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Wigan Warriors lead the charge

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Wigan Warriors, arguably the most successful club in Rugby League history, has selected a hosted CRM-based solution from leading Sports CRM partner m-hance Limited.

The solution, m-hance SHL360, is built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM and designed for professional sports clubs and associations. As existing Dynamics users, Wigan Warriors were searching for more than just another CRM solution. Deployment was also a key factor behind the decision-making process for the club. The flexibility of m-hance SHL360 means it can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud.

Driven by a need for added reliability and low set-up costs, Wigan Warriors were keen to utilise a managed service offering from m-hance.

Simon Collinson, Marketing Director of Wigan Warriors, commented:

For us, it was just as important to find a reputable Microsoft Gold Partner with hosting capabilities, as it was to upgrade our current CRM system to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015. We needed to eliminate the risk of loss of data and pass that responsibility on to a reliable partner and their data centre.

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 now available, Wigan Warriors were keen to use the new and innovative release as a platform for m-hance SHL360. The latest version of Dynamics CRM will be able to support the club with all things marketing; a single view of the relationship with each of Wigan Warriors’ supporters, sophisticated marketing campaign capability, e-marketing tools, and automated workflows. Improved Sales and Customer Service functionality will allow Marketing Director, Simon Collison, to enhance customer relationships.

Collinson continued:

Because organisations such as the RFU, FA, International Tennis Federation and Jockey Club are already with m-hance they were a straightforward choice for us. The initial outlay is fractional compared to on-premise offerings and a quick implementation, inclusive of maintenance and support, means we can concentrate on more strategic challenges.

A key challenge for the Super League club is consolidating data from third party systems such as Ticketmaster, Fortress, Netsuite Retail and Wigan TV (the club’s online streaming service). m-hance’s integration suite reduces complexity while increasing resilience and makes all data accessible in SHL360 through robust data interchange controls. The same solution performs tight data deduplication and validation processes.

Collinson noted:

With 130,000 supporters, the amount of data we had to try to manipulate from different providers made it very hard to draw out meaningful information about our customer base. Now this has been integrated by m-hance, personalised offers can be communicated effectively. m-hance’s experience with Sports and Leisure integrations positioned them well for this aspect of the project.

Ultimately, providing greater insight into customers’ interactions with the club means Wigan Warriors can bring data to life analytics, data segmentation and match-by-match or merchandise sales metrics. Simon and his team can now focus on increasing supporter engagement and utilising capacity for additional events throughout the year.
Commenting on the project, Steve Driscoll, CEO at m-hance said:

We are delighted to be working with such a prestigious Super League club and are really looking forward to seeing the benefits that can be achieved for Wigan Warriors with our innovative SHL360 solution. We look forward to a long, successful relationship with the club.

About Wigan Warriors

Wigan Warriors Rugby League Football Club is one of the most famous and successful sports clubs in the world. The club has grown from humble beginnings into one of the giants of British sport. With the biggest fan base in the country, the magnificent DW Stadium, world-class training facilities and backing from some of Europe’s most successful businesses, Wigan Warriors are truly a Club in the ascendancy. The Warriors also have a ground-breaking community development department, which touches the lives of over 30,000 individuals per year throughout Wigan and the surrounding areas. For further information, go to: www.wiganwarriors.com

About m-hance

m-hance are a Microsoft Gold partner with over 20 years of experience in delivering value through Microsoft Dynamics solutions to over 800 direct customers from their offices in the UK, Ireland, India and the US. As a Microsoft Development Partner, they further ‘m-hance’ Microsoft solutions through approved integrated software solutions that recognise and meet individual business needs within their chosen markets.
For more information, go to: www.m-hance.com

Southend United FC supporters score with cloud-based ticketing system

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Southend United Football Club (Southend) has chosen TALENT Sport, the ecommerce platform from Advanced Ticketing (Advanced), following a rigorous tender process involving numerous software providers.

Southend selected TALENT Sport for its reputation in delivering an excellent online purchasing experience for fans. This will ensure the club is positioned at the forefront of UK football clubs by offering supporters choice, flexibility and enjoyable ways to engage online with the club. The system will go live this summer, ready for the start of 2015-2016 football season.

