In a short period, Vitesse succeeded in equipping the organization to deliver the ultimate experience for fans and partners. By using the right technologies and a personalized approach, season ticket sales increased markedly.
Imagine your name is Gijs, you are a Vitesse fan, and you don’t have a ticket to go to the Vitesse v. PSV match, which is due to be played soon. There’s a very good chance you will open this email. And the chance that you will then click on to the ticket sales page is also possible. Because you don’t receive specific emails such as this for no reason.
We’ll explain how it works later. This example is an extension of the key question: how can a football club use the large amount of (fan) data to better respond to the needs of its fans? An interesting question, Vitesse certainly thought so as well. SportsCloud offered a helping hand.
Fans today expect a lot from their favourite club. It is not only about the next match, but also about the love, passion and pride that supporters feel. They follow their club throughout the day, through all possible channels. Fans seek interaction and want to build a special bond with the club that is so dear to them.
Like other commercial companies, a football club consists of several departments. For example, you have the ticket sales department, the catering industry, the media and the fan shop. Traditionally, these components each have their own budget and objectives. As a result, one company, in this case a football club, is divided into four, five, or perhaps six smaller companies. But supporters don’t care about that. They want to follow their favourite club via all the possible channels that exist in 2020. And fans expect a lot today. All of a club’s communication should be tailored to every fan’s specific needs.
This means those processes that have been followed for decades without change at a football club now need to be redesigned. A new digital look. All of the aforementioned different departments receive data and information. The information varies: from the number of matches a fan visits each year, to his shirt size, age and favourite snack at half-time. A club can do a lot with that information.
By no longer taking all this data separately, but processing and integrating it, clubs can respond to the needs and requirements of fans better and achieve a central customer image. By putting all the data together, Vitesse obtained so-called “customer profiles”. These profiles consisted of all the data that was available from one specific fan.
How? By making smart connections between systems, by redesigning the IT infrastructure, and by optimising internal processes. The following five keywords were central: People, Process, Data, Technology and Culture. Vitesse made the much-needed transition from an analogue to a digital first organisation. In a short period of time, Vitesse has been able to prepare the organisation to deliver the ultimate experience to fans and partners. By using the right technologies and taking a personalised approach, sales of season tickets increased significantly. But it required a lot of work.
Increase in sales of match by match tickets
Increase in season ticket renewals
Profiles of fans
In 2017, Vitesse had a good intention. A crystal clear goal; something to invest in. The Arnhem club wanted to develop a digital strategy that would make the club “best in class”. Not just from a commercial point of view, but because the club wanted to take the total fan experience and marketing performance to a higher level. A higher level? The highest level in the Netherlands.
Time to elaborate on our working method. In order to map out the data sources from which the personal data flowed into the club and to determine which databases and applications were available, we were able to analyse the total IT infrastructure and the associated processes. Based on this analysis, we worked in close collaboration with the club and managed to develop a digital ecosystem. An ecosystem in which IT systems and marketing applications communicate with each other automatically. As a result, Vitesse can now communicate from a central customer view and serve every supporter in the best way possible and according to his or her wishes.
In order to achieve the goal: to communicate “one-on-one with every Vitesse fan”, the club needed to understand each fan’s online behaviour, preferences and interests. How did we do that?By adding profiling software, also known as a Customer Data Platform, to the total IT infrastructure, Vitesse is able to trace the behaviour of an unknown website visitor and compare it to a known fan. By adding this real-time data about interests, needs and page visits to the transactional data already know about a similar supporter that is already known in the CRM system, the club is now able to send the ultimate personalised message.How did we increase the number of season tickets sold by 8%, how did we reduce marketing campaign costs and still take the fan service to the next level? We will explain that.
Sportnext, 17 December 2018
"We now have a customer profile for every supporter; therefore, we also know which tickets and season tickets an individual supporter has"
One of the first projects Sportscloud and Vitesse took on together was the sale of season tickets (for the 2018/2019 season). Based on online web behaviour, and by selecting the right target groups, the marketing campaigns on both the website and external marketing channels were personalised. The results? Season ticket sales increased by over 8% compared to the 2017/2018 season in which Vitesse won the cup final. The conversion rate of individual campaigns also increased. In some cases, the data-driven approach even exceeded 50%.
By linking the customer data platform to the social media management tool (Falcon) and the Customer Service Software (Zendesk) of the club, the Vitesse fan service employee is able to retrieve the total fan profile in one environment. As a result, the customer service representatives do not need to know individual systems in detail, and they can help the fan in seconds rather than minutes. This streamlined process has also opened up new opportunities for upselling. If the fan profile shows that the fan has shown an interest in renewing or purchasing a season ticket, but has not yet done so, the fan service employee is now able to respond to this attentively.
What other cases have we done?
Walking is one of the fastest growing sports in the Netherlands. But the fact that so many people are engaging in the sport outside the walking organizations means that the role of Royal Dutch Hiking Association is changing. SportsCloud helped the Royal Dutch Hiking Association with this transition
Badminton Netherlands has seen the number of members playing this traditional indoor sport decline in recent years. With AirBadminton, they want to seize the opportunity to reach a younger target audience, make the sport more widely accessible in the market and develop new revenue models.