Recent research into Canadian sports has ranked the Saskatchewan Roughriders as one of the most recognized brands for both respect and popularity across all of Canadian sport.
The club rose from big losses on and off the field back in 2000, with little budget for marketing and a lack of understanding of their fans, to become a big success story in recent years. In 2013 they ranked number one in attendance (both home and away), TV ratings, digital engagement and revenue generation. They account for 66% of the entire league merchandise sales.
A fundamental pillar in the Roughriders success story is putting the fans first. The fans are the face of the club’s brandand all strategic decisions are made with the fans in mind, according to Gregg Sauter, Vice President of Marketing.
The most recent of successes in Regina has come through the pilot program of ‘RIDER TEAM CARD’, an initiative set up to reward fans for their loyalty, whilst delivering valuable insights and revenue generation potential to the club.
- 35% were using the loyalty portal
- 18% checked their account multiple times per week
- 17% redeemed points for a reward
- 93% of fans surveyed liked the weekly email account updates
- 11% used their loyalty card in the retail store
CRM & LOYALTY OBJECTIVES
The Roughriders have made great strides in achieving a large, loyal following and are now pushing the boundaries of CRM and loyalty application even further. They’ve quite rightly put the fans at the centre of their business, an approach that is paying off.
The main objective is to turn anonymous followers into loyal fans through a process of engagements and brand expenditures. Whatever level of supporter (Season Ticket Holder, Event Attendee, Share Holder or Rider Store Customer), the club looks to deliver memorable experiences to the fans and increased revenues to the club and its sponsors.
The club sees loyalty as a natural extension to their CRM philosophy that would bring rewards to fans and help with the clubs CRM objectives. To prove the concept the Roughriders ran a pilot program with a test group of fans -with the aim of acquiring more data, improving engagements and generating extra revenues.
- Relevant Fan relationships and engagement
- Reward fans
- Acquire more data
- Deeper fan insights
- Behaviour modification
- Revenue generation
Results: Rider fans high on points
It’s all smiles for Rider fans following the 5 month long loyalty pilot!
The program was trialled across a broad selection of fans, covering various fan groups and age categories. And it was a resounding vote of confidence in the follow-up study, with large numbers engaging with the scheme.
35% of fans logged in to their account via the Loyalty Portal. A good indication of early fan appetite for the program, back up by 93% of fans surveyed saying that they liked receiving the weekly email updates about their account. 18% of fans on the pilot program were checking back to the site multiple times per week, something that can be boosted further with exclusive content and the presence of new rewards.
Manager of CRM and IT, Ricardo Del Cid was pleased with the way things went down; “We’re happy with the results we have seen from our CRM activities and now the loyalty pilot.
“We chose Green 4 Solutions for our CRM and loyalty platform and have leveraged their experience with sport organizations and leisure companies from all over the world.
“It has allowed us to bring CRM in house and launch a loyalty program for our fans. Green 4 have been very attentive and we’re continuing to work with their team in order to help reward our fans, give value to our sponsors and increase our commercial revenues.”
As well as giving more great experiences and rewards to Rider fans, the loyalty pilot showed promising signs of ROI, with 11% of fans using their loyalty card in the retail store and many more gaining points for ticket purchases and early attendance.
"We're happy with the results we have seen from our CRM activities and now the loyalty pilot. It has allowed us to bring CRM in house and launch a loyalty program for our fans. Green 4 have been very attentive and we're continuing to work with their team in order to help reward our fans and increase our commercial revenues."
Ricardo Del Cid, Manager of CRM & IT