Benjamin Steen, FC Bayern Munich: a football club that became a media company
The last keynote of Day 1 focused on the Fan Journey. Alberto Colombo, Deputy General Secretary EPFL kicked-off with presenting their Fan Attendance Report. Followed by presentations of Eric Cosset, Director Product and Development Disneyland Paris, Benjamin Steen, Head of Digital Projects and CRM FC Bayern Munich and Rory Sheridan, Head of Sponsorship Europe at Diageo (Guinness).
Benjamin Steen shared how FC Bayern Munich digitalised the Allianz Arena and how they reach, communicate and build a relationship with their 650 million fans worldwide.
Compared to a decade ago, FC Bayern Munich (FCB) now have a “loop” system with two-way communication between the club and their fans via an innovative website, social media channels, several apps, an e-magazine and more.
Storytelling is needed to have consistent and continuous communication. Planning a user journey will help to decide how, when and via which channels to reach your fans.
An example of how FCB connect with their fans on a daily basis and via different touchpoints:
With personalised content, you can create added value for your sponsors. The mindset and requirements of sponsors have changed. In the past, the focus was on reach while nowadays, sponsors want to know which possibilities you can offer them with your data. For example, through their CRM system FCB is able to tailor offers from its partners and sponsors. It is not about sending out more content, but about sending the right message to the right people, at the right time, with the right frequency.
As your CRM database is an invaluable asset, you should make sure this is up-to-date so you can analyse the data correctly.
Nowadays, being connected and having access to Wi-Fi are important factors for fans. The club responded to this by implementing two projects:
- A high-performing Wi-Fi structure with over 1,000 WLAN access points
- Stadium Vision: installing an additional 2,000 digital screens
With the Stadium Vision project, FCB implemented new screens to increase visibility both outside and within the stadium to ensure maximised exposure for their partners and sponsors. Examples of the Stadium Vision project:
- Social Wall: fans can share their pictures via the FCB app
- Beacons: possibility to transfer campaigns from the screens to a fan’s mobile device
- Business Area: differentiate your content depending on the segments and areas within your stadium
- FCB App: sending personalised push notifications
With new technologies and innovations, FCB is boosting the experience of all fans, including disabled fans. The club invested in augmented reality, creating glasses with live subtitling and other relevant communications. This offered deaf people a chance to experience a match to the fullest. Furthermore, they are working on a new device with backbone technology to offer blind people an upgraded fan experience as well.
What we can learn from Benjamin Steen’s presentation:
- Digitalisation is the norm
- Own your channels and use social media as teasing platforms
- Focus on sending the right message to the right people at the right time with the right frequency
- CRM is key, get to know your fans
- Invest in your CRM, clean up irrelevant data
- Show relevant and personalised messages to the right people in your stadium
- Have continuous touchpoints with your fans
- Sponsor expectations have changed, not reach but the value of your data is the most important factor
- Storytelling: even as a small club you have something to tell, find your stories
- Mobile first, needs of fans have changed
- Send personalised content to fans via a club app
- Invest in new technologies for disabled fans and other fan groups
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