The changes in fan behavior rule the future of sports organizations
Do you know how to future-proof your sports organization?
As the digital evolution keeps on evolving, so does the behavior of sports fans. In the last few years, fans have expected more than ever before from sports teams, leagues, and clubs. Unlike the older generations, the younger generations, in particular Millenials, Gen Z, and Gen Alpha, expect their favorite sports organizations to deliver experiences beyond the stadium and TV forecasting. Instead, they expect these experiences to be delivered wherever and whenever they want them.
So what can you do in order to adapt to the above changes and future-proof your sports organization?
In this blog post, we will be covering:
- Why a Sports CDP sets you up for high and long-term profitability
- 5 reasons why you need a Sports CDP to future-proof your sports organization
- Key takeaways
Ready? Let’s explore.
Before we dive right in...
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A Sports CDP sets you up for high and long-term profitability
When you use a Sports CDP, you will future-proof your sports organization because you set yourself up for success in the short and long run. It is a solution that allows your sports organization to adopt a strategy that is highly profitable as well as it is sustainable. Specifically, we mean that your sports organization will be able to leverage and optimize current revenue streams and uncover new revenue streams while delivering a world-class experience to all your fans.
Sounds too good to be true? We get it. These are, after all, pretty big promises. So, of course, you need some more information to feel confident and convinced.
So let’s take a look at 5 reasons why you need a Sports CDP to future-proof your sports organization.
A 360-degree fan view
The beauty of a Sports Customer Data Platform is that it allows you to create a 360-degree view of each fan the Sports CDP has identified – a crucial first step to future-proof your sports organization.
After collecting all your data from all your different sources and touchpoints, the Sports CDP merges all of this data and visualizes it, creating a holistic view of each and every fan.
To give you a few examples, here are just some of the sources the Sports CDP can collect data from:
- Ticketing system
- Point of Sale (POS) system for in-stadium food and beverage purchases
- Online POS or e-commerce system for your merchandise
- Social media platforms
- OTT streaming service platform
- Membership platform
- Newsletter and mailing lists
- Event sign up lists
…and whichever other sources you have or would like the Sports CDP to collect data from.
Why do sports organizations need a 360-degree view of their fans?
Sure, the value of having a 360-degree view of each fan might seem obvious. Unlike before having a Sports CDP, when you had your data spread out across multiple platforms and systems, you can rest assured that you now have all the necessary information about each fan. If you are right now asking yourself why you need all of this information, then the answer to that question is that:
Your fans expect you to know what they want and desire, no matter when and where they interact with you.
Like any relationship, the better you know the person, the better you can interact with them. And the same goes for your fans. The more insights you have about them, the better fan experiences you will be able to create and deliver to them. This is more important today than ever because fans nowadays expect so much more from the organizations they buy from and interact with.
As demonstrated by the stat above, it is clear that knowing and understanding your fans’ specific wants and desires should be a top priority of any sports organization. And there is no easier way to gain these insights than to use a Sports CDP. Because when you do, you will receive a rich and holistic view of each fan. And even better is that this data is updated in real-time, ensuring that all your fan profiles are up to date.
The benefits of a 360-degree fan view
When you have a 360-degree view of each of your fans, you will experience these benefits and more:
- A single source of truth in your data,
- Your data will no longer be in silos, aka not be separate from each other.
- You can uncover key insights about your fans’ characteristics, preferences, and behaviors that you otherwise would have never known.
- You can now deliver hyper-personalized fan experiences across all channels and touchpoints.
As you can see, having a 360-degree view of each fan brings several benefits in letting you future-proof your sports organization. Let’s explore some of them in more detail, starting with…
Targeting the right fans in real-time
A Sports CDP not only allows you to gain relevant insights about your fans, thanks to a 360-degree view; it also allows you to act on these insights and lets you target:
- The right fan
- with the right message
- at the right time
- in their preferred channel(s)
Yes, it’s that simple. The Sports CDP allows you to target your fans with the best possible experiences wherever and whenever your fans want it. But let’s try to break it down a bit more and see how this would work in practice. And the keywords here are:
Fan insights and segmentation.
Let’s explore these two in more detail…
Target your fans using fan insights and segmentation
Thanks to having a 360-degree fan view, you can now uncover insights that you can act on. To give you a few examples, these fan insights could include:
- In-stadium purchases
- Ticket purchases
- Stadium entrances
- Personal details
- Merchandise purchase and behavior data
- Web- and app behavior
This list could, of course, be longer. But for the sake of demonstrating how you can act your fan insights, let us stop there for now.
So, now that you have the necessary data about your fans, you can now start analyzing your data, look for behavior patterns, uncover different characteristics, learn more about their preferences and desires, and so on. And when analyzing these different insights, you will also discover something amazing:
You will be able to identify who your most loyal and valuable fans are.
You no longer need to feel in doubt about who they are because now you know precisely which characteristics, preferences, and behaviors your most loyal fans have. And we haven’t even mentioned the best part yet. Now, not only do you know who your most valuable fans are. You can also find new fans with similar characteristics, and as a result:
You can grow your fan base.
“Barcelona is a club with a massive fan following across the globe, with over 350 million followers supporting the Blaugrana. However, out of that, just 1% of the fans, approximately around 3 million, are ‘registered’. This is believed to have affected the valuation of the deal with Spotify. The report states that in case the number of fans who had consented to the sharing of their personal data was higher, Barça would have stood to gain much more financially from the sponsorship deal.”
