Matchday raffles in football are a great way for both the clubs, their charities and their fans to earn money, but with many using manual and outdated ways of selling tickets and notifying winners, there is room for improvement in how they are created, managed and resolved. MatchPlay Entertainment wanted to change this and approached Ansta to act as a technical partner to help bring about a new way of conducting raffles at football stadiums.
MatchPlus was founded in 2015, and currently consists of a 5-person team based in London. With ambitions to rapidly become the largest lottery, the company went about involving some of the biggest names in football to incorporate the system into their club. An exciting future now awaits as the MatchPlus system was met with a fantastic response by the football community, from both club owners and fans alike.
The MatchPlus platform was developed to act as a modern fundraising solution, enabling non-profits across the UK to reach a broader support base. Working in partnership with some of the country’s biggest football clubs and their charitable foundations, MatchPlus helps raise money for good causes through matchday raffles, which also give supporters the chance to win a variety of prizes themselves, including a range of club-specific experiences and merchandise as well as significant cash prizes.
The system is built with a number of parts, with a core website allowing users to purchase tickets online, check their tickets and receive their winnings straight to their bank account. In addition to this, a separate point of sale (PoS) app was developed to allow representatives to sell tickets "on the ground” within the stadium.
The system went live with Brentford FC for their match against Aston Villa on the 31st January 2017. The Brentford version of the raffle is called Bees 50/50 and can be found here.
Supporters sign up on the website and are then able to purchase tickets for the raffle, which take place on each home match day for their club. They can buy tickets as a one-off payment for a particular game or can subscribe with recurring payments to be automatically entered into all future draws.
Each raffle jackpot is defined by the number of entries and the total prize pool is then split between the charitable foundation and the winning ticket holders.
Winners who purchase tickets online are automatically notified and can choose how to receive their winnings from a number of methods.
The prize jackpots are not solely dependent on online sales. With a number of representatives and sales staff inside the stadium on a matchday, traditional face-to-face sales are also conducted. The representatives, armed with a tablet, portable printer and card machine, take sales via the specially developed tablet app, which keeps track of both online and offline ticket sales.
Supporters are issued with a paper ticket, but since they have no online account, are required to check their results and claim their prizes manually through the website.
The design process of the website began with some detailed wireframing put together outlining the general layout and theme that they were after. These were then developed in conjunction with Ansta to ensure that what was wanted matched up with what was achievable and covered every page on the site, giving us a great head start in understanding what would need to be present and how it would look.
The wireframe design that the website was built upon.
Once the wireframes had been confirmed and signed off, we began the process of fine-tuning the look and feel by producing flat images, created through Photoshop. This step meant that the client could get a better understanding of how the website might look and really began to visualise the end product.
Whilst the first pass on designs was not vastly different to the live site you see today, there were various iterations done based on feedback before all parties were happy to proceed with the development.
The first club to adopt the MatchPlus system was Championship side Brentford. The match chosen for launch by the club was the league tie against Aston Villa on the evening of January 31st 2017, a game attended by thousands and watched by countless more.
On the launch of the first raffle, it drew in incredible support with a strong number of entries - via both the PoS devices, and online. The raffle was completed successfully, with six lucky winners returning from the match with sizeable cash prizes.
Thanks to the encouraging launch day, the MatchPlus system was then used for the following Brentford matches - all of which were equally or more successful than the launch. There have since been no issues with the technological aspect of the system, and it has dealt with the high traffic comfortably, providing a streamlined process for supporters to buy and check their numbers, as well as providing subscriptions to many.
We are looking forward to continue to work with MatchPlus and are excited about the future of the project.
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