Supporter insights: how you can turn them into revenue

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Patricia Parker Nielsen
An image of a CDP plus supporters to depict supporter insights

Supporter insights – how can they translate into revenue? And how can you gain access to them?

Digitalization has led to many changes in the sports industry, and one of them is the change in supporter behavior. Moreover, today’s supporters expect much more from sports organizations, which can be challenging when you do not know what your supporters want and desire. So, what is the keyword here? Supporter insights. 

In this blog post, we will be exploring:

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How the evolving supporter behavior challenges sports organizations

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Why having insights about your supporters matter

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What is holding sports organizations back from gaining these supporter insights

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How sports organizations can gain access to their supporter insights

So without further ado, let’s jump right in.

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    Evolving supporter behavior challenges sports organizations.

    It’s no secret that digitalization has led to changes in how supporters consume sports content. It has also changed how they interact with their favorite sports organizations. In addition, Covid-19 has inevitably fueled this change in supporter behavior. But what exactly do we mean when we say that digitalization has changed supporter behavior?

    To give you a few examples, here are some key trends based on a study conducted by the Urban Sustainability Directors Network and Nielsen:

    • Supporter bases are becoming more diverse and inclusive.
    • Today’s supporters want to play an active role and have more influence. 
    • They demand 24/7 access to sports content whenever and wherever…
    • …and they expect these experiences to be hyper-personalized.
    • Supporters also expect unique experiences in the stadium.
    • And they want sports organizations to take action on societal issues they believe in.

    As you can see, today’s supporters expect even more than ever before. They expect you to know exactly what they want from the get-go. And it is important that you know what they want. Because when you deliver these experiences, you build trust and loyalty with your supporters. This is because they will associate these experiences with your sports organization. So, this means they will identify with your team or club.

    An image of Dr Daniel Wann talking

    “If you’re a sports team or an athlete, you want fans to identify with you because that’s where the money is.”

    Dr. Daniel Wann | sports fan psychologist

    So how do you deliver all of this and more to your supporters? And how can you build trust and, in turn, long-term loyalty? Well, the key here is…

    Having insights about your supporters

    In an ideal world, you know exactly what each supporter wants and desires. In reality, though, you need to figure this out. And this can feel slightly daunting, especially if you have a larger supporter base. However, the good news is that you actually have the next best thing. And that is your very own supporter data. By analyzing your supporter data, you can actually uncover supporter insights that tell you about your supporters’ characteristics, needs, and behaviors.

    Here is a taste of what type of data you can collect about your supporters:

    • Personal data
    • Demographic 
    • Geographic location
    • In-stadium purchases
    • Ticket purchases
    • Stadium entrance data
    • Web behavior 
    • Mobile app behavior 
    • OTT-platform behavior 

    As you can see, there are many details that you can collect about your supporters. Which can give you a rich and clear picture of each and every supporter. These supporter insights are crucial to gaining your supporters’ trust and, in turn, loyalty. And the best part is that most sports organizations already have all of this data. 

    However, the paradox here is that having too much data at your disposal can become a hassle. Because even though data is the new oil, it is only valuable to you when you can uncover insights from it. 

    Clive Humby said it best:

    An image of Clive Humby looking directly into the camera

    “Data is the new oil. It’s valuable, but it cannot really be used if unrefined. It has to be changed into gas, plastic, chemicals, etc., to create a valuable entity that drives profitable activity; so must data be broken down and analyzed to have value.”

    Clive Humby | British mathematician

    So, how do you filter out all these supporter insights from your data? Well, the short answer here is that you need to gain access to the right data. Only then can you actually uncover the insights you need to understand your supporters and deliver to them what they want and desire. 

    However, this brings us to another challenge that far too many sports organizations struggle with, which is that….

    Sports organizations have their data spread out across different sources.

    A team of two discussing suporter data stored across different sources

    Unfortunately, this is a reality for so many sports organizations across the sports world: from local sports clubs to A-leagues. What they all have in common is the pain of having their data spread out in multiple sources that are siloed from each other, which means that they are isolated from each other. 

    In concrete terms, it could look something like this:

    • 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 
    • App 
    • OTT streaming service platform 
    • Newsletter and mailing lists 
    • Event sign-up lists

    Now, imagine that you have to collect certain data about your supporters. Where do you even start? Do you even have access to all sources? And how long time will it take to dig out these supporter insights? As you can imagine, this process can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. You might even feel tempted just to skip this step. Because, well, who wants to deal with such mess and stress? No one, of course.

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    To see how this would look in action, explore the Data Talks CDP demo >>

    But what happens if you choose to ignore this step?

    This is a risky move. Because if you choose to skip this step and get relevant insights about your supporters, then you might as well be handling your supporters with a blindfold. You will not be able to deliver the communications and experiences that they want and desire. And what happens then? Well, just like in any relationship, you risk losing their loyalty. 

    If we would translate this into revenue terms, not gaining insights about your supporters would mean that:

    • You risk decreasing your overall profits due to decreased supporter engagement and loyalty.
    • The fear of your overall Return on Investment (ROI) plummeting can become a reality.
    • You also risk a decrease in your sales success, such as your online merchandise sales, club memberships, OTT subscriptions, etc. 
    • You will miss a lot of new revenue opportunities that you could have leveraged if you had just had insights about your supporters, such as optimizing content in your OTT platform and higher sponsorship deals.
    • Your strategy will consequently not be set for sustainable growth.

