PREMIERSHIP RUGBY AND GOODFORM KICK OFF NEW FAN PANEL

Goodform are delighted to announce its most recent project with Premiership Rugby and the creation of its own ‘Premiership Rugby Fan Panel.’

Over 3,000 supporters signed up to be a part of the Panel after Premiership Rugby and its clubs publicised it to their databases and we contacted those on our own Sportsfan Panel who stated an interest in rugby.

Upon sign-up, an autoresponder email was sent with a short survey asking a few demographic questions and which Aviva Premiership Rugby team they support. This initial profiling survey was completed by 66% of those who signed up and this information was used when analysing the results from subsequent surveys.

Four surveys were then sent out to the Panel over the course of the 2014/15 season, which averaged 45% completion – well above industry average. The first survey focused on how supporters like to interact and engage with their club, the second on supporters’ match day experience, the third on supporters’ attendance at matches – both now and in the future – and the fourth on attitudes towards the Premiership Rugby brand and its sponsors. This included capturing data around awareness of and attitudes towards Premiership Rugby’s title sponsor, Aviva.

An additional research piece was also carried out about fans’ experience of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final which was held at Twickenham on 30th May, with positive feedback received on spectator experience. Along with analysis of ticketing sales data for the event, this research will be used to inform planning and marketing strategy for future Premiership Rugby Finals.

Supporters are encouraged to give their feedback with incentives such as VIP tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final, tickets to other Premiership Rugby games and signed club merchandise.

Speaking about the Fan Panel, James Tyler, Premiership Rugby’s Head of Marketing, said, “The surveys are key to helping Premiership Rugby identify the changing needs and behaviours of rugby supporters and the clubs will use this feedback to inform future decisions affecting their match-day services and how supporters can interact with them.”

Further surveys will be sent to the Premiership Rugby Fan Panel (which we will continue to grow) over the course of the 2015-16 season.

GOODFORM DELIVER TICKETING RESEARCH TO PREMIER LEAGUE SIDE WATFORD FC

As CRM, data and research partner to Watford FC, Goodform are pleased to have conducted research to find out fans’ opinions on ticketing allocation, ahead of the club’s first season back in the Premier League.

The club was keen to hear the thoughts of regular match ticket buyers and season ticket holders on how tickets should be allocated this season, where demand for tickets will significantly outweigh supply.

The survey was structured to find out views on priorities for home and away fixtures, and also whether a small allocation per game should be available for adults with a strong buying history to bring their children with them. The headline findings were then used to help shape the club’s home and away ticket sales policy.

Speaking of the findings, Goodform’s Head of Research and Insight, Alexandra Kyrke-Smith commented, “This was a really interesting piece of research to deliver for Watford, who are putting the opinions and views of fans at the forefront of their strategy. We were delighted with the response rate for the survey and look forward to seeing the insight gained influencing the ticketing strategy this season in the Premier League.”

BADMINTON ENGLAND’S CONTINUING COMMITMENT TO MEMBERS

Building on previous membership and post-event research carried out for Badminton England, Goodform have completed a piece of qualitative research to help Badminton England further understand its members and their needs.

Following previous research carried out by Goodform to provide an understanding of the views of current members and of event spectators, this further research has helped highlight the different requirements of members and key stakeholders.

Goodform carried out focus groups with key stakeholders: club officials, county officials, and league organisers, in order to gain insight into their perceptions of, and suggested improvements to, their relationship with Badminton England and the membership offering. To supplement this, Goodform carried out phone interviews with lapsed members, and an online survey with casual or occasional players, to ensure that views of all stakeholders are taken into account when reviewing the membership offering.

Earlier in the year, Goodform also completed post-event research for Badminton England following the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships, surveying attendees to gain their feedback on the event and to inform marketing strategy for future years. The survey was wide ranging, covering topics such as how attendees heard about the event, their motivations to attend, and their likelihood to attend in future years, as well as their views on specific aspects of the event experience. The survey received an excellent response rate, with 30% of the 2435 ticket purchasers who were sent the survey completing it, giving a sample of 720 respondents. Such a strong sample size allowed us to analyse the results by different demographic segments to provide detailed insight and actionable recommendations for future years.

