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Darlington Football Club

Chris Stockdale / 7th October 2021

Darlington FC Shirt Consultation Survey

Darlington FC Shirt Consultation Survey

Results and analysis

As a fan owned club with the shirt at the heart of the identity of our club we launched a shirt consultation survey last month to help guide us on our shirt design and voting processes.

We had 848 replies which have now been analysed. Below is a summary of the key findings, how they will inform our approach to the kit design and voting going forward and then a more detailed presentation of the survey responses.

Key findings:

  • It is clear that the fans significantly value the historic identity of the football club. This is most evident in the desire for DFC to play in predominantly black and white, and with a strong reaction to keep the club crest in its present format.
  • Over 50% of fans see hoops as being integral to the playing kit though not necessarily every season, allowing for a change in design every so often.
  • Repeatedly in the comments there were statements that black and white hoops are unique to Darlington FC (in the English setup), and that this should be utilised.
  • Fans like a vote on the shirts, and there is positive feedback about this survey as a way of engagement between the owners and the board.
  • Most fans are happy for the away kit to be alternated in colour each season, with red and yellow winning the specific types although there was no strong majority for any colour.
  • From the responses, the approach we plan to adopt going forward is that black and white hoops should be the primary kit design for the home kit. And that this should be cycled every 3 to 4 seasons with a non-hooped design, which still respects the club’s historic identity, to keep things fresh.
  • In line with hoops being used as part of the club’s identity to the outside world in the off seasons for hooped home shirt, the away shirt should be of a hooped design to keep on brand. This is backed up following the favourable reaction and success of the recent red and black shirt away shirt.

 

2022/23 Kit Design & Voting Process

In line with many industries at present supply chain challenges mean, in conjunction with our kit partner Joma, have decided to bring forward the kit vote for next season to the end of October. This will give Joma the necessary additional time to ensure the kits for 2022/23 season are designed, manufactured and delivered for summer 2022.

We plan to present supporters with three options for both the home shirt and the away shirt. Limiting the number of shirt designs on the initial shortlist will help in getting out the designs to a vote by the end of this month

Voting will be open to everyone that has a registered account on YourClub (currently 3,500 individuals).

The home shirt options will be a hooped based designs consistent with the survey responses given that the current season’s home shirt is non-hooped.

The shirt consultation survey – detailed breakdown

The following questions were put to the DFC fanbase:

Please tell us how important these various aspects of the our kit design are to you:

  • The historical identity of the club when choosing a shirt design?
  • The Home shirt is predominantly black and white?
  • The Home design is hooped?
  • The Home shirt design is hoops every year?
  • You get a vote on the home shirt?
  • You get a vote on the away shirt?

These questions were split into 5 answer types:  Very Important, Fairly Important, Neutral, Somewhat important, Not Important.  To aid the results, and to provide a clearer picture, the results have grouped Very Important and Fairly Important into one positive category, and Somewhat Important and Not Important into a negative category.

We also asked:

  • Should the club modernise the club crest? Please answer yes or no.
  • In your opinion, what colour should the away kit be?
  • Of the kit manufacturers over the years, which supplier has provided the best quality of shirts?
  • A verbatim question where the respondee can explain their answers in detail

Please tell us how important these various aspects of the our kit design are to you:

The historical identity of the club when choosing a shirt design?

The Home shirt is predominantly black and white?

 

  • 85% of fans see the historical identity of the club as ‘Very or Fairly Important’ when choosing a shirt design.
  • With 92% seeing the home shirt being predominantly black and white as ‘Net Important’.
  • This is replicated across all aspects of the fan base, no matter their age, or their support type.

 

Please tell us how important these various aspects of the our kit design are to you:

The Home design is hooped?

The Home shirt design is hoops every year?

  • Whilst 92% of fans see black and white as the predominant colour for DFC home kits, there is a significant drop when they are asked the question about the kit being hooped.
  • 53% think the home shirt being hooped is important.
  • There is another drop to 41% net important when asked how important it is that the home kit is hooped each season.

 

Should the club modernise the club crest? Please answer yes or no.

  • 83% of fans who responded are in favour of keeping the badge as it is.
  • This is strongly backed up in the verbatim.
  • The message is consistent across the different demographics of the fan base.

 

Please tell us how important these various aspects of the kit design are to you:

You get a vote on the home shirt?                               

You get a vote on the away shirt?

  • 81% of fans think it is important to have their say on the design of the home kit.
  • It is a steady spread across all fan types.
  • 72% of fans see it as important to have a vote on the away kit.

 

In your opinion, what colour should the away kit be?

  • There wasn’t a clear winner for any specific preference on the away kit colour.
  • Whilst Red or Yellow were the most popular specific answers given, especially if combined with other colours. Overall there was a trend to keep things ‘fresh’ and to alternate each season.