Introducing Smart Websites, for Fan Focused Digital Engagement, by Green 4
Friday July 21, 2017
The conclusion of the current FLi collective agreement for digital platforms has provided an opportunity for many EFL teams to reconsider their digital strategy and opt for an approach that is more engaging for fans and most importantly, puts the club in control of their digital content.
This is an approach that many Premier League teams had already adopted. With large budgets and the necessary in-house digital teams to manage such comprehensive sites, the likes of Manchester City, Southampton and Chelsea already provide a fantastic online fan experience.
The aesthetics of these sites are clearly impressive, irrespective of you own subjective and personal views on branding and look and feel. They are clearly designed for mobile use and to deliver the very latest video content and live performance data.
The challenge for the remainder of the EFL clubs is whether to “opt out” of the collective low cost and low impact agreement which by its very design is based on compromise and the demands of central sponsors rather than the fan.
With new club sites live at Birmingham City and Hull City Tigers, Green 4 have already proved that this does not need to be the case. Based on a fully featured Umbraco content management framework, Green 4 has delivered a fantastic looking web experience without the backend complexities that require an army of web developers and designers to maintain.
The secret, beyond the flexible CMS framework, is that the sites are powered by CRM. This means that the entire fan experience from advertising to, in the future, club content, stats and video can be personalised based on the profile set up by the fan when they register. Not only does this provide a compelling reason for fans to register and provide the club with valuable personal details, but it means that clubs can deliver a highly relevant, personalised experience across their entire website.
Using API’s provided by the likes of Opta and StreamAMG for stats and video content respectively, and similar tight coupling with the back-end CRM database, the web administrator has all the tools to deliver a great fan experience with zero compromise on look and feel, that is at least the equivalent of that provided by many expensive web design agencies.
But it doesn’t end there, the club website also becomes an additional channel for the club’s “fan engagement” strategy. Personalisation can extend to relevant offers such as kids specific merchandise, hospitality offers for businessmen or a birthday treat. Green 4’s Loyalty system can bring the site to life by offering a compelling reason for fans to log in whenever they visit the site to purchase tickets or merchandise, so they automatically clock up points to be spent later on cherished experiences.
Loyalty points traditionally come from fans purchasing transactions, and with such a joined-up platform, this becomes straightforward, however Green 4 can also offer points for email opens and click through’s and, in the future, tracking cookies on the club website, even when fans are not logged in. These may indeed be the first steps a new or overseas fan makes.
In the complex world of sports marketing, where collecting fan data is of equal importance to providing a great digital experience, things just got a whole lot smarter.
Peter Oliver co-founded Green 4 in 2006.
At Green 4 we enable our customers to utilise data to build improved fan and visitor relationships and create compelling digital journeys across the sport, leisure and attraction industries. As your partner, we are committed to your success and focused on delivering results using cutting edge, insight led strategies.