A fantastic year on and off the field for the club, will get even better in 2017 with the announcement of their 2017 membership total to date. The Swans tweeted the total of 26,976 on December 1st, almost more than 8,000 at the same time in 2015.
The Swans are on track to smoke their 2016 record setting year, already sitting pretty with 28,694 (Dec 13, 8am) signed members. Year on year since 2012, the Swans have increased at least 9% each season, averaging 14%, thanks largely to grand finals in 2012 and 2014, with 2013 and 2015 both recording over 17%. While 2014 increased moderately, just 9%, 2016 saw a significant increase, by 13.6%.
Already one of the strongest AFL clubs, the Swans are set to break through 60,000 members for the first time. In just 5 years, the Swans' membership numbers will have doubled from 29,873 in 2012, propelling them into the top 5 supported clubs.
Andrew Pridham drew the ire of the southern AFL clubs, particularly Collingwood and Hawthorn, when he said that the Swans were on track to become the biggest sporting club in the country. You can't argue with the numbers. 1.1 million supporters in the city, 56,500 members at the time larger than other AFL power clubs and burgeoning sponsorships with major multi-national companies. Predictably, with cheeks and triple chins wobbling furiously, barely able to form basic words, he took to his radio show spouting profanities in his daily struggle to form coherent sentences, while fending off the Collingwood hyenas.
2016 was a stellar year, winning the minor premiership for the 2nd time in 3 years and once again runners up in the grand final. It was a bitter pill to swallow, but with strong off field performances from club and players, announcement of a ridiculously good fixture for Victorian supporters and Captain Josh Kennedy, the atmosphere throughout the club and supporter base is very positive and full of optimism.
While the Hawks overtook the Pies to claim the no. 1 position in the 2016 membership race, little attention was given to the Swans as they surged past football heartland clubs Adelaide, Port Adelaide and Fremantle. Both NSW clubs combined to exceed 71,000 members in a state dominated by both Rugby codes. It's a massive win and an enormous success for AFL in NSW, when the state didn't even have 30,000 AFL members in 2012.
Even if the Swans surge past 60,000, they'll still be outside the top 4, but only just. If the 17% holds true for their 2016 successes, they'll reach 66,000 by August, flying past Essendon and matching it with West Coast. It's quite possible that the Swans will give 70,000 a fair shake on the back of another successful season.
With a return to the Swans' spiritual heart land, no more games at ANZ, 8 prime time night games and another excellent fixture, the Swans are sure to defy all once again in 2017. Get on board, show your support and get your membership package.
Swans' year on year membership numbers since 2012:
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