Fan engagement and big data with sports teams

Big data has made a tremendous development in the past few years. Collecting data and using it for marketing purposes can create a bigger conversion. The word ‘big data’ does not have a specific meaning. People often speak of ‘big data’ when companies try to collect as much data as possible and tend to use this data for marketing purposes. The data that is collected could consist of any information that might be relevant for the company, mostly digital data that a person leaves behind like for example: place of residency, age and gender. By using this data in the process of forming a marketing strategy, communication with the target group can be done more specific and personal. Someone who gets a personal offer or message tends to click through faster. This leads to a better conversion. There are a lot of ways of collecting data about customers nowadays. Letting customers fill in their personal data when they order products, or letting people subscribe to a newsletter are ways to get to know your customers. In sports, sports teams are also trying to collect as much data as they can. Connected stadiums offer an effortless way of collecting information about fans. By letting visitors register in exchange for access to the wifi or a app, people tend to leave their personal information faster. Which can be of value for the club.

Examples of data driven marketing in sports

Forming marketing strategies through collected data is called data driven marketing. In the past few years, more and more clubs are starting to use this effective way of marketing. A reason for this is the need for a more intense fan experience. We have highlighted two clubs who are successfully using data driven marketing to expand their brand:

FC Twente

In an article from Marketingfacts,it becomes clear that FC Twente is a club which is executing data driven marketing the right way. Football equals emotion and FC Twente knows how to trigger this emotion. FC Twente tries to provide the fans in their love for the club and their love for the game. The experience plays a crucial role when it comes to communicating with the fans. Twente has developed a complete mechanism which gives them the opportunity to satisfy the emotions of fans. Most of the data that FC Twente has collected, comes from (season) club card holders. The data is being collected through the website and social media, but also from the access gates at the stadium. All the data comes together in the club’s CRM system. This collected data lets FC Twente interact with their fans in a more personal way, on the website, webshop, e-mail and the app. Now, FC Twente is working on a new site in which specific content will be shown for each group of fans. someone from the business lounge for example will see other content on the website than people from the fanatic fans section.

Wolverhampton Wanderers FC

Wolverhampton Wanderers makes use of data driven marketing for a lot of years now. When it comes to data we can safely say: the more data you have, the more effective you can be. By analysing the collected data, the club has brought products on the market that lead to new revenue streams. in 2014, the club signed a partnership agreement with data management company CCR. This shows that the collected data is very important for the Wolves. CCR is helping the club in cleansing and organizing the data. Wolverhampton Wanderers is the first club that started to use a new system of CCR: ADAM. This new system gave the wolves new opportunities in the field of segmentation. Fans can now be segmented based on: social media, interests, demography and lifestyle. The fact that the Wolves signed this partnership agreement in 2014, shows that they are a precursor when it comes to data driven marketing.

Because of the big amount of data, we leave on websites, locations etc. big data is something no one can ignore. The ways that this data can be used by companies and sports teams are almost endless. FC Twente and Wolverhampton Wanderers show that you that a successful data driven marketing strategy allows fans to connect better to your brand and gives you the chance to satisfy the emotions that set off when one is watching a football match.

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