OLSC Toronto – 2023/24 Recap

Liverpool FC Supporters Club Toronto Canada
  • Liverpool FC Toronto Supporters Club

OLSC Toronto 2023/24  - President's Message

Hello, Reds!

As we all get our Kleenex boxes readied for Klopp's last game at Anfield in a week, I wanted to take a moment to share some thoughts on this past season for the Official Liverpool Supporters Club (OLSC) of Toronto.

For the past two seasons, our new Executive Team has had one mission: To make OLSC Toronto the biggest and best supporters club in the world by connecting more local fans to Liverpool FC and creating the best member experience for local fans.

Based on our achievements to date and the feedback we're receiving from local fans, International observers, and other supporter club Executives, I'm glad to say we're on our way there!

This has been a year that I can only describe as a season of "more." We have More members, more benefits, and more experiences than we've ever seen before. Here are a few of the big milestones/achievements we've seen this year.

  • Membership: Last year, we created a new digital membership card with online processing to ensure everyone could become a member without being in the pub. This year, we introduced two new tiers of membership: A free "general membership" and a free "kid membership" with varying benefits to allow even more people to become part of our community. That saw our membership numbers grow beyond our goals: 1244 members of OLSC Toronto! And we've already started to work on new benefits for these groups next season.
  • More Weekly Communications: You've likely all noticed the new branding that our MarCom Director created, which is seen on the new banners in the pub, our weekly social media posts, and more. We've worked hard to keep everyone updated on all our events and news with frequently updated in-pub signage and a detailed weekly newsletter.
  • More OLSC Toronto Swag: We designed a new OLSC Toronto fan scarf that we think is our best one yet and is selling fast! We've launched several limited-edition Tees this year, including our latest - a tribute to the gaffer, Jurgen Klopp. All sold out almost instantly. We will look to add more to the collection next year.
  • More Prizes: Our partnership with our pubs and Carlsberg Canada was expanded this year to include offering amazing monthly prizes for all our members visiting the pub. Each month - at each of our pubs - we've given away a few LFC bar fridges, LFC Muskoka Chairs, LFC backyard coolers, LFC-branded Yeti coolers, and a number of signed jerseys and framed prints. Congratulations to all our winners.
  • More Member Halftime Draws: We continued to give away prizes during each of our Premier League matches; however, this year, we added giveaways specifically designed for our new kid members! Congratulations to all those winners.
  • More Special Game Day Events: Due to the overwhelming demand for the in-pub experience, we've created "Red Day Events" that bring additional excitement and logistics to some of our biggest games. These include pre- and post-match music, more live performances, more raffles and giveaways, wristband access, and more. There's been a lot of lessons learned as we continue to try and accommodate the larger and larger crowds that we hope to use in making next year's events even better. We truly appreciate the patience and support we've received from many of you this year.
  • More Crimbo Gifts: We saw a record number of guests attend our sold-out holiday party in December, where we offered a record number of gifts to attendees, including two amazing tickets to a Toronto Maple Leafs match plus a Press Box Tour.
  • More Member Benefits: This year, we saw greater member benefits, including a new early bird complimentary Member Breakfast in August, more discounted beers, complimentary Grand Prize ballots each month for Premium Members, etc. We continue to look for ways to grow our member benefits to match the in-pub excitement.
  • More Charity Work: Along with our ongoing efforts to help raise money for local charities - part of our mandate as a Liverpool FC Supporters Club, we gathered members to go visit The Daily Bread Food Bank this year to help sort food. We'll once again be making a cash donation to the charity based on a percentage of revenue received from membership fees and raffles.
  • More Community: We introduced a new WhatsApp Member Channel this year for general fan chat and other sub-groups. This is our opportunity to connect all members, regardless of where you watch the match or where in the GTA you live, to get to know other members and chat all things Liverpool.
  • More Live Events: We brought back The Anfield Wrap for another sold-out live event this year and are currently working on some exciting new live events for the summer and next season.
  • More Members to Liverpool: Our Executive was successful at increasing the number of tickets allocated to our OLSC for members to attend matches at Anfield. This year, we sent over 70 members to Anfield! And the icing on the cake: 8 were upgraded to Carlsberg Lounge Hospitality tickets, where our members could meet Jurgen, Robbo, VVD, Tsimi, and other players!
  • More Grand Prizes: If connecting more members with Anfield tickets was not enough, we coordinated with our sponsors to offer an amazing once-in-a-lifetime Anfield Experience for four Premium Members. We're thrilled to be able to fly Ahmad, Lorena, Hugh, and Mariano to watch Klopp's last Anfield game, where they'll get to have cocktails with Liverpool Legends, play on the pitch at Anfield, and enjoy other amazing surprises.
  • More Hours: As you can imagine, the new heights our fan club has reached this year can't have been achieved without a group of volunteers who have spent literally thousands of hours planning, coordinating, and executing all these wonderful things outlined above. This club would be nowhere without those people who volunteer to be on the Executive, act as pub ambassadors, or do other jobs that are so important to the ongoing success of our supporters club.

Despite all the wonderful growth we've seen this year, it has not been without its troubles. Growth means we have had to manage more people, more personalities, and more demands. Unfortunately, we had to hand out a few Red Cards per our Code of Conduct. We take our responsibility to the Charter that we, as club Executives, swear to uphold when accepting these roles very seriously. We must create, foster, and sometimes enforce rules to ensure an inclusive, safe, respectful supporters club. I encourage all of you to take a moment to read the Code and share any suggestions or concerns with me.

Like LFC, we have tried to create a financial model that supports the future growth of this club and the member experiences it offers. While spending more money on Member Experience than ever before and continuing to donate to local charities, we’ve added to our coffers this year to facilitate an LFC Legends event in the coming year. We look forward to announcing more on this soon.

Finally, I want to thank all of our Members and guests who have faithfully shown up at the pub, online, and away each and every week. You are the reason we have this supporters club, and it is for you that we work so hard. Your showing up, singing, cheering, and participating in our events makes this all worthwhile.

In addition, many thanks to some of our biggest supporters: The management and staff at The Slye Fox and The Elephant & Castle for showing up each and every match - regardless of kick-off times - and for helping to make each event so special. And to our main sponsor, Carlsberg Canada, for your ongoing support of our member experience.

Until next year,

Jake Lota
President, OLSC Toronto