Pharaoh Global works with a wide range of businesses within the sports industry, with a particular focus on helping clubs and stadia to commercialise their assets. Like all businesses, these companies can grow their revenues by getting more customers, attending more frequently, spending more. Fans are demanding more and more from their experience, and this represents both a challenge and an opportunity.
For a stadium to take full advantage of this opportunity, there are five pillars which its strategy must cover:
Data – learning who your customers are is the first step to success.
Content – serving those customers with engaging content is the best way to connect them with your brand.
Revenue – off the back of this content, there has to be a call-to-action or prompt for the customer to spend.
Loyalty – the whole experience must make the customer feel valued and incentivised. That’s what makes them come back again, re-engage and spend more.
Measurement – to determine how much to invest in any campaign or solution, you need to establish commercially-driven benchmarks and measure effectiveness against them.
In order to hit all five of these pillars, there needs to be an exchange of value between the club (or venue) and the fan. This can be achieved by providing exclusive content or rewards which fans can access if they share a certain amount of data. This enables clubs to build a picture of their customers as individuals, by learning which content fans interact with the most and then serving them similar content in future. This information can then be used to decipher and segment what specific consumers are interested in and therefore target each fan with the right content to encourage them to spend more.
One of the most effective ways to create this value exchange is through mobile devices. Smartphones can empower clubs & venues with a direct means of serving content to fans and receiving back highly detailed insights on customer demographics, location, engagement levels, the frequency of visits & usage, feedback and purchasing propensity.
A great example of this being implemented in practice is the SSE Arena, Belfast and Giants ice hockey team. They partnered with LiveStyled, a technology company whose platform uses mobile data science to understand consumer behaviour at venues. Their white-labelled mobile app uses personalised content and promotional offers to drive incremental sales across the venue, with extraordinary results. The venue has seen an increase of over 10% in food and beverage orders across the arena’s events. The resident hockey team, The Belfast Giants, saw 75% of their season ticket holders register for the in-app loyalty scheme and spend over 1,000% more than they did the previous season.
Once you understand these individual interactions all add up to create a picture of how that person ticks, you can address each fan uniquely. Crucially, the effectiveness of every campaign can be measured in real-time, enabling clubs & venues to be much more agile about how they adapt & evolve their marketing. Achieving that level of personalisation on a mass scale makes customers feel valued, and in turn encourages them to come back more frequently, bring their friends with them and spend more.
About the contributor
Steve Brice is CEO of Pharaoh Global, working with clients to develop premium product and commercial strategies, increasing revenues and client satisfaction.
Prior to his appointment to AEG in 2008, Steve managed the corporate Hospitality, conference & banqueting transition for Arsenal football club from Highbury to Emirates Stadium. He was responsible for sales strategy, sales team performance and development, with sales growth from £6.5m to £40m. His key focus areas for the mobilisation of Emirates included product development and customer service vision, resulting in a successful, profitable first year’s operation.
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