Founded in 2002 in London, UK, Sports Alliance has grown steadily to now serve over 130 individual sports brands across 9 separate countries or territories, from the UK to Europe and the Americas. We caught up with Nuno Mena, Territory Manager, Portugal and Latin America to discuss Sports Alliance and the innovative work it does.
Zushan Hashmi: If you could summarise the mission of Sports Alliance and explain it to us, what you would you say?
Nuno Mena: Sports Alliance enables the data gathering and management (no it’s not a CRM), the multi-platform relationship marketing strategy and the digital experience a professional sports organisation can provide each and every person it knows and wishes to engage.
This journey always begins by having all the data information (an asset with a lot of value) added at a single point and from there the digital and personal relationships with our fans are established.
We continue with digital tools (Single Sign-On to take more data), loyalty that also will not allow increasing the value per user in addition to everything that is already done and finally, we are ready to monetize all this information through the current sponsors in a much more helpful way – with a higher commercial value – but also giving opportunity that other non-sponsor brands can communicate with our fans, through you communication channels (and not by their own means), allowing greater identification between the brands and the recipients of the message.
The different sports and socio-economic cultures that I have been in contact with gives us the possibility to improve our costumer experience in each and every market.
What is your precise role with Sports Alliance?
I’m Territory Manager for Portugal, Latin America and some new markets. I work closely with our clients in these territories and also have the mission to bring new sports organizations to the Sports Alliance community.
How has your experience across the world enabled you to contribute to the wide-ranging work of Sports Alliance?
Great question. The different sports and socio-economic cultures that I have in contact with gives me (us) the possibility to improve our customer experience in each and every market.
We adapt what is better from each client/market/region and we share it with all of the community. One of the best examples is our Campaign Assistant, which is essentially our Netflix of campaigns, where each and every client can view each other’s email marketing campaigns, performance, scores and results and with that improve their own commercial and marketing performance.
This represents the true spirit of community and is one of the best examples of if we do it for one, it’s for all the clients.
What are the biggest challenges for Sports Alliance in the current market/climate? Why?
Of course, we suffered the impact of the current global situation and our clients – sports organizations – suffered even more.
Fortunately, the diversity of markets and the type of clients has mitigated the impact. Although there is no competition or with limited/none assistance – that represents a big impact in the revenues – clubs, leagues, federations kept active with their audience, searched for improvements and found new ways of engaging, better understanding their data and how they can personalise their fan experience.
This led to several Single Sign On projects, meaning the fan will have their own digital ID through all the digital assets from the club (web, e-commerce, ticketing, APP, TV, etc), representing a great opportunity to collect more and better data and increase revenue.
In the upcoming future, we will be working in Data-Driven Stadium Optimization for Partial Capacity helping clubs and leagues to manage the return of public to live events but also on our business development by entering new markets and democratizing access to data platforms for all type of non-professional sports organization, including non-profit organizations and sports foundations.
At the same time, we are working very closely with 140 of our clients in 8 countries to improve their data-driven commercial and marketing performances.
How has the organisation managed to mitigate these challenges? What are some of the key measures you have taken?
The impacts were/are there as I mentioned, alongside the uncertainty, and that is a fact.
Nevertheless, this particular time represented that sports organizations are now more aware of the importance and need to properly manage their data, establish digital relations with those that engage with them and personalize that relationship, so this meant we were busy and bringing new ways of making data even more helpful for sports organizations.
We suffered the impact of the current global situation, as did our clients – sports organizations – who suffered even more. Fortunately, the diversity of markets and type of clients mitigated these impacts.
That is the key challenge, to support those who want to improve their data-driven marketing and commercial performance and to help those that want to start using their data as business tool, reducing the uncertainty of their decisions and creating a data-driven digital expansion.
Any other thoughts/comments?
The main message is that these are unexpected new and challenging times. It´s important that sports organisations and people involved in sport understand that as sports businesses we’ll never be the same, it will speed up very fast, regarding technology adoption, data, analytics and AI, which are here to stay and the experience you give to your consumer (fan, supporter, member, sponsor or VIP) will be very relevant and data is here to reduce the risk and uncertainty of the decisions you´ll make.