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Ex-editor launches pioneering digital matchday programme for football club

A former regional editor has launched a pioneering digital-only matchday programme for a professional football club which has ceased producing a print equivalent.

Darren Isted, who spent 12 years in charge of Stevenage-based weekly The Comet, has worked with Stevenage FC to launch the groundbreaking publication, which is available will be available to fans in place of the traditional print programme.

The EFL, which governs three of English football’s top four divisions, passed a ruling last season which meant that member clubs do not now have to issue printed matchday programmes for home matches.

Darren’s company Hashtag Digital Media has worked with Stevenage to produce the alternative, which went live to supporters on Friday for the first time ahead of their home game with Exeter City the following day.

Stevenage programme

The interactive programme featured video, interactive quizzes and an embedded archived programme along with live links to emails and websites.

Darren said: “We have already been working with a number of local councils and businesses on interactive digital magazines so this was a natural extension of how our products can help similar organisations.

“When it comes to football everyone loves a printed programme but even the most die-hard fan has recognised that the cost of print allied to falling sales and the lack of reach means this is just not sustainable for many football clubs.

“The programme we have launched in partnership with Stevenage FC respects the tradition of the printed product but offers so much more to both supporters, advertisers and of course to the club itself.”