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Opinion | How a CDP is already revolutionising the entire sports industry

We are already living in the future of sports. With benefits ranging from data ownership to boosting sponsorship value, Stefan Lavén, Data Talks’ founder and CEO, explains why there are many reasons to use a customer data platform.

22 April 2022 Stefan Lavén

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Who would have thought, ten, 20 years ago, that doing sports and doing it well would be so heavily reliant on data? What then – in light of this – is the future of sports?

Current changes in the sports industry

It really does seem like the world of sports we knew back in the day and the one we are in today are two completely different worlds. For one, there is a new demographic, Gen Z, which is now the cohort with the biggest purchasing power. Secondly, fans and supporters nowadays are hungry for more and more content.

Consumption is also different. Mobile now the most used device, with more than 6.4 billion smartphone users worldwide. The average mobile user in the UK spends a whole day out of a week on their mobile devices and a fifth of 16 to 24-year-olds in the UK spend around seven hours a day on their mobile devices.

Then there is the matter of sponsorships. Your sponsorship value today depends on the data you own, especially supporter data. The recent debacle with FC Barcelona and Spotify is telling here. A lot of sports industry players have referred to this case and voiced their opinions on this, but are we taking in the gravity of what this implies? The discussion regarding followers v contacts, highlights the need to own your own data in order to leverage that information and boost sponsorship value. With this issue still fresh in the memory, perhaps it is important to look in our own backyards, lest we find ourselves in similar situations.

How a customer data platform (CDP) is revolutionising the future of sports

A 360-degree supporter view is a big concept nowadays. Again, another change we see today that was not a massive focus just a few years ago. I am a huge advocate of this approach, but what good is a 360-degree view of your supporters if you don’t have a 360-degree approach to all your marketing strategies?

What a CDP does for sports today

Data ownership

Data is one of the sports industry’s biggest assets, if not the biggest. But who owns your data? Is it Meta or some of the other platforms and partners you use?

What if I told you that, you could own your own data and reap all the benefits that come with this. These include leveraging your data to boost sponsorship deals, autonomy to act on data insights to meet your business goals and futureproofing your organisation by ensuring all your actions are in line with your supporters’ demands.

But not only can you own your own data with a CDP, but you can also do everything you want with this data, in line with privacy laws and regulations, of course.

A quick summary of how this works

You have data aplenty. Think of various touchpoints such as your ticketing system, point of sale system online and offline, newsletter subscriptions, in-stadium purchases, as well as over-the-top (OTT) platforms – the list is almost endless. With a CDP, you can store all this data in one place, and unify it so you are left with only the cleanest data. No duplicates, just rich and reliable data. This data gets updated with every interaction your supporter has with you, so you never have to worry about it being obsolete. Not only that but you can rest assured that the data collection is GDPR and privacy regulations compliant. Furthermore, you can share this data easily with other systems, and team members across the whole organisation and beyond, all at the click of a button. Efficiency, effectiveness, precision, and clarity are what you get with your data in a CDP.

Autonomy to act on your own insights

What if you could cut out your data intermediaries? And instead of having to consult someone to give you insights into your own data, you could do it yourself, in real-time and have the process so easy you can do it daily?

You can with a CDP since it was made with marketers, as end-users, in mind. Confidence and peace of mind may sound like soft benefits, but when all else is so uncertain, these become invaluable.

Other benefits of a CDP include:

1. Having a reliable source of truth to power your actions thus helping you reach and even exceed your goals
2. Consist, reliable, replicable, and sustainable success

The future of sports: Going 360°

From collecting data and owning your own data to analysing the data and then acting on it, this is what a true 360-degree approach looks like. However, even though you get the benefits of a CDP today, the benefits of it stretch into the future. Essentially pushing you ahead of the game.

Renewed hopes for the future of sports

And what do you have to look forward to when using a CDP?

Consistent, reliable, replicable, and sustainable success

Instead of theorising, let’s briefly look at a CDP use case in boosting sponsorship value.

Nowadays, and this is only going to increase, sponsors want convincing evidence of the success of a potential sponsorship. So you could use the CDP to:

1. Leverage your data contained in the CDP to negotiate higher sponsorship deals. The larger your contact database, the better
2. Prove your supporters’ affinity for your potential sponsors
3. Give evidence/roadmap of how you plan to exceed the sponsorship goals and the KPIs you are going to measure

The best thing about using a CDP to boost your sponsorship value is that it allows you to simultaneously deliver a world-class supporter experience, while a better supporter experience means better business for both your sponsors and your supporters.

Other exciting things to expect in the future when using a CDP

1. Compliance with privacy regulations – for example, GDPR. A CDP is compliant with privacy regulations by default because it primarily collects first-party data. This type of data requires the giver of the data to consent before sharing their data.
2. Larger contact databases – the power of a CDP is that it creates a data ecosystem that keeps continuously growing. So this means that as long as you have your CDP in place, you will keep collecting data and cleaning and unifying it.
3. Compounded gains – which are better than marginal gains. Any gain is good really but of course, the faster and greater the gains the better. With a CDP, you build for success and for longevity.

Final thoughts

The only constant thing in life is change, but we never know where the cards are going to land, so it can seem impossible to anticipate what might happen in the future. For example, with Covid-19, no one could have anticipated that. So while it is hard to know the true future of sports, it is this reality that makes a CDP more compelling. Although we do not know what the future of sports will look like, we do know a few things about what we would still want in the future:

1. Bigger sponsorship deals
2. To own our own supporter data
3. To keep selling out on tickets and merchandise

A real CDP can definitely help you do this and more.

Data Talks helps you to create a world-class supporter experience, based on your data. With its leading-edge sports customer data platform (CDP) you can build personalised supporter engagement by collecting, analysing, and acting on your data. Click here to learn more about Data Talks or follow us on social media LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Medium. Listen to our Podcast.

Connect with Stefan Lavén on LinkedIn

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