Digital transformation in sport

What KPIs should be used to measure the success of digital transformation for a sport organisation?

What KPIs should be used to measure the success of digital transformation for a sport organisation?

Sport is no exception to the changes made by digital transformation. Organisations, expectations and behaviours are evolving. But whether they are well underway or still in the development stage, digital transformation projects in sports organisations need to be based on precise indicators to measure their success.

This is the M of measurable in the SMART project management method. Having a benchmark or standard of success helps to provide a scale on which to measure the progress of the project.

As part of their digital transformation, clubs, leagues, federations and event organisers need to define their indicators based on a precise identification of their general objectives.

Based on these, (increasing the number of spectators, the average ticket, recruiting new members, developing resources from sponsorship, etc.), the organisation will define its numerical objectives, which will make it possible to better define the strategies and tactics for achieving the objectives.

Measuring the success of the digital strategy implemented is not limited to analysing business-oriented indicators (customer satisfaction, turnover generated by digital, traffic to the website, etc.). It is also important to measure the adoption of this strategy by employees and stakeholders (clubs, local committees, agencies, etc.) and the resulting transformation.

We will start by looking at the internal dimension and then go into more detail on business indicators.

Internal indicators

For the digital transformation to take full effect, employees must be involved and made actors of the transformation. It is by giving them the appropriate tools and with a management that encourages collaboration that a gradual evolution takes place. Reduction of work in silos, of superfluous and time-consuming tasks. A boost for development and productivity!

The human factor is particularly key in digital transformation projects. As a result, two major failure factors can be identified: resistance to change and lack of commitment from the leadership. To identify these failure factors, several indicators should be monitored.

For resistance to change, we can measure the rate of knowledge of the organisation's digital strategy, the satisfaction of employees or local committees or their rate of adoption of new practices (tools and processes). As far as leadership is concerned, there are also indicators that measure the involvement of the various members of management in the digital transformation, the commitment of leaders to the digital projects launched, etc.

Business indicators

There are countless business indicators. In order to avoid overload, these indicators can be classified according to the opportunities offered by the digital transformation.

Broadening the scope of the content

Thanks to digital technology, sports organisations can create and disseminate content in different forms (articles, photos, videos, infographics, etc.) and via different channels (website, newsletter, mobile application, social media, OTT platform, webinar, etc.). Indicators can be the number of published contents, the audience generated on each channel, the opening and click rates on newsletters, the time spent on a website or an application, the number of subscribers to a newsletter or to social media, etc.

Improving the fan and licensee experience

Digital technology also allows for the development of new relationships with fans and licensees, offering the opportunity to create new experiences. These can be varied: wifi access in a stadium, ordering service on an application, setting up a website or an event application, etc. Various indicators can be measured, depending on the operations imagined: number of connections to a wifi network, quantity of data exchanged on this network, number of orders placed on an application, turnover generated by this application, number of connections to a site, number of contacts generated, etc.

Better interaction with fans and licensees

Digital technology has also raised the level of customer expectations of companies. This also applies to sports organisations, where fans or licensees have increasingly high expectations. Digital technology also makes it possible to set up dedicated tools to meet these expectations: contact forms, online polls and surveys, chatbots, dedicated channels on social media, etc. NPS, complaint resolution rates, etc. are relevant indicators for these opportunities.

Engaging sponsors

Digital also allows for new offerings for companies wishing to communicate to the organisation's audience. This can range from content-related advertising to a full data sponsorship. The key indicator is obviously the revenue generated by these new products.

Generate new income

Overall, digital technology should make it possible to generate new revenue from existing products and services (ticketing, derivatives, licences, etc.) or new ones (OTT platform, virtual courses, etc.). For each of these products and services, it will be necessary to evaluate the revenues generated by digital channels.

Digital transformation is a project that is carried out on an ongoing basis, as the possibilities are so wide. To succeed, it must be monitored with performance indicators adapted to the organisation's objectives. The organisation must also have tools to visualise  these indicators.

Olivier Spaeth

Olivier Spaeth

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