CRM in Football Explained by Fiona Green

Hi everyone,CRM
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is becoming more and more part of the landscape of our industry. But what is it and what does it mean for football? Fiona Green, the Director and Co-Founder at WINNERS is the best to explain.

Fiona has worked in sports marketing for 25 years representing rights holders and rights buyers. She believes that the sports sector has been relatively slow to understand and implement CRM principles.

WINNERS was then born to cater for this need. WINNERS is a CRM and BI agency that provides a range of services to the sports industry that helps manage these challenges while also capitalising on the opportunities unique to sports (passion, loyalty, status, diversity, growth, etc.)

Karl Lusbec: What is CRM?
Fiona Green: CRM is generally defined as an approach to the way a company manages their interactions with their customers (and potential customers). For our business, and indeed the sports industry, we define it as an approach to their business that allows them to better understand their key stakeholders to enable them to send the right message to the right person at the right time to increase engagement, insight and yield.  The approach is based on our data principle of “acquire, analyse and engage”.

KL: Do you think CRM is the best marketing tool?
FG: CRM is an approach that underpins an organisation’s business so it’s used heavily in marketing but is not a tool in itself.

KL: Which football club uses CRM the most effectively?
FG: Manchester City are most widely credited as using CRM within their marketing department.  There’s an interesting article about them here although it’s nearly two years old:

KL: What can CRM bring to football?
FG: It can enable a football club or governing body to make the right decisions by providing them with data to support those decisions, identify their most loyal fans and get more of them, provide partner/sponsor value, track ROI, engage not just inform – it’s about understanding their fans and other stakeholders.

KL: What would you advise new grads who want to make a career in CRM?
FG: There’s different areas of CRM to go into – operational CRM, marketing CRM and there’s also CRM software and technology (focussing on becoming a practitioner of a particular CRM software such as Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics).  However I’d suggest that the most exciting opportunity has to be social CRM – although we always talk about CRM as being a journey not a destination, when it comes to social CRM I’m not sure we’re even at the start line.

KL: What is the best CRM activation according to you?
FG: I love the way Amazon know what books you want to read before you do and make it incredibly easy for you to review, buy, and receive them – almost to the extent that you want to thank them for enabling you to shop with them!

KL: What is the relevance for an adidas Nike or Puma to use CRM? 
FG: Their use will be threefold:  internally to track their own customer relationship (e.g. with their retailers and distributors),  externally where they sell directly to the end consumer (e.g. through their websites or owned stores), and externally when it comes to general brand awareness and marketing (although I expect the focus in this area will be Social CRM).

Check out WINNERS website:
Connect with Fiona on Twitter: @fionagreen66
CRM Group on Linkedin

Karl Lusbec