The last time Crusaders member Tyler Cleverley missed a home game, he was at school camp.
Now the 30-year-old buys a membership every year – and one each for his mum and dad.
“I’ve followed the Crusaders my whole life,” Cleverley said.
“For me it’s about being part of the family. You’re with the team, you’re with people that follow the team and care about them, and you get to know everyone around you in the stands.”
Cleverley remembers being a youngster watching his team pre-quake at Lancaster Park, and his affinity with the side has only grown. He’s early to buy his membership every year and loves the camaraderie. This year he got the Gold membership.
“We’ve had the same people around us in our seats for five or six years, so everyone knows everyone, you make friends with each other – it turns into more of a family following that just a following for the sake of it,” he said.
He’d usually choose game day over most other things going on in life, no doubt frustrating his hockey team with the occasional “can’t make it boys sorry, the rugby’s on”.
“Mum and dad always come, we usually take a couple of kids, and it just turns into an awesome social event – it’s become a tradition really,” he said.
The Crusaders offer a range of memberships every season, from two-game flexi memberships, full season passes to a non-seated membership for those just wanting to support the team and get some merch for some quality couch-viewing.
“The game day experience is 100 per cent better because we have a membership. When you know people around you, you feed off each other, you hype each other up. There’s nothing quite like being there live to watch the team play.”
Benefits of a membership range from preferential access to finals tickets, a merchandise pack sent to your door, members events and a discount at the Crusaders shop.
“Yeah, we use the membership discount and usually buy up a few things. This year we bought six shirts so the whole family was kitted out,” he said.
Memberships are still available for the ’23 Super Rugby Pacific season, with ’24 memberships expected to go on sale early July.