Loyalty in Sports - ESSMA Fan Entertainment Workshop

Some sixty members of the European Stadium & Safety Management Association (ESSMA) assembled for the sold-out Fan Entertainment Workshop in Turin, Italy, on 3-4 October. The venue for the two-day event was Allianz Stadium, home of Juventus FC.


Tori Willis, Product Manager – Loyalty & Strategy at SKIDATA, an ESSMA Stadium Partner, elucidated the topic around loyalty in sports and how to identify, incentive and make your fans happier.

Engaging fans

The first step in engaging fans is to be able to answer the following questions: ‘Where are the fans?’, ‘Can we get more fans?’, and ‘How do we get them to fill our venues?’, which can only be answered if you really know your fans. Consequently, it is key to first identify and then categorise/segment your fans. Once you have this data, you can set tailoring loyalty programmes and increase value, satisfaction and incentivise behaviour to deliver return business.

“Matchday is your prime opportunity for data generation; where you can gather everything from data on the kind of F&B and merchandise fans are purchasing, to the time they arrive and depart. The more in-depth data you have, the better to meet your business objectives."

Tori Willis, Product Manager – Loyalty & Strategy for SKIDATA

Loyalty programmes

Loyalty programmes aid clubs and venues to create their own economies. With these programmes fans have the possibility to earn ‘points’ in return for certain actions including arriving at the stadium early, scanning their ticket, geo-fencing, retweeting, etc. Moreover, fans are more likely and willing to volunteer their data for experiential offerings.

Europe vs. US

According to Willis, European clubs should benchmark clubs from the US In terms of technology, marketing trends and data generation as they are pioneers on those aspects. Screens being everywhere in the stadium have both benefits and drawbacks. A negative effect can be that they lower a fan’s attention span. However, if clubs incentivize their fans by sharing information, tweet, etc. they can benefit from it and turn it into an advantage. 

Go to our ESSMA Flickr account for more pictures.

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Posted on 22/10/2017 in: