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QPR's Award Winning Customer Journey With Sports Alliance

Wed 29th Jan 2014 | Marketing & PR

When Queens Park Rangers scooped the Best/Most Innovative Use of Technology by a Football Club at the Football Business Awards in November, it was through their use of CRM to develop a highly personalised season ticket renewal campaign that exceeded all expectations.

Helping to implement the highly-personalised ‘#ForeverRs’ Season Ticket pre-sale campaign, was Sports Alliance. Driven by insight they made use of pioneering technologies which allowed the club to gather real-time data which was innovatively applied to give fans a tailored customer journey across multiple channels. Leveraging personal relationships with fans and ultimately driving sales, the campaign resulted in exceptional ROI and record sales despite relegation from the Barclays Premier League. 

Sports Alliance Managing Director, Anthony Khan, explained how through the use of CRM and insight, they were able to lead the customer through the renewals process using highly personalised communications. “During the process there are a collection of steps and motivations that can be involved in the decision. The reasons why someone could or could not renew a season ticket can be to do with them, with economics, can do with where they currently live or family situations; there are whole range of things that are going on. 

“Because there are so many personal elements and motivations that can influence the decision what we done with QPR was to make it more directly relevant to those specific personal issues. You’re likely to be pushing the right buttons compared to a simple generic message.

Using Sports Alliance’s CRM system, QPR had amassed a huge amount of data on its season ticket holders. Using this data they set about creating highly personalised communications to steer fans through the renewal process. 

sports alliance jpg (Sports Alliance Ad.jpg)“We looked at banner matches during the season which in the case of QPR, their defeat of Chelsea became the biggest match of that season. For supporters who were at that match, it became a key part of the messaging to them as to why they should renew. Who could forget the emotions of QPR beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge? That is a level of personalisation that is hugely significant between them and the club and brings it right to the front of their mind.”

But there are a number of other factors that can play a part in the decision making process of the fan that, through the use of statistical analysis, helps bring to the personalisation of communications. 

Explaining how everybody has a likelihood from zero to 100% on everything they do, statistical analysis allows clubs, well before the renewal time, to look at what is going to drive a person’s percentage likelihood to renew their season ticket. Looking at factors such as the number of years they’ve held that ticket, the number of matches attended and additional matches such as cup games or additional tickets bought can all influence this score.

“If you know that someone is 95% or 50% likely to renew and you know in the past, when they are likely to renew you can lower your investment on that particular renewal but when you look at people who are in the 65 to 80% likely to renew, that’s when you know you’re going to get your biggest bang for your buck.”

One of the main methods of communication was the implementation of Personal URLs (PURL) where by each supporter had their very own personal webpage displaying in realtime, the data that the club held on them.

“Our system is capturing data from every single transaction and interaction from every supporter and then we’re processing and pulling out of our CRM system to display in the context of a personal URL (PURL) those facts are the most relevant and most appropriate,” added Khan.

“Pulling data from the club’s ticketing system, the website, the merchandise system and from the club’s hospitality section we always have an up to date database. Every person has a unique reference in the source system and we duplicate them across all of those systems and make sure for marketing purposes we’ve got one unique marketable support chain.“

For QPR, the greatest success with the PURL has been the dramatic reduction in printing costs for season ticket renewal campaigns. “We’ve seen season ticket renewal packages that have gone out the door, they have design costs, printing, postage, everything you’re talking quite a bit of money per person and when you multiply that across the entire season ticket population that’s a lot of money.

With the use of data, insight and technology, Sports Alliance have helped QPR to reduce marketing spend whilst increasing campaign success and as the judging panel at the Football Business Awards commented, “The combination of a club-wide strategy to retain season ticket sales, combined with this extremely effective technology solution was an undoubted success. All achieved after a disappointing season and at nearly 50% of the cost of the previous year’s campaign.”

For more information about Sports Alliance Tel: +44 (0)20 7439 3033 or visit www.sportsalliance.com

CLICK HERE to read issue 74

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