What can businesses learn from forward-looking sports clubs that use technology?

Some of the UK’s leading sports clubs are really setting the pace when it comes to customer engagement; using profiling technology to delve into customers’ spending behaviour both when they’re at the club and away from it. And for sponsors, this means they get much better value as they are furnished with a full, 3D picture of the customers they’re potentially targeting.

So what can businesses learn from these clubs’ use of data and technology?

Too many businesses lump their customers into neat boxes: mums, dads, teenagers, football fans and so on. However, the reality is that customers are living, breathing, real people, not a 2D persona.

Rather than seeing their customers as a collective then, businesses need to recognise them as individuals: separating new mums from mums of teens, sports fans from film buffs and seeing them not just as distinct groups of customers either, but as employees, parents, husbands, sisters, children.

>See also: Why the future of sports is in the cloud

Forward-looking sports clubs have begun to set the benchmark when it comes to looking after key segments of their fan base. From the die-hard season ticket holders to the international social followers, more and more clubs are introducing schemes and initiatives to reward fans for their affinity to the club.

Rewards4 has recognised that today’s consumer-savvy sports fans want to feel rewarded for their loyalty to their club or sport by receiving rewards that are relevant and important to them as well as treats, perks and experiences that they’re excited about.

What does this mean for businesses wanting to emulate a similar process?

Just like in sport, engagement of customers is about building deeper connections with them and the 360-degree view of a customer that comes from data is, without doubt, the best route to determining the tools a business can use to assist a conversion at every touchpoint.

For sports clubs, this enables them to build stronger relationships with their fans, finding out their match day preferences, retail and hospitality needs, location and how and when they prefer to be contacted – in person, online, by email, over the phone – with features, offers and messages which are relevant to those preferences and needs.

>See also: Place your bets: do odds improve as sports enter the predictive age?

For a business able to harness their customers’ data in the same way, they are able to create an effortless bond, meaning every customer feels valued and has enriched interactions with the firm because it understands exactly who they are and what they want and most importantly what motivates them. This data can also reveal how a company can get the most out of each customer, in a productive way that provides a true value exchange for each.

How are sports clubs facilitating this level of insight?

By integrating the Rewards4 platform, clubs are ensuring that their fans are recognised and rewarded for their regular spend away from the sport they love, while providing clubs with a unique insight into the consumer.

By discovering where and when they spend money away from their club, sports clubs are able to connect this data to their sporting habits. Such insights on spending behaviour is enabling clubs to drive extra value for their fans quickly and easily and increase their lifetime value to the club.

For businesses, every customer touchpoint provides an opportunity to collect valuable data that can drive further value.

>See also: Digital leading the fan experience revolution at Wimbledon

Data collected through loyalty schemes helps companies to profile their customers and deliver a unique and personalised journey, attracting new clients and rewarding loyal buyers with targeted, tailored communications based on their preferences. It provides a data-rich, connected, 360⁰ view of customer behaviour to inform engagement strategies.

Long-term engagement planning

To create a long-term relationship with customers, businesses should learn from innovative sports franchises to see how they are engaging their fans beyond the regular season and playoffs.

The most successful clubs are investing in technology that allows them to understand and also pre-empt fan behaviours and preferences to deliver experiences that nurture loyalty and extend it beyond the field.


Sourced by Ian Lancaster, director at Rewards4


The Women in IT Awards is the technology world’s most prominent and influential diversity program. On 22 March 2018, the event will come to the US for the first time, taking place in one of the world’s most prominent business cities: New York. Nominations are now open for the Women in IT USA Awards 2018. Click here to nominate

Avatar photo

Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

Related Topics