Skating to Success: How the Belfast Giants increased app usage at matches
The SSE Arena, Belfast launched their venue app in late 2015. Since then, The Belfast Giants Ice Hockey team have utilised their dedicated section within the app to enhance the fan experience before, throughout and after each game.
App benefits to the club
Enhance the customer experience
Learn fan/attendee data
Personalise the fan experience
Rewarding the most loyal fans
Using a range of marketing and operational tactics the Belfast Giants team increased season ticket holder spending by 3000% in just three seasons. But how did they utilise the LiveStyled platform to reach this success? Below we share some of the team's insights on their triumph.
What the app delivered
Uplift in season ticket holder spend
Highest individual season ticket holder spend
Driving app downloads
Taking advantage of their 100k+ followers, the team used social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter to promote the app.
They advertised their upcoming app-only promotions and deals using banners which would be seen by people who either ‘liked’ or ‘followed’ their page, encouraging fans to benefit from these offers by downloading the app. Survey results showed that 24% of people who downloaded the app found out about it from social media.
The use of newsletters, emails and season ticket holder communications further enticed fans to download and benefit from the app.
Once a ticket for a game was purchased online, an email would be sent to the customer highlighting the benefits of the app. Additionally to this, new season ticket holders would receive a welcome pack with details of app registration, app-only offers and a loyalty scheme that gave rewards for multiple purchases through the app.
One of the biggest drivers of downloads of the app was fan to fan referral. In a monthly survey distributed by The SSE Arena, Belfast, over 28% found out about the app from a friend.
This demonstrates what can be achieved with clear communication of user benefits and successful operational implementation that delivers fans' expectations.
Rewarding fans for early arrival and loyalty
'App-only' Rewards and Bundles
One of the biggest advantages of using the app is the use of targeted discounts and bundles. Benefitting both fan and arena, these deals encourage early entry as well as spending on the app throughout the game and after.
There are a range of rewards that are exclusive to app users. If you are a Belfast Giants season ticket holder (STH) you can enjoy 10% discount all year round. This reward was hugely beneficial to the club with 13% of the STH customer base being responsible for 44% of the revenue at Giants games.
Getting fans into the arena
Geo-fencing uses GPS to identify the fans whereabouts. This allows personalised push notifications to be sent to a fan spending time near the arena. Belfast Giants use this to attract fans to drink and eat in The Arena rather than opting to visit nearby bars before each game.
the ‘Ice Breaker’ discount of 10% off food and drinks and hour before the game for standard ticket holders, and 20% (an additional 10%) for season ticket holders logged in to the app. This exclusive offer to app users is the leading deal in getting fans into the arena.
Enhancing the fan experience
The Belfast Giants section of The SSE Arena, Belfast app is home to a range of exciting features for fans to enjoy. These include a photo-booth feature, where fans can use exclusive filters, share their photos with other app users, and even have them featured on the big screens as well as man of the match voting and in-app competitions.
These features act as an incentive for usage of the app, meaning customers will see more offers, ticket upgrades, and bundle deals and therefore driving more incremental revenue for the arena.
Spending less time at the bar or merch stand is ideal for any fan, having The SSE Arena, Belfast app allows visitors to use app-only collection points to collect food, beverages and merchandise.
Fans can use the app to order and pay. By selecting their location within the arena, the app then directs them to the nearest collection point. This makes it easier and more convenient for fans. The Belfast team used strong bar branding throughout the venue as well as constant enforcement of app-only lanes. Fans became accustomed to using the app because of the fast service and consistently good app experience.
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