When was the last time you saw your team lose a match and still had a good time? Sports is a social activity and generally, people prefer watching games with friends and family at the stadium, at bars or at home. And the only other factor apart from the result that can change your perception about the game is the experience you have during the game.
In the previous articles, we already spoke about Customer Experience Management and the role that it plays in the Sports ecosystem. Today we dwell forward into learning how to measure CEM and understand how loyalty plays a part in that.
What was your takeaway moment from the 2018 FIFA World Cup? For some it was Paul Pogba's famous pep talk before the final, for some it was Croatia's golden run, for some it was Lionel Messi's walk after losing the knockout to eventual champions France. But for me, it was the reception the Iceland team got after their third and last game at the world cup - the famous Viking clap.
It showed the spirit of the Icelandic fans and how they stood by their team even after not securing a single win in their three group matches. The Icelandic fans in the stadium were loyal to their country but also were happy to see their team fight it out till the last second and hence they felt like winners even after two losses. The team exceeded its expectations and gave them an unforgettable experience. And as for the fans worldwide, the atmosphere that these fans created in the stadium with their chants and their claps were an experience they will not forget either.
So, when it comes to measuring Customer Experience Management, your in-stadia factors can be the atmosphere that is being created or the number of sales that happen in the stadium during game days, regarding food, beverages, as well as merchandise.
AFC Ajax when renovating their stadium took extra care of the F&B counters as they realized the importance of beer consumption in their fan's experience. They are said to have sold on an average over 50,000 litres of beer per gameday. Studies have also shown an increase in merchandise sales on days when a team wins a match compared to when a team loses.
In the current pandemic situation when in-stadia fans are no longer a possibility, the emphasis of creating digital experiences and measuring them has become more and more crucial for a club's growth. Factors like social media engagement (likes, comments, mentions, and shares), responses on various tools (fan polls and selecting your MVP), even betting and fantasy gaming data can be used to associate and measure the CEM by clubs.
But what according to us is the most crucial factor for Customer Experience Management is the repeat rate. How many of your fans come back to you? And how many fans drop off? Because what signifies growth for the club is loyal fans who come back and support you every week. The higher number of loyal fans you gain, the higher are the chances for you to increase loyalty with your sponsors as well. After all, in sports just like any other business all you want is your paying customers to keep coming back.