In the last years, one of the most painful fact for sports world is the downfall of the romantic side of the game.

While once sport was the glue that held supporters, enthusiasts or just curious people together, in the socioeconomic situation we are currently living, it doesn’t have that power anymore. But, are we sure this is something bad? Maybe romanticism is not dead, it has just evolved.

It’s been a while since big teams (in different sports such as Football Basketball) are developing specific Boards with complex structures suitable for worldwide big companies. The phenomenon of sport, in terms of income and business, is too important and we can not let it depend on supporters romanticism: any game needs a positive and safe return on investment. 

Not only players and athletes, but also companies themselves are what we call “brands”: they work hard to establish their name, they focus any actions on the development of their identity in order to become real international icons (let’s think about Barcelona or Manchester United, just to mention two of them).

A fundamental point sports societies’ activities count on is the improvement of important loyalty and retention programs, a procedure that traces in all the development of CRM strategies of any business.

In sports world too, the acquisition cost of a fan/client is high and the guarantee of a lifetime value to the ones already present in our database let us have a reduction of prices and, of course, safe income in a mid-long term period. 

Fidelity concept is brought to the highest level in sports panorama. That is why important brands know that a data-driven approach in the management of a fan-base is not only recommended but also essential to act in a coherent way regarding their identity, communication and offers focused on different clients’ clusters. 

This kind of actions includes online activities as well as offline events, such as co-branding partnerships and happenings organized inside the teams’ facilities. 

Companies must follow their supporters along the whole customer journey and by doing this they can see important developments in their behavior. 

Nowadays the nurturing of the fan-base takes place both on an online and offline level, keeping in mind that real fans support their team 24/7. This is the starting point of any activity intended for a retention improvement. 

Touchpoints can be divided into three phases: pre-match, match, post-match. Societies will have to guarantee, with a data-driven approach, a perfect user experience for any of these three steps, remembering that there is no distinction between online and offline.

For the first time, sports world doesn’t excel in retention activities. On the contrary, this time, sports societies have to learn from the business world. 

Only with this approach, it will be possible to create a solid corporate base with consequent positive sports results. 

Talking about data, we often focus on the wrong aspect: to understand the past. We should instead try to foretell the future. 

In the sports field, the application of predictive models could guarantee supporters’ satisfaction. With a data-driven approach not only you will give them what they want, but also what they don’t even imagine yet. Simply put, data can satisfy a hidden need.

One more time numbers can help us reach unexplored futures and drive sports business toward a new kind of entertainment.