Halesowen Town are the second winners of the Emirates FA Cup Club of the Round award.
The prize has been introduced this season to recognise qualifying-round clubs for their efforts in advertising their games to drive attendance plus raise recognition and awareness of non-league football. The first round qualifying award went to Hanwell Town.
From the first round qualifying onwards, clubs are given a suite of ten bespoke marketing assets by The FA to be used across print and social media. The second round qualifying fixtures, all played on 17 September, saw 109 of 160 clubs utilise the assets offered to them to proactively market their respective fixtures.
Clubs are judged on a range of criteria including attendance, number of promotional assets used on social media or in print, best social media coverage and video content, before the winner is selected from a shortlist of entrants by an FA panel.
Following the second round qualifying weekend, the shortlist included entries from Salford City and Lincoln United, however it was Halesowen Town which was named the winner.
The club, which plays in the Evo-Stick Premier Division Northern Premier League, used all assets provided across their social media account and print alongside providing great video coverage and content supported by Yeltz TV. The club made the shortlist for the previous round only to miss out narrowly to Hanwell Town, but their continued efforts in promoting their second round fixture saw them awarded the decision made by The FA panel.
Halesowen Town will receive the Club of the Round trophy at their next competition fixture, where the Emirates FA Cup itself will also be present. In addition, the club will receive two tickets to the Emirates FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium, £500 paid social media support, five Nike training balls and four crates of Budweiser.
Halesowen will now face Nantwich Town in the third round qualifying on Saturday 1 October – a fixture which will now have added significance with both the Club of the Round and Emirates FA Cup trophies present.
Halesowen Town chairman Steve Lynch said: "Everyone at Halesowen Town is extremely proud and excited to have won Club of the Round following our second round qualifying victory over Belper Town.
"Our media team are dedicated to bringing our fans the best possible video, photographic and social media coverage to our fans – the extra exposure Emirates and the FA have given to this competition has been paramount in raising awareness of football at our level.
"We very much look forward to hosting both Nantwich Town and the Emirates FA Cup in the next round."