Everton Football Club and Qbase

The Apteco Marketing Suite is not only a critical part of our insight analysis, but a driving force behind personalised communications, supporting the Club’s goal to be “The People’s Club” for generations to come.

Formed in 1878, Everton Football Club was a founding member of The Football League in 1888. The Premier League Club has competed in the top division for a record 114 seasons, winning the League Championship nine times and the FA Cup five times. The club has been based at Goodison Park since 1892. In 2011, Everton FC introduced “Four Pillar” pledges to support them in their goal to be; the best club, with the best team and the best business, season after season. 

During the 2015/2016 football season, Everton FC introduced its first Insight & Knowledge team to support the ‘Being Informed’ Four Pillar pledge. The team’s role was to pull together and make sense of the huge volumes of fan information they held. 

The Insight Team called on Apteco partner and leading data solutions specialist Qbase, to support their implementation of FastStatsultimately helping the Club to gain an enhanced level of invaluable insight into Season Ticket Holders (STHs). 

Working closely with Qbase, Everton FC’s data scientist has developed powerful uses for the Apteco Marketing Suite

Background

Everton FC set out to win the hearts and minds of its fans, to build the Club’s fan base, grow season ticket holder loyalty and ultimately ensure a full stadium at Goodison Park not only with current supporters but with the fans of tomorrow. This would only be possible if the Club could truly get to know, understand, embrace and involve its fans. 

The Apteco Marketing Suite was incredibly useful. With a few days to go, we had 10,000 tickets to sell to hit target, but we knew most of these fans were low risk meaning vital marketing resources were not used needlessly.

The challenge

The club wanted to be in the best possible position to sell every season ticket for the 2017/2018 campaign. To do this, Everton FC first needed to clearly identify its supporter groups and the Season Ticket Holder (STH) retention risks. 

After creating a single customer view of their STHs using FastStats, Everton FC achieved an enhanced level of insight and reporting capability never seen before at the Club. With their bespoke and broad use of the FastStats suite, they also performed a detailed analysis of ‘churn’ risk. This included examining retention levels in previous seasons across a multitude of factors, including proximity to the stadium, tenure, ticket class, seat position within the stadium and purchase date.  

The platform also enabled Everton FC to understand and segment their fans into attitudinal groups. This allowed personalisation of marketing efforts designed to appeal to the attitudes and behaviour of each fan segment, which increased open and conversion rates. The data intelligence derived from the Club’s use of FastStats also led to the introduction of new pricing models to retain younger fans.

The project

Prior to FastStats, Everton’s knowledge of STHs was limited as it gave no indication of risk factor. How likely a STH was to renew (or not) and driving influences behind buying decisions were a relative unknown. Using the Apteco Marketing Suite, Everton accessed an enhanced level of insight, producing a risk analysis highlighting challenges to fan retention including:

  • high churn rates amongst new STHs 
  • late purchasers (demonstrating potentially lower engagement with the club)  
  • younger supporters moving to higher price category

Apteco FastStats was used to delve into a host of metrics, with results never seen before by the club. Analysing these variables in terms of retention provided an overall risk score for Everton’s STHs. Based on risk factor and segmentation data, marketing initiatives were introduced to reduce churn risk. 

Supporter segmentation information allowed personalised communications to be sent to appeal to the attributes and behaviour of different groups of Everton fans. Open and conversion rates increased as a result. 

Along with the renewal campaign, the Club ran a parallel initiative to grow interest in new STHs for 2017/18. With the insight gained using the Apteco Marketing Suite, communications were targeted to fans increasing the number of individuals wanting to purchase a season ticket by 12,500.

Highlights

  • Unprecedented insight
  • Tactical segmentation 
  • Positive impact of new pricing and payment options 
  • Enhanced personalisation
  • Full risk analysis

Headline results 

With the insight Everton gained through utilising the Apteco Marketing Suite, a record-breaking marketing campaign for retention was conducted for 2017/2018 Season Ticket Holders. 

  • 16% increase in retention of young fans 
  • 85% of high risk fans renewed
  • £300k additional revenue from personalised marketing
  • 94% overall retention – a record

Melanie Davis's picture

Melanie Davis

Marketing Manager

Melanie Davis has been Marketing Manager at Apteco Ltd since 2007. Her role in driving the FastStats® brand to support Apteco’s partner channel includes a wide range of marketing activities from advertising and website development to exhibitions and events. Melanie has worked as a B2B marketer in the data and direct marketing industry for over 14 years and is responsible for the annual FastStats® user group conference which now attracts over 250 delegates.