Sport is an important part of life and, for many of us, supporting our team is a big part of our social lives. The relationship we have with our club is one of the longest we’ll ever have and it even becomes part of our identity.
This is often because our affiliation with a team is connected to where we live or is passed down to us through generations.
We support our team through thick and thin. We’re not just there to celebrate when they win, we also turn up to games and cheer them on during bad seasons and losing streaks.
But doing so can quickly add up in price, especially if our team is in one of the major leagues.
And at present, while the cost of just about everything is going through the roof, it can make it difficult to spend as much on your favourite team. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to take some of the pressure off your wallet without having to give up your passion.
Swap Cable for Streaming
If you watch your team on TV, there’s a good chance you pay for a sports package from a cable or satellite company. This can quickly add up, with many of us spending hundreds each month for an account with all the bells and whistles.
However, by ditching this subscription and switching to a streaming service, you can drastically slash how much you spend.
Many professional sports leagues already offer their own streaming services, including all major US leagues, the English Football League, Formula 1, and more. If your sport is not available on any of those, then traditional TV sports broadcasters may have a service you can get instead.
In the UK, NowTV, which is owned by Sky, has a package that lets you pay just £12.99 for access to all Sky Sports channels for a day or £33.99 for an entire month. BT Sport also has a no-contract subscription service, which currently costs £25 per month.
Similar streaming services are also available for EFL clubs, most of whom use the iFollow service. This costs around £45 for an annual audio pass, with a £10 additional fee if you’d also like to watch the game.
Split the Cost With Friends
Of course, £33.99 a month or £12.99 for just a day is still a pricey deal, especially if you intend to follow every game on TV. One way to make things cheaper is to agree with your friends to split the cost of a subscription with them. Doing this suddenly takes the cost of watching the match from almost £13 to just £3.25 each.
Now, most streaming services will have terms and conditions that state you can’t share an account, but that doesn’t stop you from going four ways between you and three pals on a day pass so that you can all watch the game together in someone’s living room.
Watching the game together will also mean that you have more of an atmosphere as you cheer, can offer armchair management suggestions, and sit on the edge of your seats during tense moments.
Take Advantage of Free Bets
Betting is another big part of the sports experience as it can add an additional layer of excitement to a game. Most bookmakers allow you to place bets of pretty much any size, but regardless of what you spend, you can use sites like oddschecker to find no deposit free bet offers to get even more value from your wagers.
With so many different sites offering sports betting, savvy sports fans can take advantage of dozens of these promotions to squeeze even more value from their bets. Typically, these types of bonuses and free bets are only available to new customers, so you will need to open an account with several bookies.
It also makes sense to compare the odds offered by different bookmakers as you can often find quite a sizeable difference between some of them.
Don’t Refresh Your Kit
Donning our team’s jersey during a game is one of the ways we show our support. Wearing the crest on our chest helps to demonstrate that our team is close to our heart.
Unfortunately, these replica jerseys can cost a small fortune. Die-hard fans like to get the latest one each year as teams nearly always change them ahead of each season, but this isn’t always feasible.
If you’re on a budget, don’t worry about getting the latest shirt. If you attend a game in person, you’ll see a sea of shirts from different years anyway, and yours almost definitely won’t be the oldest.
If you don’t currently have one, then buying a scarf is much cheaper than a jersey and you can hold this up with all the other fans. Just throw on a T-shirt that’s the same colour as your team’s kit and wear a jacket over the top. That way, people will see a small V of the T-shirt through the unzipped portion and think nothing of it.
Consider Cheaper Matches
If you like going to watch games live, you’ll know that tickets can be eye-wateringly expensive. Premier League games at London clubs can easily cost you between £30 and £150, though it’s a little cheaper for teams elsewhere in the country.
Typically, the cheapest tickets sell out fast, so it can pay to be quick when new games go on sale.
Not all games command the same price though. Most top-flight matches will be roughly the same, but academy or special testimonial games are typically much cheaper. The former will give you the opportunity to see upcoming talent in action, while the latter typically include big-name stars of past and present. These tickets can often cost as little as £5.
Women’s teams are also becoming much more prominent in sports like football at the moment. Currently, entry to their games is also cheaper, with Chelsea’s unreserved seating tickets costing just £10 and providing great value.