Crystal Palace F.C. will launch a virtual matchday experience for supporters for the remaining games of the 2019/20 season, enabling fans to arrange and take part in private video calls with friends and family before, during and after the match.
Supporters will also be able to tune-in to a special hour-long pre-match show from Palace TV, and even listen to audio commentary of the match if they choose to do so.
The service will be free of charge to users, and will be launched as a beta microsite with small groups of supporters taking part in trials for the games versus Bournemouth and Liverpool, with the intention of opening the service up to as many fans as possible for the home match against Burnley on Monday 29 June.
Users will have the ability to customise their experience – turning features like audio commentary of the Palace TV pre-match show on or off as required. Additional functionality such as enabling users to record their group video call to clip up goal celebrations and reactions are also planned developments.
The experience has been a collaboration between the club’s media team and London-based agency TheTin.
James Woodroof, Head of Content & Production at CPFC, said: “Once we knew that behind closed doors games were a probability, we wanted to create a service for our supporters that replicated the matchday experience as close as possible. For many, the beauty of matchdays – and the things that our fans will miss the most - revolves around social aspects like meeting up with friends or family before kick-off, at half-time or after the game.
"Video calls have become the norm in all of our working lives, and we hope that the mix of functionality we are trialling will enrich our supporters’ experience of the Palace matchday when they sadly can’t be with us in the stadium.”
Jamie Simmonds, MD at TheTin, said: "With football clubs being instructed to shut their doors to fans for the foreseeable future, we realised there would be a void that TV could not fill. We wanted to develop a solution that gives fans the matchday buzz but also helps keep the relationship with their club. It's been great working with Crystal Palace to bring the ideas to life and we are keen to get into testing with the fans in live matches."
Please note, match footage will not be shown during the game due to the club not owning the broadcast rights. More details of how supporters can get involved will follow before the Crystal Palace v Burnley match.