So that fans become superfans

 In CRM, Customer Experience, Customer Journey, Marketing Solution

Turning fans into superfans - CRM solution for the European Handball Federation

The COVID 19 pandemic has posed major challenges for the sports industry, also in terms of contact with the fan base. This is one of the reasons why the European Handball Federation (EHF) could hardly have found a better time to push ahead with its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) project "From Stakeholder Administration to Fan Service Provider". Together with Oracle, we at primeone business solutions have provided the EHF with suitable platform and software solutions that will enable Europe's handball umbrella organisation to communicate better and more directly with its fans in the future.

According to the EHF, handball is the number one indoor team sport in Europe with around 115 million enthusiastic fans. In addition to looking after its 1.3 million social media followers, the federation takes care of the organisation of major competitions such as the EHF Champions League, EHF EURO and player transfers or the development of the sport, among other things.

Goal: Better communication with fans

Why was the implementation of a CRM now on the EHF's agenda in 2020? The background is the goals of their new master plan. On the one hand, the federation wants to strengthen the contact with the handball community - i.e. stakeholders and fans. On the other hand - and this is the main goal - the EHF wants to grow by arousing enthusiasm for handball among even more people. While it used to focus its digital processes mainly on match administration and internal business processes, against this background a fundamental (digital) change was now called for according to the motto "From stakeholder administration to fan service provider".

In order to turn fans into superfans who infect others with their enthusiasm, it is important to know more about their needs and to communicate with them in a targeted manner via their preferred channels. For the EHF, it was clear that this would require a portfolio of solutions and a tool that would bring together the data collected with them. In the search for the right digital solution, primeone and Oracle came into play.

Holistic offer and high trust

One of the decisive factors for the EHF to rely on Oracle and primeone for this project was that we did not simply present a solution, but had the expertise in marketing and an overall strategy. In addition, the EHF was looking for a partner with whose products as many requirements as possible could be covered - for a perfect interaction of the individual solutions - and with whom they would receive applications that would always be up to date in the future. Looking back, our contacts at the EHF, Christoph Gamper, Senior Director IT, and JJ Rowland, Director of Business Development and Marketing, also emphasise how much they appreciate having an experienced implementation partner.

One CRM for all

As part of the CRM implementation, a new website and a streaming platform broadcasting every EHF handball match were launched, among other things. In addition, there are new service offerings for fans and stakeholders such as a ticketing and accreditation system or a notification service when tickets for certain matches are available. In this digital environment, the CRM acts as a hub and single source of truth to collect all data from the platforms and services, such as information on where fans' main interests lie or how they want to receive certain content. Omni-channel marketing is based on this data platform in order to link the entire administration and data world with it and to qualitatively enrich the collected data.

Solutions for every step of the customer journey

As part of the extended CRM solution for the EHF, we have implemented or are in the process of implementing various Oracle products since the beginning of last year. These include the Oracle Marketing Cloud (Responsys) applications we introduced this year, which allow the EHF to segment and better target fan groups. Another part of the package is Oracle Infinity Behavioural Intelligence, which provides a personalised online experience. Fans thus receive the right content in the right form at the right time. With Oracle Identity, the desire for a single sign-on platform is fulfilled, enabling seamless transition between the different elements of CRM, increasing opportunities for cross-promotion. To connect the new cloud environment with the EHF's old on-premises infrastructure, we also decided to use Oracle Integration and Process Cloud. Integrations can be made available in a matter of days instead of weeks due to the countless adapters.

Find out more about how Oracle and we are supporting the EHF in its digital transformation in this video.

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