Tamsin Graveson, Marketing Manager at Badminton England said, “On the back of our long-term relationship with Goodform and the research support we have received across our membership proposition and major events we have been keen to explore the opportunities to ensure our Membership product continues to grow and develop. Goodform have helped us understand all our various stakeholder groups in detail to ensure we are meeting their current and future needs within the sport. And we are extremely excited about applying the insights uncovered.”

If you are interested in talking discussing research options with Goodform please contact Alexandra Kyrke-Smith, Goodform’s Head of Research and Insight, alexandra@goodform.info.

NEW RESEARCH SHOWS BRIGHT FUTURE FOR WOMEN’S SPORT

New findings from Goodform’s research brand Sportswise have highlighted the increased awareness of, and appetite for, Women’s elite sport.

Sportswise recently conducted new research into men’s and women’s sport viewing habits, and their attitudes to women’s elite sport. Utilising Sportswise’s Sports Fan Panel, a unique research panel comprising consumers, spectators and participants from a wide variety of sports, almost 2000 sports fans took part in the research, which has provided new insight into the growing profile of women’s sport.

It is clear that men watch more sport (with 68% of the men surveyed watching over 3 hours a week, compared with 50% of women), but what Sportswise’s findings also suggest is that the appeal of women’s elite sport is much broader than many may think: in many cases, male sports fans are as engaged with women’s elite sport as female sports fans are.

The research highlights that the increasing media profile of women’s sport is certainly having an effect. 57% of men and 55% of women stated that they are more interested in women’s sport now compared to two years ago. The picture is similar when we look at high profile women’s sporting events: 26% of men surveyed stated that they watched the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014, versus 19% of women. The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 was one of the highest profile female sporting events of all time, with every match being shown live on the BBC in the UK. Again we see interest from both male and female audiences: 40% of men surveyed tuned in to watch, as did 37% of women.

The research also covered men and women’s participation in sport, and their motivations for and barriers to getting involved.

The Sports Fan Panel is available for use by organisations in the sports industry who are looking for quick and accessible insights.

To find out more about this, or the recent research project, please call us on 01926 458 180 or email us athello@sportswise.info

Follow the Sports Fan Panel on Twitter: @Sports_FanPanel

HAMPSHIRE CRICKET POST RECORD-BREAKING ATTENDANCE FIGURES

Hants are one of only two counties to see an increase in attendances across all three domestic competitions in 2015.

Hampshire Cricket have posted a record-breaking increase in attendance figures year on year across all domestic and international matches at the Ageas Bowl in 2015.

Hampshire’s NatWest T20 Blast campaign was responsible for the biggest rise in attendances with an increase of 20% from the previous year whilst the club’s Royal London One-Day Cup and LV= County Championship matches at the Ageas Bowl also both saw increases.

Hampshire are one of only two counties to record an increase in all three domestic competitions in 2015.

In total, almost 40,000 people witnessed two thrilling Royal London One-Day Internationals at the Ageas Bowl this year as England faced both New Zealand and Australia in exciting 50-over contests.

Stuart Robertson, Hampshire Cricket Commercial Director said: “To be one of only two counties to show improvements in all three formats is fantastic and the on-field successes and hard work behind the scenes have no doubt contributed significantly to this. It’s no coincidence that the significant increases has coincided with the first full season since the completion of the £50 million re-development at the Ageas Bowl.

Our partnership with specialist sports CRM agency, Goodform, has also enabled our marketing strategies to be delivered efficiently, allowing us to engage with our fans and members on a number of platforms, whilst also attracting new supporters which we hope will continue heading into next year.”

PROUD PROVIDERS OF RESEARCH, INSIGHT AND ENGAGEMENT TO THE RUGBY WORLD CUP 2015

Working closely with Goodform, England 2015 used innovative ways to firstly engage fans and then maintain their interest throughout the record breaking Tournament.

The Rugby World Cup emerged as the biggest single sport event ever for fan engagement.

Goodform, the CRM and research specialists behind several initiatives for England 2015, has revealed the staggering numbers from a range of projects before and during the competition.

Since Goodform first became involved with RWC 2015 in 2011, there have been 43.3million emails sent over 316 campaigns. Impressively, there were nearly three million click-throughs – an average open rate of 37% and a peak of 89%.

Survey responses have been equally impressive – pre-tournament surveys brought almost 100,000 responses, and total Rugby World Cup 2015 research survey responses amounted to 156,314.

Joanna Manning-Cooper, Communications and Marketing Director, England Rugby 2015 said, “We wanted to take rugby fans on a journey with us to Rugby World Cup 2015, and we set up our ‘Front Row’ database three years before the tournament. We built a loyal and committed customer base, and worked closely with Goodform to create engaging and dynamic content and strong and creative campaigns, powered by targeted analytics.”

Alison Dalrymple, Managing Director of Goodform, said, “It’s been a record-breaking tournament in so many ways. A highly successful engagement strategy, reflected in a substantial database growth, led to unprecedented ticket sales and attendances.”

Already, World Rugby and England Rugby 2015 have declared it the biggest and best tournament ever. Ticket sales reached 2.47m across the 48 matches, the official Fanzone attendance surpassed the 1m mark and Wembley Stadium drew two consecutive Rugby World Cup attendance records.

Alison added, “We believe that our figures set their own benchmarks for fan engagement.  The email click-through and open rates alone were double the industry average.

Personalised campaigns enabled us to fully engage with the audience which saw open rates of over 70% for priority ticket sales. This has undoubtedly contributed in securing the highest ever attendance at a World Cup.”

Head of Research & Insight at Goodform, Alexandra Kyrke-Smith, added, “This positive relationship between fans and Rugby World Cup 2015 is further demonstrated by the high number of responses to the customer surveys. This allowed comprehensive research and insight to be used as an evidence base for planning and match-day experience improvements.”

Goodform began their work in 2012 and went on to conduct pre-tournament surveys, which received almost 100,000 responses. It allowed organisers to shape ticket policies, provide comparisons between the different venues, and enabled the provision of detailed information specific to each venue.

Alison added, “By starting to engage with fans following the 2011 World Cup, we were able to build up a loyal and committed customer base. By the time the tournament came found fans felt they were part of an exclusive club and wanted to participate even more.”

Goodform’s targeted approach also included 16 different ticket buying guides. Fixtures Guides contained specific detail on the fan’s local RWC 2015 venues – matches, players to look out for and local attractions. Venue Guides were personalised with pictures of the area, information on Fanzones, and different category prices.

Applicants who missed out on tickets in the first instance were then approached with a ticket buying priority window. Fans were contacted based on their previously shown ticket interests, with more than 45 different versions of emails created. These dynamic emails suggested games featuring a previously chosen team and/or venue, or suggested alternative category tickets available to the originally desired game.

The findings showed the most important parts of match experience were the entry of the teams and the national anthems. Expert commentary and big screens were also crucial, and a fully functional RWC 2015 app proved very popular with fans.

Joanna Manning-Cooper, Communications and Marketing Director, England Rugby 2015 added, “We were delighted with the results, not just in terms of record breaking ticket sales, but also in terms of general engagement and connection with the fan base. Goodform were great partners, and a key part of our team.“

Alison Dalrymple added, “Given the sheer scale and length of the tournament, the organisers took an unprecedented approach to engage fans. Truly creative campaigns inspired people from all over the world, all underpinned by our CRM strategy which built and utilised a database of over 1 million sports fans.  This ground breaking approach to a tournament delivered tangible results in terms of ticket sales and engaging and inspiring not just sports fans but the sports industry.

The numbers are a great illustration of how the tournament captured people’s imagination.”