I grew up hearing people say that absence makes the heart more loving. Off the site but not out of mind. Not true! All the men who went to jail or went to work in distant lands found their wives gone. This is also true for football. A fan and his club have a romantic relationship. But generally this relationship is stronger than a man-woman love, because it is not transferable to another club. He may not be transferable to another club, but if he is unnatural and encouraged, he escalates. The benefits of this romantic relationship do not come true.
In football, the lack of relationship between supporters and their clubs has led to empty stadiums, poor merchandising, no sponsorship and no growth. Football clubs need to smell the coffee, change clothes and enjoy their fans. They need to have a Fan Relationship Management (FRM) program in place.
1. The foundation of Fan Relationship Management is identifying and marketing to a single fan on an individual basis.
2. Differentiate these fans. A fan who stays in low-rise accommodation may not be the same with another in a wealthy suburb. They have a similar wish, the success of their club, but they do not have the same capacities. The former can afford a single match and the latter can purchase a subscription. If you haven’t differentiated them, you won’t target them correctly.
3. Create a dialogue with your fans, this is the cornerstone of building and strengthening the relationship with them. To create this dialogue with the supporters, the football club must be ready to exchange ideas and talk about the club with them. It requires a high level of participation and commitment, especially from the club.
4. Personalize offers to fans. Group fans according to what they expect and need to know from the club and how often. Offer it to them based on your knowledge.
5. Make your relationship with fans a lifelong learning relationship. Relationships aren’t static, which is why couples go from great love to divorce.
6. Use technology to help you succeed with fan relationship management. Don’t put technology above the process, but you can’t easily build a lasting relationship with your fans without using technology.
Managing fan relations is the only way a football team can guarantee full stadiums throughout the season. This is the only way to be successful in your purchases and to attract valuable sponsorships. Sponsors are most attracted to a team that not only has great popularity, but also has ongoing engagement with them. It is a gold mine for them and for you.