Reaching 3.6 million football fans via comprehensive customer engagement
Better segmentation leads to a deeper understanding of players, clubs, fans and volunteers.
Improved engagement and higher response rates
The Royal Dutch Football Federation relies on SAS Customer Intelligence 360 to better understand what motivates players and fans, engage audiences with personalized communications, and promote the love of the game
When it comes to team sports, football reigns supreme in the Netherlands. With 1.2 million members, the Royal Dutch Football Federation – KNVB – is the biggest sports organization in the country, overseeing professional and amateur leagues and the Dutch men’s and women’s national teams.
There are 3,000 football clubs in the Netherlands, and every member of every football club is registered in a database. No other sports federation in Europe has a database as extensive and complete.
All the Dutch football clubs provide input to the database, which has 3.6 million unique records, representing 21% of the total Dutch population.
This means there’s an enormous amount of data to generate insights from. And KNVB puts it to good use with SAS Customer Intelligence 360.
A comprehensive customer engagement platform
KNVB established five key goals it wanted to achieve:
- Gain more insights into the motives of football players, fans and volunteers.
- Share these insights with the thousands of football clubs across the Netherlands.
- Make better data-driven marketing decisions and set up personalized customer journeys.
- Optimize commercial opportunities for KNVB and its partners.
- Become a data-driven organization that promotes the love of the game.
With SAS, KNVB set up a complete customer engagement platform with the following components:
- Customer Intelligence KNVB System (CIKS): The CIKS is an opt-in database that includes the member administration of all 3,000 amateur football clubs. Data from third-party sources – such as game data, ticket sales, merchandise sales, website visits and mobile apps – are added as well. Data quality and the adherence to strict privacy rules are essential in the automated extract, transform and load processes. The CIKS contains 2.5 million unique profiles and is mainly used to generate additional commercial opportunities.
- SAS Customer Intelligence 360 and SAS Visual Analytics: These solutions are used for campaign management and advanced analysis. The primary channels include email, mobile apps and the website.
- Voetbal Intelligence Platform (VIP): The VIP builds on the CIKS database and includes extra data sources and more profile information, such as research results and demographic data. The VIP is used mainly to gain new insights into the behaviors of members, fans and volunteers.
- Football ecosystem: This ecosystem – a combination of the above solutions and systems – grants access to other football clubs, helping them make data-driven decisions.
When it comes to analytics, you won’t find anything with a better performance in the market than SAS. Adding Customer Intelligence 360 to our platform made it even more interesting for us. The opportunity we had to establish a real partnership with SAS enabled us to make big strides forward, fast. Marion Massop Marketing Intelligence Manager KNVB
Reaching the right audience with the right message
With SAS Customer Intelligence 360 in place, KNVB is better positioned to promote football through a deeper understanding of its audiences.
Segmentation of active players, clubs, fans and volunteers is now fully data-driven, and done with more precision and at scale. Additionally, communications are more personalized. By adjusting the tone of voice and channel selection in combination with tailored forecasting and communication campaigns, the activities of KNVB and its commercial partners are more profitable and efficient.
“The number of people using the platform continues to broaden,” says Marion Massop, Marketing Intelligence Manager at KNVB. “The marketing department – supported by the data intelligence department – is responsible for a single customer view. It’s our job to facilitate the access to the data for as many stakeholders as possible. We’re lucky to have several data-savvy marketers who are able to clearly communicate the advantages of customer engagement to the rest of the organization and our partners.”
KNVB – Facts & Figures
By selecting the right combination of criteria, telemarketing campaigns for KNVB’s partners achieve 45% higher response rates.
Click ratios improved 35%
due to better segmentation
Open ratios of newsletters and email campaigns often reach 75%.
Taking analytics to the next level
Analytics empowers KNVB to find meaningful patterns in its data and uncover new knowledge that it can act on. For instance, here are three questions the football federation investigated with SAS:
Why do football players often stop playing?
Football players often stop playing due to a lack of tight team integration and alignment. Data proved that teams with less churn and higher retention rates are the best guarantee to keep players motivated longer.
What is the best way to predict – and boost – ticket sales?
KNVB now predicts ticket sales for the games of the Dutch national team by looking at past sales and closely monitoring current sales evolutions. As such, the organization can put in additional campaigns if needed to further boost sales.
Is KNVB connecting with a diverse audience?
From the approximately 200 nationalities represented in the Netherlands, only 11 are not represented in the database, indicating that KNVB is achieving its goal of reaching a large and diverse population.
KNVB is excited with the results it has seen, and the football federation is looking forward to future discoveries with analytics. “Next on our wish list is to integrate social behaviors into our single customer view,” Massop says.
“The choice of SAS for our customer engagement platform was an obvious one,” Massop concludes. “When it comes to analytics, you won’t find anything with better performance in the market than SAS. Adding Customer Intelligence 360 to our platform made it even more interesting for us. The opportunity we had to establish a real partnership with SAS enabled us to make big strides forward, fast. As a sports federation, we believe solid partnerships create a true win-win.”
The Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbal Bond (KNVB) is the Royal Dutch Football Federation. The organization employs 450 people and is located in the town of Zeist. Its mission is to promote the love of football within the Netherlands.
Football in the Netherlands:
- 3,000 clubs
- 63,500 teams
- 1,200,000 players
- 745,000 games every year
- 80,000 trainers and coaches
- 31,000 referees
- 400,000 volunteers
- 7,000,000 stadium visits
- 12,000,000 national team fans