Having recently completed my degree in Football Business and Marketing at UCFB, I was eager to get stuck into my new job role as a Digital Marketing Intern at Winners. With only a few days’ work under my belt, I was given the opportunity to attend the Sports Performance Data and Fan Engagement Summit in London with another member of the Winners team. I instantly recognised this as a fantastic opportunity to put a lot of my recent degree studies into context and further my knowledge of the ever-increasing use of data in the sports industry. I gained so much insight at the event into just how important data is in the sports industry! Here’s what I learned…
There has been a clear increase in recent years of coaches using data to identify an edge in performance but this analysis isn’t just restricted to athletes. There are huge amounts of money at stake in understanding how fans engage with the sport or a brand. By tailoring sports advertising, or broadcast content, we can generate higher revenues. With a clear-cut goal of providing a forum for industry professionals, both from sports performance and fan engagement, to discuss the increasing role of analytics in the global sports industry, I can say that the Sports Performance Data and Fan Engagement Summit did not disappoint!
The day provided a line-up of some fantastic industry professionals who partook in various panel discussions. There were a couple of stand out ones for me. The panel discussion surrounding ‘how sports organisations are sharing exciting content to fans using multiple output channels’ comprised of Chris Harris (Managing Editor (Digital) at Arsenal FC), Jon Ford (Head of Digital Content at Tottenham Hotspur FC) and Paul McCrudden (Global Head of Live Marketing at Twitter). It really highlighted how much content creators value data. It ensures they can better understand their fans and can build those relationships further by tailoring content to be personalised for each individual. It was also really interesting to find out that football clubs work in conjunction with social media platforms on occasion, sometimes acting as advisories to each other – I had never thought of this before and had always assumed that football clubs had simply used the platforms without actually having a relationship with them. A great example was the recent Paul Pogba hashtag and personalised emoji!
Another discussion which I found really interesting related to the importance of what we do here at Winners; ‘data driven sports agencies that help sports organisations build stronger relationships with their customers.’ We heard from Philip Mitchelson (Marketing Director at Bigballs Media), Ben Barker (Director of Sport at Monterosa), Marcello Fabiano (Head of Sport & Director of Sporf from Social Chain) and Mark North (Chairman at United London FC). There were so many topics discussed; from the concept of players becoming their own brands within clubs, to the battle that content creators face when deciding between quality content and bulk content. However, my favourite message was how it’s all about “delivering the right content to the right fans at the right time.” This reflects almost word for word what we do here at Winners. It’s all about the right message to the right person at the right time!
We found out that excluding broadcasting and media income, Manchester City fans within the 5 to 10 miles radius of the Etihad stadium provide 90% of the revenues. An unbelievable fact when you consider the potential reach to global fan bases that Premier League clubs and other sporting organisations have due to the global nature of the sports industry! If you’re reading this, Manchester City, get in touch because we here at Winners can help you expand your reach and convert global fans into paying customers!
If you’d like to know how Winners can help you understand your data and find actionable insight, please contact us here at Winners on +44 (0)161 279 12780
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