Emus look to build community engagement

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Penrith Emus Members Holly Prophet and Carina Banks

The Penrith Emus have one of the worst records in Australian sport, but that hasn’t stopped the battling rugby union club from launching season memberships to usher in a new era and attract more fans.

Despite the club’s Shute Shield side currently on a horrendous 37 game streak without a win, Emus officials are hoping the five new and affordable membership options will not only encourage supporters to attend more home games but fly the Emus flag in the community.

Speaking with the Weekender, Penrith Emus Director Ellen Smallacombe said the new range of memberships are largely designed to get the Emus brand back into the community.

“Our thought process is if we can sell a few memberships with shirts, scarves and caps people will start wearing them in the community and spark a conversation,” she said.

“I walk around town often wearing my Emus shirt and it’s quite amazing how many people stop and chat to me about their time with the Emus. We just want to build some community spirit.”

New membership options start for as little as $25 for an Oldies Member through to $150 to become a Gold Member of the club.

The Gold Membership includes a season pass to every Emus home game, club voting rights, free clubhouse hire, $50 bar/canteen voucher, Emus polo shirt, Emus cap, Emus scarf, members discount booklet and a weekly Emus newsletter.

Smallacombe said every sale from the memberships will go directly back into the Emus club.

“We are trying to rebuild our clubhouse facilities at the moment, so we are hoping the membership dollars will go towards that,” she said.

“Eventually when the clubhouse renovations have finished we can start making some great revenue for the club through functions, and in turn attract some top players as well.”

Smallacombe said memberships have been selling well since they were released online last week.

“I’m really surprised at how many we’ve sold actually, there’s a good buzz around the club at the moment,” she said.

“This year isn’t about making a really big profit, it’s more about community engagement.

“We’ve kept prices as low as we can to get fans to come out to more games.”

To receive a membership form, private message your contact details to the Penrith Emus Facebook page or email info@penrithrugby.com.au.

The 2017 Shute Shield season kicks off next month.

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