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SBD Global/October 21, 2013/Franchises

ProSport: Chelsea Uses Customer Relationship Management System To Interact

FC Chelsea relies heavily on a customer relationship management system to engage fans globally, the club's Head of Digital Marketing and CRM Jerry Newman told delegates at the ProSport conference in Moscow on Thursday. As part of its digital marketing program, FC Chelsea collects data on its estimated 390 million global fans, from the “super core,” who are spending time with the club most frequently and the most amount of money, to anonymous users that visited the club’s web sites and left cookies, Newman explained. “CRM is a long game, it’s about building data,’ he said. “It is a strategy. It changes your entire marketing division.”

THE NUMBERS GAME: And while sheer numbers of fans don’t always translate directly into spending at Chelsea, they may lead to attractive partnership deals. One example is Nigeria, where the 1 million strong fan base hardly spends anything, but their existence brought about deals with local phone companies. According to Newman, qualitative research of CRM data for “super core” fans shows what they have purchased over their lifetime and, therefore, what they can be offered. He said, “It’s purely about bringing engagement with consumers closer to us. The more interactions they have with the business, they more likely they are to spend.” Similar digital management strategies could be applied globally. Newman: “We see the opportunity for engaging that international fan base. [FC Chelsea’s] fandom could be the same as Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool.”
Vladmir Kozlov is a writer in Moscow.
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