Football clubs around the world all have the same objective when it comes to engaging their fans – do it more and do it better. Without their fans, they can’t generate the money they need to grow; whether it’s money coming in from the turnstiles, merchandise sales or TV deals generated by the fans tuning in.
There are many factors that make someone become a fan of a football club, from local pride to family traditions to simple entertainment value and on-field glamour, but it takes more than these to truly keep a fan engaged.
In the digital age, clubs have a vast array of tools at their disposal, and MPP Global works with some of the biggest football clubs in Europe to enable them to boost their fan engagement through the OTT strategies covered here.
When it comes to using digital tools to engage with fans, one of the key issues we’ve found clubs having, come down to the way legacy systems were set up. At the dawn of the internet age, most websites were set up and managed externally as just another way of communicating. It was only as it became clear how important they could be that clubs began to bring their digital marketing in-house, but critical sections of their websites remain siloed off, like tickets and merchandise. Clearly there have been advantages to this way of working in the past, ensuring that ecommerce was being handled by the experts, but the legacy of all these different systems being used is that fans have had to sign up for them separately, creating multiple accounts for buying their season ticket, watching OTT videos or getting the latest kit.
MPP Global works with top clubs around Europe to help them overcome these legacy issues. There isn’t a quick fix though, it takes a joined-up internal approach at the club to lay the groundwork for doing it digitally, otherwise the silos will still exist, and the benefit of the work won’t be fully realised. Doing it as a Big Bang isn’t the way forwards either, clubs need to initially focus on which departments need to be linked closer together. Engaging with fans in the digital age may come in many forms, but video is the most immersive form of content consumption. Having an in-house OTT service can generate income through subscriptions, but it’s most useful as a way of getting data from users.
Replace Legacy Infrastructure
The legacy systems still being used at many football clubs are holding back progress, so they needed to work in a systematic way to start replacing them with a more forward-thinking and flexible approach to subscriber management and billing, provided by eSuite
Create Single Fan Identity
Having multiple identities for fans across the club’s digital offerings is confusing for both the fans themselves but also the club. If they can’t sign in easily, they’ll give up before booking tickets, buying merchandise or watching a video.
Remove Data Silos
Another issue with the legacy system is the problem of having fan data stored in many different silos, making it more difficult to engage with them (if there are multiple email addresses, which is the best one to use?) but also impossible to use that data intelligently because it’s always incomplete.
Boost Fan Engagement
Ultimately, the goal of this project for all of the clubs involved was to have the right tools in place to engage with their fans using OTT services as the perfect gateway to create transformative change.
These clubs have used the OTT opportunities available to them, along with the functionality in eSuite, to start the journey away from legacy systems and set-ups and towards proper fan engagement with a single identity and payment wallet. This means their fans are getting a better service and the clubs are more able to understand them and market to them. Find out how you can take that same journey.