Winning With Data: CRM and Analytics for the Business of Sports

Book Overview

Winning With Data

In 2011, when I first entered the world of CRM in sports, I struggled to understand the different terminology I heard and read, and the different systems and processes being used. I would constantly Google "CRM" in the hope that the next result would somehow shed some light on what was a mystery to me at that time. Instead, I found myself trying to determine the difference between software like Microsoft Dynamics and SAP, Salesforce and Sage, and wondering why I kept reading that CRM projects fail and email marketing is dead.

This book does not set out to tell you everything you need to know about CRM. You'd need quite a few books, each with a different focus, to achieve that. Instead this book aims to:

  1. Dispel a common myth about the use of CRM. This is not the first time you'll hear me say that it's not just about technology. Nor is it just about the data. Having a strategy, systematic processes and the right culture are just as important to be successful.
  2. Provide a helicopter view of the way the sports industry uses data to make decisions and engage with fans, customers and participants.
  3. Provide real world examples that put the theory into perspective. Thanks to the generosity of UEFA, Mic Conetta of Arsenal FC, MLS, Special Olympics International, to name just a few, you'll learn how these rights owners approach the unique challenges in their organisation or sport, applying the different principles discussed in this book.

Suitable for beginners, intermediaries or digital marketers who haven't yet included data-driven decision making in their approach. This book provides a fantastic start for those looking to understand the role of CRM and Business Intelligence for the sports industry.

About the Author

Fiona is the Founder of Winners FDD, a CRM and Business Intelligence Consultancy specialising to the unique needs of the sports industry. Winners provide insight-driven CRM strategies and a range of other data-driven services to some of the world's most ambitious sports rights owners. This helps them to increase participation, revenue and stakeholder engagement and utilises data to enable them to communicate the right message, to the right people at the right time. Read more at

With over 30 years' experience working in the sports industry, Fiona is an expert in data and fan engagement. Fiona is passionate about sharing knowledge with anyone and everyone - clients, students and fellow professionals. You'll often see her at conferences and other speaking events, recording podcasts, and writing blog posts for both Winners and several media outlets.

Connect with her on LinkedIn here




Paul Greenberg – Managing Principal, The 56 Group, LCC - Author, CRM at the Speed of Light (4th Edition)

There is no question in my mind that someone needed to write a book on CRM for the sports world. Because sports is a different creature than most other industries using CRM, Fiona Green is the one who needed to be writing this book. She has the experience, the insights and the writing chops to make sure that you not only understand CRM per se but understand how it applies to the world of sports in the way that it is supposed. Pay attention to her because, while we know that winning teams bring in the cash from the fans, that doesn't happen every year and yet you have to be playing on the field and running your business every year. Fiona tells you not just how to think about it but what to do. Then it will be up to you to do it. But if you do, then you'll understand why a book on CRM in sports needed to be written – and was by someone insanely well qualified to write it – and you will be grateful.


Brent Leary, Managing Partner, CRM Essentials, LLC

With this book Fiona Green offers a refreshingly straight-forward take on the complex and quickly evolving areas of CRM, customer engagement and data intelligence in an easy to consume style. Most importantly, through a variety of detailed case studies, she makes an extremely compelling argument for why professional sports teams and organizations need to implement modern customer engagement techniques and strategies to create valuable, ongoing relationships with tech-savvy fans and sponsors.


Karen Earl, Karen Earl Sponsorship and Synergy (1984 - 2012) Chairman European Sponsorship Association (2007 - 2017)

This book is a must-read, not only for sports governing bodies and clubs, but for anyone operating in the sponsorship and sports industries. Not only does Fiona Green demystify CRM, she sets out so clearly how it can and must become the central platform to any sports business. 'Winning with Data' is one of those books that I will remember reading and thinking "that explained CRM and showed me, not only the importance of using it to equip and improve a business, but how to do so."


Sunil Gulati, United 2026 Committee Member, FIFA Committee Member, Senior Lecturer, Columbia University

It's refreshing to read about the use of CRM to increase the number of people playing and volunteering in sport, in addition to the more traditional rationale. It's important we continue to focus on the growth of our sports - some of the methods discussed in the book can be easily applied to that task. I recommend this for other professionals with a responsibility for sports development.


Vince Gennaro, Associate Dean, New York University, Preston Robert Tisch Institute for Global Sport

"Winning with Data" breaks through the traditional definition to declare that CRM is more than a vehicle to track the sales funnel. It does an outstanding job of unveiling the tangible ways that CRM can lead to predictive analytics, targeted marketing, and highly efficient customer acquisition and retention. This is the foundation of the formula to building deep emotional engagement with fans and maximizing their lifetime value.


Pénélope Tomasi, Head of CRM. UEFA

You may think you know CRM, but CRM in the sport industry has so many specificities that Winning with Data was more than necessary to support organisations willing to start or consolidate their data driven marketing transition. Fiona found the right balance between theory and use cases to make every chapter of her book easily actionable for sports organization teams, from operational colleagues to top management.


Merlin Stone, Professor of Marketing and Strategy, St Mary's University

This book is an excellent guide to using CRM in sport. It focuses on the critical points sports management must get right to get the full benefits of CRM. It is well written and organised and will become a key resource for the industry.


Laurajean Holmgren, Deputy Academic Director, Sports Management, Columbia University, New York

"Delivering the right message to the right person at the right time" is a phrase that all students looking to break into the sports industry should follow. Often the temptation is to rely solely on what fans tell us, but focusing and collecting data on their actions and interactions with the brand could tell a different story. Winning with Data delivers on this point by providing the steps needed to create a CRM strategy. Winning with Data breaks down buzzwords such as Business Intelligence, Business Analytics, and CRM and provides a step-by-step guide on the importance of utilizing data from fan insights to deliver personalized events, promotions, and experiences. Students to industry professionals can learn and apply teachings directly to projects they are working on."


Dr Nick Wilde, Head of Academics – Post Graduate, UCFB Wembley

This book is for anybody who works with sports fans and who needs to understand more about CRM. There are so many great examples from sport and from other business areas to illustrate how to be more effective in how we manage our commercial relationships with fans and B2B contacts. It's great to see so many examples from the MLS, NBA and NHL, with endorsements from leading figures in the sports industry. Fiona Green writes with authority, having seen the evolution of marketing in sports, not only in the UK, but across many different markets, and she clearly embraces newer forms of customer relationship management. This is a must read book for our many football business and sports students who will gain insight into the successful campaigns of some many sports clubs and sporting organisations.


Daniel McLaren, Founder & CEO, Digital Sport, Sports Podcaster, Event Organiser and Host

"Winning with Data" is not just a book that needed to be written, but something the sports industry has been crying out for. Fiona has that ability to bring to the subject of data to life in ways few others can and her passion comes across whether it is through her writing or speaking on stage in front of 200 people. A book I expect to see on the shelf at every sports business very soon.


Dr. William A. "Bill" Sutton, Professor of Marketing and Founding Director of the Vinik Graduate Sport Business Program, University of South Florida. Principal, Bill Sutton & Associates

There are two factors in 2018 and beyond that dictate success in sport business - one is something that has always been and will continue to be essential - Talent. The other is data - not just the numbers but the insight and intellect of the talent generating the data, working with the data and making decisions based upon that data. Fiona Green's Winning with Data – CRM and Analytics for the Business of Sports - describes what talent plus date equals - namely sport business intelligence.


Russell Scibetti, President, KORE Planning & Insights

Winning with Data provides the perfect balance of philosophy and practicality when it comes to the evolution of CRM and data in the sports industry. It speaks across roles and departments, from the simple to the sophisticated, providing insights that can undoubtedly be applied to any organization.


Aaron Gourley, Editor, fcbusiness magazine

Fiona Green speaks with authority and this book captures her knowledge brilliantly. Well informed and researched, Fiona has delivered a book that gets to the heart of the matter and gives insight to those charged with the strategic vision of an organisation. The world of sports business continues to grow and become ever more complex as new markets are explored and old ones are developed. Having a clear understanding of how, through clear strategic thinking and the use of analytics can help develop the business is essential to the continued growth of our beloved sports clubs locally, nationally and internationally.


Sean Callanan, Founder,

I was so excited when Fiona Green said she was writing Winning With Data as I always learn when I chat with her. I was not disappointed as Fiona helps explain both the high level concepts with real world CRM execution examples from sports industry. It will be an important read across sports industry not just CRM practitioners, I know I'll be handing out copies to digital colleagues to help them understand the importance data plays in everything they do. Everyone is on a CRM journey and with this book Fiona is there by your side.


Joe Favorito, Independent sports consultant and author, Columbia University Faculty Member, one of Forbes "50 Sports Business Must Follows", Huffington Post's "Sports Media People To Follow", and Sports Business Journal's "Power Players"

"In a time when we can be swallowed whole by data and what to do with it, Fiona Green gives us a read that we can easily digest. It is a very clear, simple and practical look at the best uses of data to achieve business goals big and small; an excellent primer for those looking to get a better feel or the industry veteran who might have missed a step. One for both the bookshelf and the classroom."


Nick Meacham, Managing Director, SportsPro Media

Audience data management is still one of the most under-maximised aspects of sports marketing. The industry has a lot to learn, and a lot of opportunity ahead of it once it masters the profiling of its audience. This book is a great catalyst for anyone trying to take the next steps in their education on CRM maximisation, and presents it in a way that can educate everyone from leaders in the space through to people just arriving on the scene.