More fans than ever are tuning into the drama and excitement of the NI Football League’s Playr-Fit Championship with an 85% rise in attendances this season and millions of views online.
Since the start of the season the newly rebranded Championship and Premier Intermediate League (PIL), both sponsored by teamwear specialists Playr-Fit, have gone from strength to strength with the introduction of new clubs to both divisions making the two leagues more competitive and exciting than ever before.
Thousands of supporters follow their clubs each week across the NI Football League and boosted by the return of Portadown and Bangor to the ranks, the Playr-Fit Championship has enjoyed a remarkable 85% increase in match attendances from last season (2022/2023) - with the PIL also enjoying a healthy 29% uplift to date.
The rise in interest is not just confined to stadiums, as digital awareness and engagement in the leagues is at its highest ever point online – with over 1.75 million video views of digital content specific to the two divisions on the NIFL social media channels so far this season.
Gerard Lawlor, NIFL Chief Executive said, “We’re delighted that the Championship and Premier Intermediate League are now getting the plaudits and the attention they deserve this season, it’s been a collective effort to drive all our competitions forward for the benefit of our member clubs.
“Our clubs are the heartbeat of their communities and continue to contribute so much more than matches of football, the more we can work with them to highlight the great work and off the pitch the more our leagues can continue to grow.”
As part of the successful partnership with Playr-Fit, all parties are striving to increase the professionalism and brand of the two leagues with bespoke sleeve branding and stadium signage across all 26 clubs. For the first time, NIFL have provided fans with regular match highlights of the key matches across the two leagues which have already amassed over 300,000 views this season.
Over 700 unique and exclusive pieces of digital content have been created to promote all 26 competing clubs, including the introduction of the Championship and PIL ‘Player of the Week’ awards, and features such as the popular ‘Terrace Talk’ and ‘One of Our Own’ which give voices to the people behind the clubs.
The traditional national and regional print media also continue to be strong advocates for the Championship and PIL with Print Media Value (MAVE) remaining high at over £600,000 for the season to date.
There’s never been a better time than to go out and support your local team, the latest fixtures, news and features can all be found at www.nifootballleague.com or on social media @OfficialNIFL on all major platforms.