fan relations 2021

Sports clubs: the 5 trends in fan relations in 2021


Digital technology is part of our daily lives, through social media, applications and our everyday digital uses. This consumption has been accompanied by better information about our rights and the use of our data. It is in this context that we propose the 5 trends that will mark the relationship with your fan communities in 2021.

1. An acceleration on the digital

Whether it's for keep the link with your fans during containmentfor develop your sources of income or to improve the distribution of your hot and cold content, the importance of digital in the life of professional clubs is no longer to be demonstrated. During this crisis, we had to quickly find solutions to maintain the link with our fan communities. We have seen many initiatives emerge we have witnessed. 2021 will undoubtedly mark a new stage in the transformation of the club model.

2. A reconquest of the core fans

Faced with the difficulty of anticipating the future and to bounce back after the health crisis, the logic of immediate profitability will dominate. It is cheaper to contact fans from one's own connotation base than to try to acquire new ones. This is why the year 2021 heralds an approach focused on the first circle of its fans, those who have already bought tickets or items from the shop. The spirit of reconquest will dominate for the clubs. The clubs will thus be inclined to offer them totally dedicated programmes to win them back after these months of absence. New loyalty tools will be developed to strengthen community membership. 

3. The return of first partydata

First party data (collected by the clubs directly) are to be contrasted with third party data, which refers to all data provided by intermediaries. This data is used for advertising or marketing purposes. Since the entry into force of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in 2018, fans are more aware and therefore vigilant about the use of their data. 2021 will progressively mark the return of first party data collection, which respects the fan's consent and allows the building of a proprietary database. Clubs will increasingly offer fans the opportunity to identify themselves in a logged environment. Thanks to the data, this will make it possible to personalise the relationship and the products offered. 

4. Collecting feedback

Nowadays, it is necessary to know the fans well to improve the experiences offered and ensure their satisfaction. That's why 2021 will mark a turning point in the deployment of strategies to collect data and analyse their opinions and feedback. Some organizations have already begun this policy to place the fan at the heart of their future development. Clubs will no longer be content to collect feedback from their customers. They will associate automated and highly personalized responses to it.

5. Instant marketing

In 2021, clubs need to be more responsive. According to a McKinsey studyIn fact, 75% of Internet users expect to find an answer to their question within five minutes. A long wait will generate frustration for your fans on your digital platforms. More active, your fans now want to be able to communicate directly with you, at any time, and easily. Clubs need to invest in tools to optimize their content strategy, improve their omnichannel features, and push the limits of personalization more and more. An investment in AI, if only to test the approach, could be considered.

2021 will be a defining year for sports organisations in their ability to adapt to the new behaviours and needs of their fans. Fans will want to communicate even more with their favourite club or event. Thus, the attractiveness of sport will be closely linked to its ability to deploy innovative and engaging technological environments. 

Alexis Riotteau

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