Roundtable Roundup: Acquisition v Retention
December 1, 2022
“Different sports with different demographics require different approaches for both retention and acquisition”
This was one of the key learnings to come out of the iSportConnect Roundtable on How To Optimise Revenues From Premium & Partnership last week.
The discussion at the event, held at Queensland House in London, centred around the ongoing battle of sports organisations to retain partners and fans while acquiring new ones. Ned Coten, CEO of EngageRM, and Tim Barber, the company’s Global Commercial Director, were thought leaders in a lively and very open discussion featuring leading sports rights owners.
“At the end of the day people want to be part of a tribe”
Making partners not only feel valued but ‘part of your tribe’ is a vital part of partner retention. You need to make sure they feel valued and appreciated. Every partner is different. Retention is all about knowing and understanding your partners.
“You have to have a good knowledge of who is in your database because potential partners are hiding in there”
This was an eye-opening point. Clubs and governing bodies have piles of information on their fans. But understanding your database and then using it to your advantage is a challenge, and the most valuable work still probably needs to done manually. Attendees agreed that there are few if any organisations out there that can say they are well and truly on top of their data.
One club admitted that they approached a company about a partnership only to find out later much to their chagrin that the CEO was in their database as one of their season ticket-holders.
A mass participation company said that it was only after putting on a race for a charity they had a dive into their database and found that they had senior figures at some of the world’s biggest banks taking part in their races. The phrase ‘sitting on a gold mine’ springs to mind.
“Find the people who love your sport, then find the ones among them who have money for partnerships – not the other way around”
When looking to acquire new partners many organisations target companies with money and then try to convince them to invest in their sport. Ned of EngageRM recommended that instead, you should search for the people who are already emotionally invested in your sport and your team and then from there find those with deeper pockets. If people already have a connection, it’s easier to get them financially engaged as well.
“Web3 presents a great opportunity for partner acquisition”
Web3 gives clubs the chance to strengthen their relationships with fans around the world who cannot attend in person by giving them value through digital assets.
Adding a Web3 dimension to some current partnership packages might not work so well for traditional partners looking for a tried-and-tested route to ROI. But if the aim is to attract a new type of partners, then an NFT or a metaverse experience can add a lot of value to packages.
Attendees agreed that the potential for Web3 has barely been scratched so far.