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Think you know what TALENT can offer your sports club?

14/05/2019 minute read Mark Dewell

Sporting organisations operate in a challenging and dynamic environment, working hard both on and off the pitch. Having served the top clubs from a variety of sports for over 25 years, we have seen the demands of the industry change. Fans are leading the way in the digital era, wanting fast and reliable access to club web sites (whether they are in high demand or not) and 24/7 mobile-enabled communications and ticketing support. They want a slicker online experience and a variety of options that suit their individual needs.

Clubs know that in order to meet and exceed these exacting demands they need innovative technology that will set them apart from the competition. They are in the business of supercharging the sports experience for their customers, but are under constant pressure to increase revenue streams, while ensuring a platform of connected communication for all stakeholders. It is vital to implement a solution that supports this evolving business model and can help generate the extra revenue required. Clubs need to provide a better customer experience, leading to more ticket sales (family, general admissions and season tickets), as well as extra income streams from special promotions, hospitality, merchandise, experiences and concerts.

Our TALENT ticketing solution has evolved in recent years, in line with the changing sports market, to support clubs who are focused on excellent and ground-breaking customer service. We draw extensively on the resources and expertise of our specialist reporting, hosting, architecture and Cloud performance teams to deliver technology that will help our customers reimagine how they serve their markets. For example, in the past a significant proportion of our customers had TALENT software running on their premises. Today, the majority are hosted by us, giving our clubs peace of mind and vital 24/7 website uptime so customers can purchase through a fully mobile responsive site, wherever they are in the world, at any time day or night. As well as increasing the chance to maximise commercial opportunities, it builds stronger relationships with the omni-channel fan, who wants tickets on demand and expects a great online experience.

TALENT manages all aspects of a commercial venue, and positively impacts the key revenue streams and customer touch-points. As well as improving ticket sales (through a fast, reliable and seamless experience both online and at the ticket office), it also enhances the end-to-end supporter experience – whether they are planning a visit, buying a replica shirt, booking a table in a restaurant, entering and leaving the venue, managing a membership or choosing a seat. It enables clubs to be fully and digitally connected, and this integration generates quantifiable incremental revenues and cost-efficiencies that drive commercial success. This enriched fan experience also delights the sponsors, who can see that connecting with supporters in a deeper way creates greater financial returns.

All of this integration delivers a wealth of valuable customer data that is the lifeblood of a modern sports club, providing crucial insights into how to maximise revenue, create optimal marketing strategies and connect with the fan base. So, we have utilised the latest technology to deliver some of the most advanced reporting and communication capabilities available to sports clubs today, such as Dynamics CRM and Power BI (we will look at this more closely in our next blog). Customer data can be amalgamated in one database, providing a 360 degree view of buying behaviour. Once segmented and profiled, the data can inform personalised fan engagement campaigns that attract new customers and reward loyal fans with targeted promotions based on their preferences. This smart, digital communication increases traffic to the web site and provides new upsell and cross-sell opportunities.

The increasing cyber and reputation threats to our clubs from malicious third parties and botting software is also a key focus, so today with a combination of Cloudflare and our own sophisticated data centres, the ticketing operations of TALENT customers have the highest levels of security and protection available. We also wanted to look at the issue of secondary ticketing sites. Sports fans deserve better than hugely inflated tickets that may, or may not, actually give them access to the stadium. For some time now, TALENT has provided a fully-fledged Buybacks feature so that season membership holders who cannot make a match can release tickets back to the club. This ensures that the club manages the secure sale of the ticket to another supporter, safeguards their brand reputation and drives real value for customers – actively generating greater fan engagement and loyalty. Stadiums are more likely to be full, season ticket holders are able to benefit if they must miss a game and new fans are able to take advantage of one-off opportunities to attend.

We also reviewed and improved other areas of our solution. TALENT’s newly created feature-rich Hospitality module makes it easier to sell and upsell tailored, high-quality hospitality packages to fans and corporate guests alike. Our Support team is now centralised in our Birmingham regional hub, resulting in exceptional customer service – as demonstrated by our customer satisfaction scores, which have gone up from 8.23/10 three years ago to 9.73/10.

We realised TALENT’s core sales engine didn’t need enhancing – it is exceptionally fast, stable and optimised for its job: selling tickets while driving a front-end website that is content-rich and tailored to individual club’s needs. One TALENT website may look completely different to another (for contrast, see Goodwood versus Southampton FC) but both have market-leading aesthetics that appeal to each club’s base. So we decided to replicate the sales engine in the Cloud, allowing us to offer our new Power BI and Dynamics CRM services, as well as laying the foundations for driving other services from that Cloud environment in the future.

TALENT is developed and enhanced by listening to our customers, involving them in decisions we make about the future direction of the product and utilising latest technologies to meet and exceed their needs. We are now in a position to deliver more innovation at even greater speed – keeping ahead of user requirements, and helping to answer their business challenges today, and in the future. We are reshaping digital interaction for fans, staff and sponsors with scalable solutions and exciting new tools on mobile platforms that bring a vital competitive edge to a demanding market. In our next blog of this series, we will look at just one of these new features in more depth – the Power BI reporting suite, and how it can help you reimagine how your sport club operates.