Over the past few decades, the definition of a “fan” has evolved from merely attending and/or watching a favorite sport, to subscribing to streaming services, accessing behind-the-scenes content, participating in gaming and betting activities, and obsessing over the fashion. This evolution of fandom has provided teams and leagues with new ways to engage with fans to deepen their love of the sport. However, many professional sports fans still face a fragmented and impersonal experience with little to no direct relationship with the sport leagues themselves.
With more than 1 billion fans worldwide, a major sports league sought to create a global membership program to act as the connective tissue of the fan experience, rewarding fans for being fans, whenever and wherever they engage with the sport.
Working with the league’s new membership team through an end-to-end loyalty strategy design and implementation, Concentrix developed a net new program that elevates the fan experience to increase and deepen fan interactions while recognizing and celebrating the unique ways that fans engage with the league.
As the league embarked on an enterprise-wide digital transformation initiative, they decided that this was the perfect opportunity to develop and integrate a new membership program to give fans more ways to engage with the league and the sport.
Facing multiple challenges, including increasingly high competition for fans’ time and attention and limited understanding of how fans engage with the league, together with our client team we focused on finding new and exciting ways to deliver exclusivity and personalization, drive fan engagement and community, and monetize the fan experience.
As we embarked on this challenge, we focused on four key strategic objectives to support our mission:
- Be unique to the league: Deliver a unique league experience that provides incentives to become a member and engage with the program
- Inspire deeper fandom: Build meaningful relationships with the diverse fanbase; growing fan affinity with the brand and creating advocates
- Maximize fan value: Utilize behavioral and attitudinal data to increase future fan value
- Extend engagement: Reward and recognize fans at all touchpoints and facilitate connection between league touchpoints
Concentrix was engaged to employ our end-to-end loyalty, strategy, and design process, collaborating with stakeholders across the league and its partners to design and build a highly-experiential, personalized, and connected membership program.
By leveraging a human-centered design approach, we created a non-transactional membership program that is authentic to the brand, inclusive of all fan-types, differentiated in the marketplace, and personalized based on how fans engage with the league. Featuring a three-pronged reward system consisting of exclusive benefits, rewards, and recognition, fans enjoy a connected member experience across core league touchpoints including individual teams, league partners, events, content, streaming, gaming, and merchandise.
And because league fandom isn’t limited to the United States, we scaled the program globally through a localization process to incorporate local market needs and considerations, including country-specific benefits and rewards.
In order to deliver a differentiated fan experience, one driven by their unique passions, we collaborated with the league to craft personalization strategies. We began with developing a data strategy and a governance strategy to understand how data is collected, used, and stored as part of membership. We then created a strategy which allows the program to target, surprise, and delight fans based on their level of engagement with the league. The experience becomes more and more personalized for each fan when they engage online with the program and share their passions and preferences in a way that feels fun and true to their fandom. We capped off these deliverables by identifying success metrics to monitor program performance by element (such as enrollment and engagement) and by audience (such as program management and executives).
We implemented this program as part of the league’s extensive digital transformation initiative which included the launch of a new mobile app for the league. Concentrix played a key role in bringing membership to life by creating a custom member hub which, linking to the loyalty platform, can be accessed online or by mobile device so members can easily view available offers and rewards, and participate in member activities.
The Concentrix enablement team played a critical role in the review and selection of a loyalty platform for the league, integrated the selected platform into the extensive martech ecosystem, and managed the configuration of the selected platform based on the specific program design.
Upon its recent launch, the loyalty program ushered in a differentiated and connected fan experience, enriched and personalized by their interests and unique passions. We launched with over 20 benefits, rewards and voting opportunities across touchpoints. In the first two months and with limited promotion, more than 3 million accounts were created.