The Ajax Experience gives all fans the opportunity to dive into the world of Ajax, right in the heart of Amsterdam. As of a month, it’s possible to have live and breathe Ajax in the Experience on the Rembrandtplein. In four issues, Ajax.nl takes you into the world’s newest interactive football experience. Issue 3: Bulykin and Eriksen’s sisters.
The Ajax Experience’s staff has hosted guests from several different nationalities during the first month, leading them through Ajax’s world. The visitors come from all corners of the globe. They’ve come from Australia to the United States, from Israel to Brazil, which is a testament to the international appeal of both Ajax and Amsterdam.
One country which is very well represented is Finland, thanks, of course, to Jari Litmanen. The 40 year old Ajax icon ensured that when his fellow countrymen and women visit Ajax, that they also take the time to visit the Ajax Experience. When asked whether the staff plan to learn Finnish, Elleke van Maanen laughs. The coach, which is the football version of a guide, says that one word is often enough. If the visitor is Finnish, the word ‘Litmanen’ is always enough to produce a smile. “And in the places within the Experience where Litmanen appears, you see them completely light up”, says Van Maanen.
Team leader Danny Ekelschot can already draw from a rich arsenal of stories about Ajax fans after the first few weeks. “Italians are enthusiastic when they see a statue of Wesley Sneijder, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic is popular, too. Even though his wonder goal against NAC is on YouTube, it’s different to experience it on the big screen here. Many Milan fans know the story of the goal, but they can see it for themselves here in the Experience.”
Christian Eriksen and Dmitry Bulykin’s sisters have also paid a visit to the Experience. Although the Russian centre forward’s sister wanted to stay undercover in the Experience, she drew attention in the fanshop nonetheless. “When she arrived at the cash register with a few shirts and wanted the name Bulykin on everything, she introduced herself as his sister”, says Ekelschot, who, in addition to his job at the Experience, also works as head steward in the Amsterdam ArenA.
The team leader gets into funny situations now and again. “All week, I see the virtual Frank de Boer in the locker room replication in the Experience. But because it all looks so real, and I see him a few times on a daily basis, it feels like I know him very well. When I greet him at the Ajax home games every two weeks, I realize that the ‘real’ De Boer is actually someone else.”
Come to the Ajax Experience on Rembrandtplein and live the world of Ajax!