりと参加者は楽しんでいた。

 スタジアムの各ゲートでは来場者に例年同様、愛媛FCとの特製コラボタオルが先着3000名に配布された。選手入場時のピッチ上には恒例となったオレンジ色のジャンボユニホームもお目見え。観客が来場時に配られたボードを掲げると、オレンジのスタンドが秋の夜空に鮮やかに浮かび上がった。ハーフタイムにも、伊予銀行の提供で、お楽しみ抽選会を実施。愛媛FC選手のサイン入り公式球や、サイン入りTシャツ、グッズの詰め合わせが当たった。
(写真:入場時にボードと特製タオルが配られた)

 努力のかいあって、この夜のスタジアムには目標を上回る6,862人が集まった。試合も立ち上がりに先制点を許す苦しい状況ながら、41分にMF内田健太が豪快なミドルシュートを決め、同点に追いつく。逆転はならず、連勝は5でストップしたが、1−1の引き分けで7試合連続の勝ち点を獲得した。

「何度もスタジアムに足を運んでくれるリピーターを増やす」。これが伊予銀行の願いだ。サンクスデー後のホームゲームとなった23日のカマタマーレ讃岐戦でも平均を上回る4,769人が駆けつけた。「行内でも試合チケットの問い合わせがあるなど、サンクスデーでの取り組みの効果は出てきている」と伊予銀行ではみている。

 初の昇格プレーオフ進出へ、チームはここからが本当の勝負だ。大勢の観客による声援は、選手たちの力となるに違いない。伊予銀行ではホームゲーム開催に合わせ、各支店で「頑張れ愛媛FC」ののぼりを立てたり、行員がレプリカユニホームを着て業務にあたるなど、年間を通じて地元クラブを応援している。一層の盛り上がりが予想されるシーズン終盤へ、10月以降、積立定期の契約者にホーム最終戦の観戦チケットが当たるスピードくじ企画も予定されている。

「好調が続けば、愛媛FCの露出も増え、注目度も高まる。これからも頑張っていただきたい」
 伊予銀行は、昨年からユニホームの背中部分のロゴスポンサーとなっている。J1昇格を目指すクラブを今後も文字通り、バックアップする考えだ。
(写真:今年もピッチに登場したジャンボユニホーム)

 伊予銀行では、愛媛FCのみならず、さまざまな県内の活動を支援している。11月に行われる「エコノミクス甲子園」の愛媛県大会も、そのひとつだ。高校生が金融経済に関する知識をクイズ形式で競う大会は今年で10回目を迎え、優勝者はニューヨークへの研修旅行がプレゼントされる。この全国大会に向けた県予選を伊予銀行は主催し、県内の高校に告知、案内を出している。

 昨年は10校から29チーム(2人1組)の参加があった。今年は30チームを募集し、11月15日にショッピングモールのエミフルMASAKIにて一般公開形式で大会が開かれる。

「潤いと活力ある地域の明日を創る」
 伊予銀行は、その企業理念にのっとって、今後も地元に根差した取り組みを続けていく。



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