    Long story short, you risk losing your supporter loyalty and leaving money on the table. Moreover, your strategy will risk not being sustainable and ready for inevitable future changes brought about by digitalization. And as the old saying goes: 

    “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”

    Benjamin Franklin | Founding Father of the United States of America

    Fortunately, there is a solution that more and more organizations within the sports industry and other industries have begun to adopt. A solution that can remove this challenge once and for all.

    And this solution is…

    Solution: a Sports Customer Data Platform

    Image of a sports CDP which organizations can use to get supporter insights

    Do you know what a Sports Customer Data Platform is? In short, it is the solution you need if you want to: 

    1. Optimize your current revenue streams
    2. Unlock new revenue streams
    3. Maximize your marketing spend and get ROI on your marketing strategy 
    4. Futureproof all your strategies and build for sustainable growth

    Sounds too good to be true? Perhaps, but it is just what a CDP does. And here is how it works in three steps:

    The Sports CDP allows you to:

    • Collect 
    • Analyze
    • Act

    from any online or offline source where you have your data stored.

    Let’s explore each step in more detail.

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    Collect

    Image of the process of data collection using a sports CDP

    The first step a Sports CDP does is to collect and unify all their supporter data from any data sources, no matter whether these are online or offline sources. This allows you to gain a single source of truth since you have now united all of your data in one place, which you have access to anytime you need it.

    By gaining a single source of truth, you are now able to create a:

    360-degree supporter view

    By collecting all supporter data from different sources and touchpoints, you are now able to create a unified view of each supporter, which is known as the 360-supporter view. This basically means that the Sports CDP merges all the data about a supporter and then lets you visualize it in one and the same supporter profile. And by having access to a unified view of your supporters and their data, you can now…

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    Analyze

    An image of someone analyzing supporter data in order to get supporter insights

    Once you have collected all your supporter data into the Sports CDP, you can now gain deep insights about each supporter. And as we have previously discussed in this article, these supporter insights are key to unveiling what your supporters want and desire. 

    Some of the amazing things you can achieve when you gain these are, for instance:

    • Improving your current revenue streams, which could include:
      • Increasing your ticket sales
      • Boosting your sponsorship and partnership value
      • Sell much more merchandise
      • Upgrade supporters to a higher spending level
      • In-stadium purchases, such as food and beverages 
      • Overall supporter engagement and loyalty 

      • Unlocking new viable revenue streams, such as:
        • Leveraging Over-the-Top streaming service (OTT) by delivering hyper-personalized ads and content recommendations.
        • Opportunities for your women’s division that you uncovered thanks to the data insights about your supporters
        • Negotiate higher sponsorship deals by demonstrating how many supporters you have in your database
    • Entering the world of NFTs and interacting with supporters here as well

    Find and reach new audiences that have the same characteristics as your most loyal and valuable supporters

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    As you can see, by having the right insights about your supporters, there is so much that your sports organization can gain. Not only will you leverage your current revenue streams, but you will for sure be activating new ones. 

    And it doesn’t stop there.

    Now that you have the necessary insights about your supporters, you can now…

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    Act.

    An image of what it would look like to act on supporter insights derived from supporter data

    You can now act on these supporter insights and deliver personalized messages and experiences based on your every supporter’s unique characteristics, preferences, and behaviors in their preferred channels. In fact, in the Data Talks Sports CDP, you can create different supporter segments based on specified characteristics and then target them with omnichannel campaigns.

    Omnichannel means that the campaigns you target them with are personalized, seamless, and consistent across all channels in which your supporter interacts with your sports organization in and outside the stadium and online and offline. To give you a few examples, you can deliver these hyper-personalized and targeted messages via:

    • Personalized email campaigns
    • Targeted SMS send-outs
    • Timed in-app push messages
    • Send them a classic mail to their postbox
    • A world-class website experience
    • Exclusive updates on your OTT-platform
    • VIP members-only in membership platforms 
    Someone delivering real time hyper-personalized fan experiences

    Learn more about how exactly you can deliver these hyper-personalized supporter experiences over here

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    As you can see, your supporter data can easily be translated into business value when you use a Sports CDP. And as if all of these amazing capabilities were not enough, there is one more thing you should know, which is that:

    All of this happens in real-time 

    That’s right! You do not have to worry about doing any manual updates or keeping track of all your supporter data anymore. All of the data is collected, unified, and updated in real-time – so you can rest assured knowing that you are always dealing with data that is up-to-date as well as relevant to you right here and now.

    Conclusion

    What a ride we have been on, right? In this article, we have explored the importance of supporter insights and why sports organizations need a strategy to handle them. Moreover, we have also gone through how you can convert these supporter insights into revenue. The conclusion we then arrived at is that a Sports CDP is the solution that sports organizations should adopt if they want to:

    • Optimize your current revenue streams
    • Unlock new revenue streams
    • Maximize your marketing spend and get ROI on your marketing strategy 
    • Futureproof all your strategies and build for sustainable growth

    The beauty of a CDP is that it lets you collect all of your supporter data and create a 360-degree view of your supporters. And when you have this, you can be guaranteed that you will know exactly what your supporters want and desire, where to deliver these messages and experiences, and at the best possible time. 

    So if you want to achieve all of this and more, the natural step would be to try this out yourself. We have created a free demo where you explore all of this and more on your own. After all, seeing is believing, right?

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    Getting started is easy

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