Launching loyalty program in Sports Industry

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Sports industry is an ever-growing, billion-euro industry, with loyal individuals to follow. It is not only about keeping your customers close to you, but also keeping them satisfied. Loyalty programs are a way to say thank you.

Sports teams seem to be not the perfect fit for loyalty programs. A common notion that is about to change.

“You can change your wife, change your politics, change your religion. But never, never can you change your favorite football team”, according Eric Cantona.

Sports team has a constantly increasing database, that if they manage to leverage it, they will accelerate to create a meaningful relationship, between fans and brand. Having and keeping a strong and profitable brand community is extremely significant.

Launching a loyalty program can help the organizations get to know the fans. Fan identification refers to the psychological connection that individuals have with sport teams. Identifying the level of fan dedication can help organizations build segmentations. There are three levels of fan identification, low, medium, and high. For instance, low identification refers to the spectators that are there to watch a sport for pure entertainment. They have no real interest vested in the game itself. They are not committed financially or emotionally to a team or sport. Usually these types of fans are more into the social aspect of going to a game or viewing a sporting activity.

Nurture loyal fans
Actively invest in customer relationships and organizations will be building a level of trust that does not just keep them coming back – it brings their friends back, too. Rewarding customers encourages them to endorse brand and involve others.

Use gamification
Interactions engage individuals with the brand. Organizations can create the experience of a game in an app user-friendly environment. Users participate so they win rewards, competing against themselves or others. Gamification is the interpretation of experiential marketing. It drives positive feelings around the brand and creates trust, even for those who do not actually play. Instead of just a classic rewards program, users can earn stars to win rewards and to reach different levels. Each level may unlock better rewards like free tickets, or even a dinner with a favorite athlete, which instant create a sense of value-added experience.

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