TALENT Sport, which will be hosted in the cloud, will mirror the branding on Southend’s website to offer an integrated online purchasing journey. Fans will benefit from a fully responsive web experience, allowing them multiple transaction choices when purchasing tickets, from any device. Ticket staff will operate TALENT Sport using a browser user interface giving them greater flexibility and access to real-time back office information.

Steve Kavanagh, CEO at Southend United FC, said:

Offering our supporters an excellent experience remains at the top of our priorities and the decision to choose Advanced is a strategic part of delivering against this commitment. TALENT Sport has an established base in football and the wider sport market and we visited many of its customers operating in similar environments to us.

Our board is confident that our fans will now benefit from a fast, reliable and flexible journey online. Fans can now purchase from any device, whenever and wherever they are, which we see at the first step towards operating a ticket-less stadium environment in the future.

Advanced will deliver the cloud-based solution from its UK-based hosting facility, which operates a 24-7 private cloud service guaranteeing first-rate levels of uptime and performance.

Kavanagh added:

Hosting our commerce operations in the cloud is part of the board’s goal to be at the forefront of technology changes. Advanced’s focus on cloud-based technology was an important factor in choosing to partner with them. At an operational level, a cloud-based hosted solution removes reliance on IT staff at our end which enables us to streamline our processes and free up staff to do what we do best – running a football club.

The club will also use TALENT Sport for CRM, allowing it to analyse supporter data and engage with fans in a more tailored way through its campaigns to reward loyalty with relevant offers and promotions. The solution will also integrate the purchasing of corporate hospitality in the future, replacing its current disparate purchasing system.

Mark Dewell, Managing Director of Advanced Ticketing, noted:

We are delighted to engage with the most senior decision makers at Southend United Football Club to develop a shared technology vision. The solution will allow the club to transform the way supporters can engage with them. We know that the new ‘connected fan’ is always on the look-out for their clubs to adopt new technology and we’re excited to work with Southend to help them bring their vision to life.

 

Ticketing & Access Control for stadia, arenas & major sporting events will feature in our forthcoming Q2/Summer ’15 edition of PanStadia & Arena Management. If your company would be interested in inclusion, please contact the Editor, Katie McIntyre on Tel: +353 (0) 44 9335212 or via email at: katie@aladltd.co.uk

 

Image details: A general view of Roots Hall Stadium, home of Southend United – Roots Hall Stadium, Southend – 22/07/11 – Mandatory Credit: Pixel8 Photos/David Scriven – +44(0)7734 151429 – info@pixel8photos.com – NO UNPAID USE.

Essex County Cricket Club nets Advanced Ticketing to engage with a new breed of fans

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Essex County Cricket Club have announced the appointment of Advanced Ticketing (Advanced) to handle its ticketing and CRM operations. The Club will implement TALENT Sport, the (ticketing) ecommerce platform from Advanced, as part of its strategy to deliver a first class online experience to drive fan loyalty and attract a new audience to its cricket games.

The Chelmsford-based cricket club chose TALENT Sport following a formal tender process that was designed to ensure the Club could enhance the online experience for customers, in support of The England Cricket Board’s goals to drive new fans to cricket.

Rowan Bangs, Membership and Ticketing Manager at Essex County Cricket Club, said:

We had outgrown our previous system and needed additional functionality. The Club couldn’t effectively capture customer data and the lack of a single shopping basket was prohibitive for both our Members and those booking a ticket to a game for the first time.

TALENT Sport allows us to deliver a top-class online experience to fans, wherever they are, at any time and from any device. It supports our strategic plans to enhance the match day experience and attract a larger following to cricket in line with the ECB’s directive. We are now in a position to capture key fan data to deliver a personalised and tailored online experience, with details such as favourite seats and card details for fast purchasing of tickets. We now know when parents book children onto kids’ courses, so we can offer them birthday experiences; these are the building blocks for gaining a new loyal fan base.

The solution went live in November 2014 and members can now update their personal information online, including membership photos, and ensure all data is up-to-date and relevant.

