#weneverplayalone: the start of a partnership between Club Brugge and SportsCloud.
At SportsCloud we work and think across national borders. Since August, we started working at one of the largest clubs in Belgium: Club Brugge. The first big challenge came quickly: all season tickets were sold but no audience was allowed in the Jupiler Pro League. What now?
February 2020. Like many other European countries, Belgium was also confronted with corona for the first time. A month later and after round 29 on March 7, the competition was halted and eventually ended with one game to go. Season ticket sales for the 2020-2021 season, which is now ongoing, went very well despite the negative outlook. Supporters of Club Brugge stayed as loyal as ever, even in these strange corona times. The Jan Breydel Stadium was completely sold out in June, in a very uncertain period in which it was clear that supporters would not be allowed to enter the stands quickly. Some time later, Flemish Minister of Sports Ben Weyts called the final decision: no audience at sports games.
News that turned out to be a major challenge for Club Brugge, as fans are entitled to compensation per completed match without an audience. Any supporter who has paid in advance can request a refund of 5% of the purchase value of the season ticket per game. And because every season ticket order is different in costs and quantities, it required precision and customization.
It is in Club Brugge's DNA to be a forerunner in providing a striking and innovative answer to an issue like this. High time to join forces within the club. As a basis for the custom solution we used the "Digital Growth Model for Sports": a handy overview of the most important pillars to be digitally successful at an organizational level. Or, in this case, in this campaign.
Based on the six pillars above (strategy, culture, data, technology, processes, and people), we indicated who and what was needed to tackle this complex issue. Thanks to the expertise of colleagues from ticketing, IT, legal, Club Media House and our partner Sports Alliance Club Brugge was able to set up a creative solution within a very tight time frame. The result? Within 6 days Club Brugge was able to develop an innovative and safe - and GDPR compliant - compensation platform called "We Never Play Alone".
Thanks to this tailor-made platform, Club Brugge season ticket holders could safely indicate their desired form of compensation for each home game that will be played without a fan in the 2020-2021 season. Fans had the following choices:
By linking the platform with the right techniques and filling the pages with the required datasets, we obtained a clear picture of the type of season ticket holder. The data also gave us the opportunity to approach fans more personally. This way everyone was welcomed by his or her first name. It was immediately clear with which email address they logged in and it was also mentioned when more than 1 season ticket was linked to the address.
With the platform live, what was next? After another creative thinking process, we decided to give something back to the fans. As the only club in the Jupiler Pro League, Club Brugge gave all its season ticket holders free access to the matches on sports channel Eleven Sports. Season ticket holders can thus continue to follow the club without having to take an additional TV subscription. The name of the compensation platform is "We Never Play Alone". The attentive viewer has probably already seen this text on Club Brugge’s home shirt. To give the fans the feeling that they are really there, this text, surrounded by a golden batch, is on the chest of the blue-black jersey.
Finally, everyone who renounced compensation from day 1 will receive a uniquely numbered special edition shirt from Club Brugge. In addition, every match 22 match-worn shirts will be raffled among all those who forgo compensation. And that the fans were proud of that, became clear on social media. The hashtag #weneverplayalone was shared en masse. A trick to get even more attention for Club Brugge's innovative campaign.
The targeted approach has contributed to more than 5,000 people having already waived full compensation for the remainder of the season at the time of writing. We are proud that as SportsCloud we have been able to be part of this challenging project. On to many more beautiful things in Bruges!