Football NSW, Chief Executive Officer
Scoring goals is all in a day’s work for Football NSW but its goal of using its data to help retain players and find sponsorship opportunities is one of its more impressive plays.
The NSW governing body for association and indoor football was keen to gain a deeper understanding of its clubs, players, coaches and referees so it could enhance the value of the services it provides to them. The driver behind this was an 8 per cent growth in participation – a figure attributed to the growing interest in the sport following the men and women’s World Cups.
We can zoom right down to postcode, street or the individual and show why investing in better lights or irrigation at the local oval will help their community as well as the players who use the facility.
Football NSW, Chief Executive Officer
Football NSW chief executive officer Eddie Moore says football is about creating a positive experience for all members. “Gaining an in-depth understanding of our members and their involvement with the football community can help us better engage with them.”
The association has 227,000 registered players, including 20,000 who play summer football, 12,500 registered coaches and 4500 referees. Each registration is made through the MyFootball Club portal and includes details such as name, date of birth, address and where they play football.
While Football NSW had access to this comprehensive data, it needed a tool to analyse and provide it with insights. So it replaced the Excel spreadsheets it had been using for many years with Visual Analytics from SAS.
Since installing SAS Visual Analytics, Football NSW has already addressed an issue it had with referee churn. “We now know 30 per cent of our referees are in the 12-16 age bracket and drop out once they become teenagers,” Moore says. “We have since introduced a marketing initiative to help combat this.”
The greater insights are also helping Football NSW attract and retain members. Moore says previously, it would have taken months to work through the registration data and contact the players who hadn’t returned to convince them to come back.
“Now if you play in a winter competition, your details are geocoded and we can let you know there is a summer competition taking place near you,” he says.
SAS Visual Analytics also reveals where members are located against available facilities. Football NSW produces a graphical representation of this information for local councils and state and federal government representatives so they can easily see where the hotspots are.
“We can zoom right down to postcode, street or the individual and show why investing in better lights or irrigation at the local oval will help their community as well as the players who use the facility,” Moore says.
Commercial partners and sponsors are provided with a more compelling narrative as it shows them where their stores are in relation to large clusters of players or where the newest members are located.
“We can pull out an iPad and show a sponsor the location of any person involved in the game, with detailed search criteria such as specific age, gender and profile” Moore says. “This helps them refine any communication they want to send to those members. For example, a new player might be offered a discount to purchase their footy boots from a sportswear shop at their local mall. This not only adds commercial value for that partner but also enhances the welcome experience for our new member.”
Moore adds that SAS Visual Analytics is also very easy to learn. “You don’t need to have technical skills to be able to use it,” he says. “Within minutes of its implementation, we were able to produce a visual representation of the analysis.”
Moore hopes SAS Visual Analytics will help football become the largest and most popular sport in the country. “Having this type of data available, and then being able to take it to our audience, whether it is a government official, sponsor or our own members, is very powerful.”
Football NSW wanted to find more effective ways to retain its members as well as identify sponsorship opportunities.
Initiatives have been introduced to reduce churn while commercial partners have more information to plan marketing strategies.
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