Mark Dewell, Managing Director of Advanced Ticketing said:

We thrive on working with clubs who align their strategic goals and aspirations with their investment in our technology. We are looking forward to working with the team at Essex to deliver an enhanced online fan journey that will drive engagement with new audiences whilst delivering monetary value for the club.

The clubs’ innovative approach will be welcomed by the cricket community in the UK and we are looking forward to a successful partnership with Essex moving forward.

 

Essex County Cricket Club: Ground Development

The main construction of the first phase of Essex Cricket Club’s development has already commenced on site, with the work taking place in the Club car park at the rear of the Essex Auto Group Graham Gooch Centre .

MCD, the Club’s development partner has signed the main building contract, following last year’s enabling contract with Kier Construction who will build the first block of apartments consisting of 62 dwellings. Most of these have been sold off plan.

The Club has reached agreement with Chelmsford City Council in respect of a licence and eventual acquisition of the New Writtle Street Car Park, once a new Multi Storey Car Park is constructed.

Keith Brown, Chairman of the Ground Development Committee of Essex County Cricket Club said “This project has been in gestation for a decade and had been delayed because of the economic and financial climate. It is, therefore, an immense relief that this first phase can start. Once the cranes appear and the building is seen to be physically underway, the existing strong interest in the first phase will we are sure be amplified on the next phase of the development. It will be the most iconic and prestigious development in Chelmsford. Chelmsford City Council has been most supportive in wishing to see the redevelopment of the County Ground and ensuring that it will remain the home of Essex Cricket for many years.”

Now that the first Phase can start the Club will now focus on its facilities which will form part of the next stage. Work will start on reviewing the original plans to ensure they meet the Club’s requirements in that they build the facilities that will serve the needs of the modern game, their members, sponsors and supporters.

Derek Bowden Chief Executive said: “We can now look forward to planning our facilities which need to be done within the limits of funds available from the development and our own resources, as well as keeping disruption to cricket to a minimum.”

Steven Byrne representing the Developer, MCD Chelmsford LLP, said: “We are all delighted that all the support from the Club and Chelmsford City Council, has finally come together, in the form of the commencement of the first phase of this prestigious Development Project. We look forward to showing the physical embodiment of what all the hard work by all parties, has helped the achieve.”

Birmingham FC boosts fan loyalty with online portal

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Birmingham City Football Club has launched its own online loyalty portal aimed at rewarding season ticket holders and members with a combination of money can’t buy prizes and exclusive third-party benefits.

The points that are collected by fans for their purchases throughout the season can be redeemed on the brand new Blues Loyalty Portal. The portal, which is built by Green 4, links in to the club’s CRM system. 4Sight Sport have helped with the portal design and strategy, alongside the marketing communications element.

The Blues Loyalty Portal provides fans with access to a great selection of rewards and entry to exclusive e-raffles to win fantastic prizes. It also features club discounts and exclusive benefits from their partners, giving Blues fans a number of rewards from which to choose.

Blues fans are already accustomed to collecting points with their club, but with the new portal they will now be able to log in to their account to check on their points balance and have access to an ‘unmissable’ selection of exclusive discounts, benefits and ‘money can’t buy’ experiences with the club.

Birmingham City FC Head of Brand and Marketing, Tom Rowell said:

We always strive to push the boundaries of CRM and engagement here at St. Andrew’s and the Blues Loyalty Portal is the next step for us. It allows us to reward supporters with genuinely unique and special experiences through the redemption of their loyalty points. Some of the rewards allow supporters to part pay with cash and points which will generate commercial returns as well as aiding engagement. We are also looking add a new layer with social media activity generating points for supporters.

Season Ticket Holders and True Blue Members earn 10% of points on both tickets and retail. Fans can earn points in a variety of ways, every time you spend at the club; including when buying match tickets, merchandise, or by attending stadium tours and events here at the club.

The money-can’t-buy experiences include upgrading to hospitality or getting a photo in the dugout at St. Andrew’s. Fans have access to club discounts and exclusive benefits and discounts from our partners; such as Cineworld, Frankie & Benny’s, Coast to Coast and Lasan. True Blue Membership is priced at £30 per season for adults.

