Photo credit: Alex Bonner/Arrowheads Abroad
Revisiting The English Fan – Kansas City Chiefs
By Neta Davis @ND622
Back in March 2013, my article about the start of the Kansas City Chiefs UK fan club was posted.Â If you missed it, please take a moment now to read it here.
At that time, @KCChiefsUK was only three days old and had about 75 followers.Â Flash forward to October 21, 2015, and they are just shy of 3,000 and have a thriving social media effort.
With the upcoming Chiefs-Lions game in London on November 1, I caught up with Tom to talk about whatâ€™s been going on in the past two and a half years.
â€œ[The journey] has been fun.Â After I spoke to you last we opened our website (www.kcchiefsuk.com) and created a Facebook group to go with the Twitter account.Â Now we have over 200 members of our Facebook group, nearly 3,000 followers on Twitter, and over 400 sign ups to our website.Â Of which, over 20 have written for our website.Â Arrowheads Abroad has definitely taken off,â€ Tom reports.
Tom founded the website with Matthew Phillips and is its Editor.Â Twitter and Facebook management is shared between Tom, Robert Reynolds, and Jon Cartwright.Â Alex Bonner designs for the media outlets.Â Regular contributors include Regan Woodhouse, Sam Beresford, Mark Farthing, Dave Barnett, Neil Blair, Nick Webb, Millissa Beaton, and Kyle Garlett.
Their efforts have been so impressive that Arrowheads Abroad was officially designated by the Kansas City Chiefs organization as its official UK fan club.Â Tom has regular communications with their representatives and has been involved with meetings regarding the Chiefsâ€™ London plans.
Considering that most of the other UK fans clubs are not as involved nor even recognized by their NFL teams, I asked Tom to compare Arrowheads Abroad to other UK fan clubs.
â€œThere are some really good groups here in the UK.Â Off the top of my head, I would say the best groups are the Bears, Patriots, Bucs, Packers, and Cowboy fan groups.Â All of these are really active and professional groups with great content.â€
And thatâ€™s the key to start attracting the attention of the NFL team according to Tom, along with plenty of engagement with other fans to prove there is support from a group, not just a really enthusiastic individual.Â
His and the core teamâ€™s efforts have led to rewarding experiences in meeting fellow Chiefs fans.Â He has gone from watching games as the lone Chiefs fan to making new friends that he regularly meets so they can cheer on the team together while enjoying a beer (or two).
All the UK Chiefs fans are very excited about the November 1 game at Wembley Stadium.Â Arrowheads Abroad has organized many different activities for both local and international Kansas City fans:
- London Bus Tour â€“ Friday, October 30, Noon-2pmÂ Get tickets here: eventbrite.co.uk (Search for Kansas City Chiefs Fan Sight Seeing Tour of London)
- Halloween Party at Pipeline Bar â€“ Saturday, October 31, 6pm – ??Â Get tickets here:Â eventbrite.co.uk (Search for Kansas City Chiefs London Halloween Party)
- English Tailgating at Green Manâ€™s Pub â€“ Sunday, November 1, 11am â€“ 1pm near Wembley Stadium, before the game
In addition to these activities, the Chiefs are sponsoring a Thames River Cruise Friday night (donâ€™t know if this is open to the public or not), and NFLUK is showcasing a Fan Forum with Barry Sanders, Will Shields, and Christian Okoye on Saturday (seats offered to the first 600 fans donating 5 pounds to the Walking with the Wounded Charityâ€”see NFLUK.com for details).
Tom and I agree that one of the most anticipated events surrounding the London Chiefs game is meeting all the faces that are behind the social media accounts that we interact with and read daily, not only from Kansas City, but across the USA and Europe.Â Through the grapevine, itâ€™s estimated that around 13,000 folks are coming in for this gameâ€”around 5,000 from Kansas City and the surrounding area and the remainder from elsewhere in the USA and world.
Regardless of their origin or numbers, Tom sends this message to all travelers:Â â€œA warm welcomeâ€¦â€¦.London is a great city with so much to see and do.Â Boredom will not be an option!â€