Cambridge United has been awarded with Family Excellence Status for the 2021/22 season and joins a record number of 65 EFL Clubs in achieving the accolade...
The U's recorded their best ever score with an 8.7 - third highest in League One and 14th out of all 72 EFL Clubs.
EFL Clubs received two ‘mystery family’ visits throughout the season, with their feedback and reports determining whether each respective club would achieve ‘Family Excellence’ status.
Now in its 14th year, the Family Excellence Scheme is an ongoing consultation programme, which aims to drive continuous improvement and best practice in family engagement across the leagues.
Scores are reached as each Club is assessed across a range of touchpoints, in order to reflect and report on the first-time family experience they encounter.
After receiving an overall score of 8.4 for the first mystery visit of the season - at the 16th October game against Ipswich - an 8.7 was achieved for the second when the assessors came to the 5th March game against Shrewsbury Town.
The EFL's summary report states, "This season's successful retention of Family Excellence status shows Cambridge United lifting the experience they offer to new levels. The detailed information on the website; the personal intervention of the SLO and a magical mascot are all evidence of a top class end-to-end family experience. "Other strengths include Marvin the Moose's online contribution: timely and engaging while the improvements identified are minor. The Club does have some challenges ranging from travel and parking to the size of the stadium space, but their very evident focus on fan engagement means that every new family visiting the Abbey Stadium is likely to leave with a smile on their face."
Supporter Liaison Officer, Dave Matthew-Jones said, "To receive this award is proof that Cambridge United is taking the fan experience seriously for everyone coming on Matchdays. The Club is making further improvements over the summer period in time for the start of the new season. These changes will benefit and hopefully excite both home and away supporters, whilst also improving the facilities at the Abbey Stadium.
"The work already done during the past twelve months have improved the markings right across the board and is just rewards for everyone involved. We have also only just missed out on receiving a Gold Award, which only a small number of clubs obtain each season, but that is the next target."
In addition to receiving Family Excellence Status, the Club has also been named in the best XI under the ‘welcome’ category.
This category is all about what the best Clubs do to generate a sense of anticipation for families around the match, whether it is a friendly and engaging ticket purchase process, a warm and enthusiastic welcome from staff or a Mascot on arrival at the stadium, or anything that helps to create a great welcome specifically for young fans and families.
The assessor said, "The warm welcome first-time visitors receive is brilliant. Whether it is through the detailed information provided on the Club website, the guidance offered by the club’s SLO, or by staff on the day itself, Cambridge United clearly care about families and first-time fans."
A full list of EFL Clubs to receive the Family Excellence status can be found here.