Dear friends, travelers, and fellow Homefans followers….
It’s been just over a year since Homefans organized its first small group trip, and officially launched into the world. To say these past 12 months have been an extraordinary journey, in our eyes and those of our travelers, would be an understatement.
We set out with a bold and simple vision: to change the way that fans live and experience football around the world and build a global community of like-minded people. We sought to understand how might we design our match days and football weekends abroad more around shared experiences and less around consumption, and infuse our experiences with more intention, passion, and meaning in the process. We dedicated ourselves to leading by example, and building a company culture based on flexibility, football, openness, and honesty, led by an international team that embraces our values to their core, and lives them every single day.
‘’We didn’t set out to create just another football travel company. We set out to create a people’s company.’’
And we are proud to stand here today and say that we feel we have done that. We’ve stayed committed to our values, made mistakes to learn from, made the hard decisions that have kept us honest to ourselves, and built an incredible community that is growing every day with new travelers who join us. Heck, to be honest, we’re proud to even be here at all. The start-up journey is a wild one, and there is no way we could have done it without the incredible support of our friends, families, investors, and most of all, our community: you.
In 12 months, we’ve started to focus on derby days and on football journeys around the world, such as Argentina (and soon Brazil and beyond). From the intense derbies in Belgrade to La Bombonera in Buenos Aires, the Old Firm to Derby Della Capitale in Rome, we’ve built a truly global footprint. It all started with trips from the Netherlands and just Dutch travelers, but now we see people joining us from the UK, Sweden, Slovakia, Belgium, Portugal, Serbia and Spain. We even managed to play a five-a-side at Rangers’ official training facilities; we have to admit: We were shit!
Together, we’ve shaped a new way of traveling, making new friends but most importantly to experience football the local way during our trips. We got rid of the traditional ticket + hotel packages that treat people as ‘’consumers’’. For us, everyone who travels along becomes part of our community and our family.
Our community has come together to share our knowledge, branded storytelling and some even joined us 4 times already in ONE year! Without you, we wouldn’t have the enthusiasm to create new trips with unforgettable experiences.
We’ve learned how to improve the trips, get travelers who care more about the experience rather than the price and how to drink Rakija in Belgrade. Guido and Stefan, you guys are still on top of the list. Nobody can compete against you with Rakija. Ronald, we met in March when we hosted 16 people for the Old Firm at Celtic Park, you decided to contact us to hang out with us and the rest is history. Ronald is now joining all the big trips and became part of the Homefans family. Sebastiaan, another Dutch traveler who brings a bunch of friends on our trips. We look forward to bringing you to Argentina in 2018 to tick off your ultimate bucket list trip. Kevin, you should become a comedian, period. Mikael, it’s been amazing to stand together with the Barra Brava Hammarby in Stockholm, we look forward to coming back to Stockholm in 2018.
While some fans might choose to stick to the standard match breaks and the cheapest packages, we learned its way more than just watching football for 90 minutes. It’s the memories created from those experiences that last forever.
We’ve received over 400 travelers in one year, hosted more than 50 trips and incredible humans from 8 countries. We’ve seen a lot of travelers become part of the community which means we’re doing something right.
As astonished as we are about this growing community and how everyone is finding ways to contribute or join one of our trips: this is just the foundation of Homefans. In 2018 we’ll launch new destinations, out of the box trips and some special rewards for our community.
We’re just beginning this football adventure. Homefans is more than just a travel company. And now with 150 shareholders who believed in this vision and allowed us to overfund in our crowdfunding campaign, we are committed to creating epic shared experiences rooted in people, destinations and purpose. We’re committed to building lasting communities, life-long relationships, and make new friends across the world. This is why we’re excited to scale Homefans in the coming months and years ahead. This has to exist.
Let’s do it together. See you on one of our next trips.
Luke, Daniel, Ivan, Pedro, and Thom.
PS: We thought we’d share a few of our favorite memories with you below..
Haven’t been an Homefans experience yet, but itching for something different? Check out our latest trips to see where we’re heading early 2018!