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Personalizing the Fan Journey to Build Lasting Relationships Through Value


Loyalty is a commodity in short supply. Sports brands are no stranger to the struggle to capture a potential fans’ attention. It’s an ongoing process, from a traditional in-game promotion like t-shirt night to more sophisticated digital technology based methods. Building long-term loyalty doesn’t happen overnight. Summit Technologies has a road map to help you get there with technology powered by Salesforce.

The push for innovation to reach fans today centers around developing a 360 degree picture of them - that changes as they do - to curate hyper personalized experiences, maximize their brand engagement, and build a lasting relationship. Using that 360 degree view you must create omnichannel connections that reach the fan through every tool in your arsenal. Combining the power of Salesforce Sales Cloud, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and Salesforce Einstein for starters you can create more engaged fans.

Take, for example, someone new to a city. Looking for something to do in town, they buy a ticket to check out the local sports team. How does the team turn that casual fan into a devoted superfan with a connection to the team that lasts a lifetime?

Creating a superfan is about passion and loyalty; that can benefit or it can backfire. Building loyalty hinges on personalizing the fan experiences, creating better, more rewarding connections, and adding more value. Every brand needs to build a customer or fan relationship by providing experiences that exceed expectations. Whether you are a sports team, or a grocery store, or a car brand. With Salesforce tools to build connected relationships you can create MVPs.

Summit Technologies believes a superfan is your best MVP. Here are five ways to turn a casual fan into a superfan — and keep them that way.

See how creating a single view of the fan through data:

  • Reach them directly

  • Treat them like fans not customers

  • Creates hyper personalized experiences

  • Maximizes fan engagement with an emotional connection

  • Builds a connection that lasts a lifetime with value

Make personalized, direct contact. The fan’s unique journey begins with the first ticket purchase. One simple transaction gives you a benchmark of data points including demographics, location, and many preferences. This lets you maximize your connections with fans and evolve your direct communications with them to be more sophisticated and more personalized with every touch across every channel. When you multiply these data points across multiple fans you begin to build personas to which you can further customize the journey.

Maximizing personalization and loyalty through communications, customized applications built on the powerful Salesforce platform, and rewards for engagement you can connect with and stay connected with them even if they aren’t attending a game in person.

The most engaging sports brands know that the moment a fan starts to feel like a customer rather than a fan, they cease to behave like a fan. A good, digital approach to engagement keeps them connected to your brand by speaking to their passion, not their pocket book. The goal of your personalized fan journey should be to speak to their loyalty, not their logic.

True fans don’t consider themselves consumers or customers. They want to think of their relationship with your sports brand as a more personalized, more passionate one. In many cases you aren’t engaging with your fans in a way that involves competition at all. They don’t have multiple favorite teams in any one sports league. They are loyal. This doesn’t mean you can take them for granted but it also means that you don’t have to lure them away from another sports franchise.

Sports teams can leverage personalization to hear the concerns and anticipate the needs of their fans. Employ surveys and voting tools and capture this information with Salesforce’s data analytics tools and they feel like they are part of the coaching organization not just the cheerleading squad. That builds loyalty that lasts a lifetime.

Keep and build the engagement by inviting fans to install mobile apps that improve game day experiences. A digital experience platform takes the fan from standing on the sidelines to actively engaging. Whether the app helps them decide where to park, which concession stand sells their favorite beverage, or where the best pre-game and post-game activities will be, the tools you put into their hands improves their experience and their loyalty.

An omnichannel platform turns the digital experience into an opportunity to make purchases for discounts and loyalty points that can be traded in for team merchandise or to actively participate in a “biggest fan” leaderboard. Your app and your digital platform can take that single ticket purchaser fan from a game day drop in to a highly engaged fan for life.

Use your digital platform to grow the emotional connection your fan has with your franchise. Emotions are a powerful tool especially when it comes to loyalty. Perhaps your app captures data like favorite players, preferred seating, average price paid for tickets, or favorite beverage. The data you collect builds a 360 degree customer view that lets you continue to serve up more personalized, relevant content. This encourages future ticket purchases, helps build custom communications that speak directly to the fan, and even creates targeted advertising to run across multiple platforms.

The fan thinks you’ve given them a great tool. You’ve given your franchise something even greater – a way to better serve and build their engagement and loyalty.

A well thought out mobile app becomes something loyal fans use every day of the week, not just on game days. Post announcements, surveys, offers, player stats and news, statistical analysis and player stories. The more engaged your fans are with your content, the greater the rewards they accumulate and the greater your engagement with them.

Finally, provide value in exchange for the data you collect. A single view of a fan gives you the ability to anticipate their needs through unifying customer data from the app, your ticket sales system, team websites, customer service systems,and social media. Salesforce’s Customer Data Platform (Salesforce CDP) unifies that data with a primary fan ID allowing you to deliver on each of the above bullet points and reward their loyalty. Your most loyal and engaged fans expect you to treat them like regulars, like they are at a bar where everybody knows their name, not like a customer.

Sports franchises at every level whether high school, college, or national leagues achieve this by serving fans content they want and expect and they do this by maintaining a complete picture of each fan with Salesforce CDP and an omnichannel approach to communication.

Summit Technologies LLC not only brings together over 40 years of experience creating customized Salesforce solutions that meet every individual client and their customers, we are also all loyal fans of brands and teams that we know and love. Fan services should always address a fan by name and deliver a personalized experience with custom content. You can do it. Summit Technologies’ team of Salesforce professionals can help.

Personalize your fan journeys by providing them with omnichannel solutions to reach and interact with your brand. Customer and fan expectations for good experiences are soaring. Summit Technologies builds solutions on the Salesforce platform that exceed your fans’ expectations.

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