Bluesloyalty1

Singapore Sports Hub plan for customer loyalty programme

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The Singapore Sports Hub is planning to launch a customer loyalty programme to become part of the technology make-up that will drive this world-class facility on day-to-day basis.

The Sports Hub is soon to implement a loyalty solution by UK-based Green 4 Solutions to reward customers and incentivise their engagement with the hub. Green4 Solutions was just one of the many industry leading exhibitors at this week’s Stadia & Arena event held at the Sports Hub. The event will return to Singapore in 2015.

The Sports Hub ecosystem hosts facilities including a 55,000-seat National Stadium, OCBC Arena for indoor sports, OCBC Aquatic Centre, Water Sports Centre, sports library and museum, 41,000sq m of retail space and integrated community facilities throughout the campus.

Visitors to the Sports Hub will receive points for various actions such as payment and usage of facilities and ‘checking-in’ at particular locations around the Sports Hub footprint. Users can redeem their points through Green 4 solutions such as redemptions, auctions and lotteries.

Marketing Director, Eugene Lee said:

We have some exciting plans on the horizon with this rewards programme. Loyalty will be a key part of our marketing strategy going forward and will allow us to engage with our customers online and on site, ensuring that they get the most of the facilities on offer.

Green 4 Solutions were chosen for their experience in sport and leisure and are helping us bring this vision to life.

Peter Oliver, Founder and Director of Green 4 Solutions added:

We’re immensely proud to have been selected to work with such an exciting project in Singapore.

The blend of sport and leisure is perfect for us and we look forward to seeing the results that our technology will help the Sports Hub to achieve.

CFL’s Roughriders launch new fan loyalty and rewards program

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Canadian Football League (CFL) side, The Saskatchewan Roughriders, have announced a partnership with Green 4 Solutions as they introduce a new fan loyalty program and customer relationship management (CRM) solution.

 

Fan loyalty means more than ever to the Roughriders as the announcement comes at the start of the 2014 CFL season, which they kicked-off on June 14 against new entrants, Ottawa Redblacks.

 

The technology provided by Green 4 Solutions will see the Roughriders’ vision for fan loyalty brought to reality, whilst providing a back end CRM solution, which will enable the club to utilise the powerful data that comes as a result of rewarding transactional behaviours. 

 

Roughriders VP Marketing and Business Development, Gregg Sauter said:

We plan to use the CRM and loyalty platform from Green 4 Solutions to reward our fans and enhance their experience with the Roughriders.  We’re now in the planning phase for the program and are looking to apply loyalty as part of a wider strategy for CRM. Using Green 4’s technology we can better engage with our fans and make use of transactional data to increase our revenues.

 

The agreement is not only a marquee moment for the Roughriders, but also for Green 4, as the deal coincides with the opening of the company’s offices in North America.

 

Green 4 Solutions Business Manager for North America, Paul Gibbons, said:

We’re delighted that the Roughriders have chosen to work with us. We have a great product that not only rewards fans, but presents fantastic commercial opportunities for the club. The product has already had proven success in North America and we’re excited to see the technology embraced by the Roughriders.

We quickly realised that the club has a fanatical following and fans will turn the city green on a matchday. Loyalty will compliment this trend and with the new stadium announcement, coupled with Grey cup success, we are very pleased to be associated with the Roughriders.

 

Bristol City embraces fan loyalty

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Bristol City is introducing Green4Solutions as a ‘single platform’ solution across ticketing, corporate sales, marketing, communications and supporter relationship management. City Commercial Director Kevin Smith said:

This is a massive development for this football club. We have conducted a full review of how we communicate with fans and it was clear that a strong supporter relationship management and ticketing system were at the very heart.

Rewarding the loyalty of our fans has been the driving force behind this cultural and system change. If we better understand the movements and requirements of fans, we can not only reward their loyalty, but hopefully engage more effectively going forward.

The removal of booking fees was something I felt passionately about. There is no worse feeling than seeing a price and then just as you’re about to pay, that price goes up! The price we advertise is the price supporters will pay – it is so important we are transparent. It’s the right thing to do.

