We realised that the transition from being a spectator to being a participant is what made any game memorable and although football is quite popular in Norway, there was something missing in the Norwegian football culture, it didn’t feel like a community yet.
• There is lack of warmth, built-up excitement when one enters Ulleval stadium
• There is little connection/ interaction between the players and the audience
• Match viewing is seen as a one-time novelty experience as opposed to a ritualistic one (75 % of the audience are newcomers)
• It is hard to feel like a community with the constant massive change in the audience
• Norwegian mens football team players don’t celebrate together as a team and audiences aren’t involved in the celebration either
Our goal while designing the ritual
• Create a community that creates a sense of belonging
• An experience that they wouldn’t have while watching the match on TV
• Making it THE place to be
We visited the stadium, to get a better understanding of the context and surroundings and looked for inspiration Norwegian culture, traditions, dance moves and more to understand what makes Norwegians ‘Norwegian’
We were told that the players wish to see enthusiasm from the audience.
But the players celebrate alone. The audience needs to see the players celebrating together – and they need to be able to take part in that celebration in some way.
The Norwegian woman’s team celebrate together as a team. They also have strong and relatable personalities, even on social media platforms and are often seen interacting with the fans.
The 12th Player - Intention:
Make the audience feel like they are a part of
the team. Feeling of community. This is the
place to be.
Ideas + Reflections + Next steps:
We observed that there was a need for more meaningful interactions between the players and the audience, making the latter feel like they are a part of the team, ‘the 12th player’. We filmed a quick movie to visualise what it would be like to have a match watching experience that was designed with intention. An experience where the audience felt like they actually participated, not just watched, and went home with a feeling of collective effervescence, wanting to come back for more.
To make the audience feel welcome, we thought it would be a good idea to add a personal touch in the form of a text confirmation once they scan their ticket at the match venue. In terms of the interaction between the players and the audience, whether it was a cheer or a slogan, we discussed it would be best if this was something that was developed organically. Perhaps a workshop with Oljeberget (early initiators - official fan group) and the players would help to develop a signature move/ cheer together. To make it more popular, ‘movecam’ could be used to to focus on multiple spectators as they initiate the cheer. It would also be of great benefit to work with the players in building strong social personas that feel relatable to the fans. More interaction with the fans on social channels, live broadcasts etc would help build a stronger relationship with the fans
This was a short project, mainly to learn how to understand a community and how rituals played an important role in strengthening a culture.