As you can see above, having a robust fan database is crucial if you want to negotiate the highest sponsorship deal possible. So even a big club such as Barcelona could avoid leaving money on the table if they managed to increase their fan database. So you want to make sure that your fans are loyal enough that they not only follow you on social media but also opt-in and become part of your database. This could work out in several ways, such as your fan:
- Buying match tickets online
- Purchasing merchandise from your online store
- Registering to your superfan club
- Signing up for your newsletter
- Downloading your app
- Subscribing to your OTT streaming service
- Being a customer of one of your sponsors
- Purchasing NFTs
When you have them in your database, you can also target them in real-time. And to do so, you can segment your fans into different groups based on specific characteristics that you have uncovered about them. For example, after learning who your most loyal fans are, you can create a segment of this specific group of fans. Then, you can target them with highly-personalized experiences and interactions in their preferred channels.
And speaking of personalization, a Sports CDP will also let you…
Deliver hyper-personalized fan experiences
Creating and delivering hyper-personalized fan experiences is crucial if you want to future-proof and grow your sports organization for longevity. Because a Sports CDP lets you target your fans with the right message, in the right channel, at the right time, this means that you can now deliver hyper-personalized fan experiences. Here are 3 simple reasons why you should hyper-personalize:
- Increase revenue
- Increases fan lifetime value
- Optimize your marketing efforts
And the numbers speak for themselves:
As you can see:
- 51% of those who say personalization is best across as many touchpoints as possible earned 300% ROI (return on investment) or more.
- Companies with a clearly defined marketing-led personalization function were 38% likelier to earn 400% ROI or more than their counterparts.
- Companies that do not have centralized ownership of personalization are 3X more likely to see negative or small results.
In practice, this would mean that your fans would receive experiences that are highly relevant to them, leading to:
- Increased trust in your sports organization
- Higher engagement and loyalty
- More relevant merchandise recommendations
- Tailored offerings from you as well as your sponsors
- Hyper-personalized experiences in your OTT-streaming service
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it sure does illustrate how much you can hyper-personalize your fan experiences using a Sports CDP, which is a prerequisite if you want to future-proof your sports organization. You can target your fans anywhere with hyper-personalized marketing campaigns, no matter where they are. And this will help you to achieve that one true omnichannel fan experience, which is personalized, seamless, and consistent across all channels and touchpoints in which your fans interact with you in.
This brings us to another major benefit and reason you should use a Sports CDP to future-proof your sports organization…
Get ROI on your sports marketing efforts
A part of creating a successful hyper-personalized sports marketing campaign is to ensure that you are measuring the right things. Because only then will you understand what is working and what needs to be changed or modified, and you will also know how to optimize future marketing campaigns.
This is another area where a Sports CDP shines because it allows you to easily define which key performance indicators (KPIs) you would like to measure in your marketing campaigns. In other words, when using a Sports CDP, you are never second-guessing your results. Instead, you can always rest assured that you are relying on real-time data when making any decision – big or small.
“What gets measured gets managed”
– Peter Drucker
When using Data Talks Sports CDP, you can easily and flexibly create real-time dashboards in the Sports CDP that allow you to visualize and analyze your fan base and your marketing efforts according to the KPIs you have defined. Because when you track the right KPIs, you can better understand how your fans interact with your sports organization and ultimately deliver an even better fan experience.
Measuring the right KPIs is indispensable because doing so means that you will be able to:
- Measure your marketing targets and efforts on a granular level.
- Measure your progress over time and find patterns that you otherwise would not have found – such as who your most valuable fans are and prevent less engaging ones from churning.
- Make better decisions – because now you have enough data to guide your decision-making process.
- An integrated overview of your sports organization – this is connected to another important and powerful reason why you should use a Sports CDP to future-proof your sports organization, which is…
Working data-driven means that you are working “future”-driven. Because using a Sports CDP not only allows you to measure and optimize your sports marketing efforts, it also allows you to measure and optimize the overall performance of your sports organization.
Working data-driven is key to:
- Analyze and optimize your current revenue streams
- Find new viable business opportunities
- Better serve your fans wherever they are and whenever they want
- Grow all of your sales, such as:
- Ticket sales
- Merchandise sales
- In-stadium food and beverage sales
- Membership and OTT-Streaming Service subscriptions
- Improve your overall organizational operations and team performance
There are, of course, some challenges that sports organizations face when embarking on their journey to working data-driven, including several of the following:
When you use the Data Talks Sports CDP, working data-driven feels like a walk in the park. Because now everyone at your sports organization has access to the same data, aka data democratization. Moreover, you are now able to optimize your decision-making process since you have the data to guide you on what to do next. And it gets even better. Because you can now also work proactively thanks to predictive analytics. This means that you are able to predict your fans’ next moves and leverage AI-based insights, which is crucial if you want to future-proof your sports organization. Amazing, right?
In this article, we have covered why you need a Sports CDP to future-proof your sports organization so that it is highly profitable as well as it is sustainable, with these 5 reasons including:
- A 360-degree fan view: thanks to collecting and centralizing all of your data from any source where you have saved your fan data.
- Targeting the right fans in real-time: you can deliver interactions and experiences to your fans wherever they are and whenever they desire them
- Deliver hyper-personalized fan experiences: a Sports CDP also enables you to create and deliver fan experiences that are hyper-personalized thanks to deep data insights it has collected about your fans.
- Get ROI on your sports marketing efforts: the Sports CDP will ensure that you can track, measure, and optimize any sports marketing campaigns that you create.
- A Sports CDP enables you to work data-driven: and working data-driven means that you are working “future”-driven, especially since sports organizations that do so will be able to predict their fans’ next moves and make even better decisions overall.
So what is next? Are you ready to try it out yourself? A picture does after all speak more than a thousand words, so our best advice is to simply jump right in and explore the Data Talks Sports CDP for yourself.