Meanwhile, plans for the redevelopment of Ashton Gate Stadium have been on show to the public 25-26 June. Ashton Gate development director Guy Price said: “Since the announcement earlier this year, we have consulted widely with our supporters, many interested parties and our neighbours.

In February Bristol Sport Limited (BSL) announced its intention to consider the redevelopment of the stadium as an alternative to moving to a new purpose built stadium at Ashton Vale.

 

Bristol City is embracing fan loyalty ahead of stadium enhancement or move.

Bristol City is embracing fan loyalty ahead of stadium enhancement or move.

Brentford invests in ticketing platform ahead of move

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Brentford's plans for a stadium move include a new CRM system.

Brentford’s plans for a stadium move include a new CRM system.

Brentford Football Club is ramping up its fan engagement ahead of a move to a new stadium. The club has chosen TALENT Sport to manage the club’s ticketing and CRM requirements straight away at current stadium Griffin Park, as well as a strategic planning partner for the club’s move to its new stadium, which is due to take place in 2016.

Brentford FC will use TALENT Sport to introduce a new loyalty programme, which will reward its most dedicated supporters with exclusive offers and events, as well as manage the allocation of tickets effectively for its most popular matches. Mark Devlin, CEO of Brentford Football Club said:

Fan engagement is at the top of our priorities at Brentford FC, as we endeavour to reward our most loyal supporters and encourage new fans to join our club, especially important with the plans for our new stadium coming to fruition. TALENT Sport is a proven solution for ensuring supporters get a fast, reliable and seamless experience when purchasing tickets, whether online or from the Box Office. It also gives us the data to help us intelligently profile our customers and ensure our ardent fans are being rewarded for their support.

Leeds United meets SLO reporting requirements through ticketing software

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Following the recently introduced Government Select Committee’s compulsory regulation for Season 2012/13, where it outlined that each club in the Premier League and Football League is required to designate a ‘Supporter Liaison Officer’ (SLO), end of season reports will soon be due, reporting back on complaint statistics across the club.  Shaun Harvey Chief Executive at Leeds United FC, said:

The new requirement made us review how we could not just meet the terms of the new regulation but do so in a way, whereby the accountability of the clubs staff to deal with complaints/enquiries could be monitored. The majority of complaints relate to one aspect or another of the matchday experience, so linking into the ticketing database was imperative and TALENT facilitated that with us. Our fans have benefited from this enhancement by an improved and consistent service. We can now identify trends of complaints and look to prevent them rather than react to them, which makes us more efficient. We have also managed to identify one or two serial complainers that has helped us prioritise the order in which we deal with matters.

Managing the complaints procedure for clubs is a key part of the SLO role and Leeds United Football Club has streamlined the administration of this procedure by introducing complaints analysis reports. TALENT Sport’s in-built CRM features allow clubs to log and monitor progress to resolution and produce the necessary reports, all in accordance with the new regulation, to the Football League on any customer complaints, cutting administration and saving the club time as a result.

The SLO is charged with producing a Customer Charter which outlines complaint procedures, from how to make a complaint through to setting expectation as to when a response can be expected. At Leeds United, the new SLO worked with the TALENT Sport team to develop a set of reports allowing analysis by match(es), department(s) and also method of resolution which would then be used for end of season reporting as well as a tool for the ongoing management of any supporter complaints.

The SLO reports can be tailored to report back on all aspects of the complaints management procedure, from tracking the date that the complaint was raised to how it was resolved and if there’s any cost implications. It also highlights supporter membership numbers and details, enabling serial/regular complainers to be identified. These reports produced by the TALENT system ensure any football club can easily become fully compliant with this new regulation when reporting back by the end of the season.

Our TALENT Sport system is sometimes perceived to just be helping clubs manage ticket sales efficiently. Whilst this an important aspect of the system and a key area of management for clubs, it has broader capabilities including customer relationship management features from which these Supporter Liaison Officer reports can easily be produced. This helps deliver a great supporter experience and remove administration for clubs so they can get on with running their football business,

commented Rob Such, TALENT Sport product manager at IRIS Ticketing.