The importance of rich customer data
The Swedish league association Ettanfotboll is aiming to double their ticket sales for the upcoming season. With a total of 480 league matches to be played next season, this increase will have a massive financial impact for all the 32 clubs in the league. Learn how they are planning to reach their goal in this interview with the league’s development manager Jimmy Fors.
Photograph: Pelle Börjesson/Idrottsfoto
Aiming for doubled sales through the combination of member service, rich customer data and a favourable league agreement.
“A typical Swedish third tier football club has 2-3 people in the administration, a coach and a sports manager. For clubs of that size to succeed with their ticket sales, we need to support them every way we can. What we’ll do from 2023 and onwards, is to establish a member service position within our league association to help the clubs utilise their customer data. Combined with our league agreement with TicketCo, I’m certain that this will boost the ticket sales,” said development manager Jimmy Fors of the Swedish league association Ettanfotboll.
As a marketing- and communication professional, he knows the importance of customer data to reach desired target groups. That is why the 32 clubs within his league association - all competing at the third tier within Swedish football - now will get help to fully utilise their customer data.
“It’s hard for our clubs, especially those from the big cities where there are first and second tier clubs to compete with, to attract big interest. We can’t count on the media. We have to do the job ourselves, and that is why direct communication is crucial.
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“Through TicketCo, the clubs have access to rich customer data, but up until now too few of the clubs have been utilising these data to its full extent. That is why we are now establishing this member service position. Our aim is to help our clubs reach a wider audience, and to build stronger relationships with this audience,” he said.
Double the number of attendees
Jimmy Fors reckons that the club’s need for help may vary.
“Some of the clubs may need help to build content for social media. Others may need help to build newsletters, or maybe create ticket links. Then there’s the customer data and how to utilise those. Our overall goal as a league association is to double the number of attendees at each match from today’s average of 450 to 900, and I do think that this ambition is within reach a year or two down the road. Football is such a powerful force, once you’re into it.”
With the 32 teams divided in a northern and a southern division, the Ettanfotboll league counts a total number of 480 matches. An average of 450 tickets may seem modest, but it equals a total number of 216,000 tickets sold throughout the season. To increase this number by yet another 216,000 will have massive financial impact all across the league.
“You start to sell the next game the very second the ongoing match ends. That is when your audience should receive a message with a thanks for supporting the team, and a special offer for the next match. This measure alone will have a huge impact.
“On top of this we will do several comprehensive measures from the league association, such as regional newsletters. And we will encourage the clubs to establish private partner programs, where the supporters can raise their engagement from being ordinary ticket buyers to becoming subscription partners of their club. Payment solutions for this kind of partnerships are already in place within the TicketCo platform, and this will secure steady income for the clubs,” said Mr. Fors.
His top three tips to every sports organiser who need to increase their revenue is as follows:
- Build and maintain loyalty between you and your audience through direct communication, special offers and various benefits.
- Use your customer data for all it’s worth.
- Increase your revenue by increasing the number of tickets sold rather than your ticket prices.