Sep 23, 2020

SSO in Sports Clubs? A Way to Enhance Daily Fan Experience

SSO in Sports Clubs? A Way to Enhance Daily Fan Experience

Sports fans engagement in the club’s websites and applications is cyclical. On the one hand, it grows to exorbitant sizes on the Match Days. However, on the other hand, it drops significantly in the periods between them.

Activating fans outside of the Match Days is one of the key elements in attracting new sponsors and business partners. SSO [Single Sign-On] constitutes an effective way to enhance fan experience with your products and services so that your supporters willingly participate in the club’s everyday life. What other benefits will the implementation of SSO bring to your sports organisation? Check it out in this article!

WHAT IS SSO AND WHY YOU NEED IT

We could provide you with a very technical definition of SSO (but does it make sense here? No!) Still, if you want to understand the applied mechanisms that make the system work, contact us and we’ll be more than happy to explain it to you. Nonetheless, our goal in this article is to share with you the business side of this tool. 

Sports organisation’ perspective

From the sports clubs’ perspective, SSO forms one of the instruments for identity and data management. Thanks to it, all the applications and systems that are connected within one sports organisation might “collect and process data to one place”. What do we mean by this?

For example, one database offered by WICKET [a tool based on SSO] might be used for various events related to a specific user. Not only can we accumulate basic information that a supporter shares with us in our applications (such as name, surname, birth date or gender), but we’re also able to check how they’re navigating around them.

SSO in Sports Clubs? A Way to Enhance Daily Fan Experience

So, from the sports clubs’ perspective, by implementing SSO, we receive a data-management platform that allows us to connect all our (and our business partners) websites, applications and platforms.

Fans’ perspective

From the fans’ perspective, SSO is a tool that facilitates the process of registration (thus, also the use) of any applications related to their favourite club. One login, one password. That’s all that supporters need to create their unique Fan ID – a key to the entire ecosystem of your organisation.

Look how convenient it is! By registering to only one application (and only once!), your fan can log in to all other related platforms. Imagine a new user entering your ticket service that immediately has the option to log into your store. Motivating to buy more products from you, isn’t it?

Consequently, from the supporters’ perspective, we gain a tool significantly increasing their fan experience.

Why do you need SSO then?

The problem that we defined at the beginning was the decline in users’ activity in the periods between Match Days. Therefore, the more convenient your digital solutions are, (the easier it is for your fans to interact with you), the higher your chances to actively engage them in the club’s everyday life. 

4 BENEFITS FOR FANS

We already know the greatest mechanical advantage coming from SSO to your supporters. One login, one password. To any system in your club you need.

Based on that, we’ve come up with WICKET, an SSO-rooted tool that will help your sports organisation with achieving major goals. What benefits may the use of SSO (and WICKET) bring to your fans? 

  • No need to remember various passwords -> fewer issues

With Single Sign-On, users have only one set of credentials to remember, which reduces the number of support requests. The more complicated the systems’ access, the larger amount of time you need to spend on solving the issues that your fans may have. Fortunately, SSO is the solution to the problem that allows you to redirect your human resources to other areas.

  • Data is safe

All the data that supporters share with us is safe. We use so-called “Amazon elements” which base their mechanism on the series of keys for security. This is better because we have all the credentials in one place.

To visualise it, imagine two sets of bags. One bag contains sensitive data, and the other is full of dry data that cannot be used without context. Our keys link these sacks. Thanks to it, we know which data matches which user. It’s impossible to be intercepted by any outsider.

SSO in Sports Clubs? A Way to Enhance Daily Fan Experience

This is especially important when we know the context of the whole matter. We should realise that many websites don’t store our data safely. That’s why, from time to time, we read about the leakage of sensitive data in more or less known websites and platforms. Use SSO in sports clubs to stand out!

  • New application? Use the “Login via Sports Club” button

Suppose you (or your business partner) launches a new application. SSO is scalable, which means you can connect an infinite number of new elements and systems to it. Thus, whatever new app appears, your fan will be able to apply the “Login via Sports Club” button to use it. It’s very convenient!

  • Gamification, Tokenization = Appreciation

Collecting all data in one place allows you to introduce new solutions such as Gamification or Tokenization. By analysing who makes the greatest contribution to the financial and image development of your club, you can appreciate these people with additional “points” that they will be able to exchange for prizes related to your club.

Not only will it enhance your fan experience, but it will also have a positive impact on motivating your supporters to be more active in the club’s everyday life. Additional discounts, promotions, exclusive information and content. That’s what you can offer to your most devoted supporters!

7 BENEFITS FOR SPORTS CLUBS

If you were to look at the SSO as at an iceberg, the possibility of activating fans outside the Match Days would only be the peak. There are many hidden advantages that should be taken into account when considering implementation of this tool. Check them and decide for yourself whether your club needs them. 

SSO in Sports Clubs? A Way to Enhance Daily Fan Experience
  • Data-management Platform ⇒ Data-driven Club

Thanks to SSO implementation, we collect all data on fans in one place, which means we obtain a classical data-management platform. It brings us closer to making decisions based on real figures, which eventually will help us become a data-driven club. It’s an innovative approach that you can boast of to the world!

  • Improved personalisation ⇒ Improved marketing and sales actions

By possessing data about fans, you can use them to improve your marketing and sales activities. By carefully segmenting your supporters, you’re getting closer to choose the best approach to meet their needs. Knowing the user’s movement, you can offer various elements that will increase fan engagement, monetisation and sales. Such targeted marketing will lead to a rise in total revenues from merchandise, sponsors and Match Days.

  • First-party data > Third-party data

Major browsing platforms [Safari, Firefox, Google] are on the way to make searching on the internet as private as possible. It will become extremely tough to track and target your users if they use multiple platforms and devices. Collecting first-party data instead of third-party will be a game-changer essential to adjust to a new reality.

Moreover, WICKET offers you the entire panel to manage “checkboxes”. You can put any number of “checkboxes” in any application you choose. They can have any content you wish. This will solve all your problems with regulations, GDPR and other legal issues.

  • Data visualisation

Once integrated, SSO becomes your primary source of truth for customer data. It’s so important to process data in the way it’s understandable to every employee in your club. Collecting data and reorganising it is just the first step. The next one is to visualise it so that it’s usable by “non-data people”.

WICKET allows you to conceptualise the progress and effectiveness of your marketing and sales campaigns. The more employees understand the data you have, the greater the chances of your club coming up with new, successful solutions.

  • Scalability of SSO = becoming more attractive to new business partners

Single Sign-On can be used in a scalable manner. We can add an infinite number of new applications to an already existing system. This makes us much more attractive to potential new business partners as we facilitate the everyday interactions between supporters and sponsors. It might constitute a break-even point in your negotiations with new brands willing to invest in your organisation!

  • Lower cost of data maintenance

Imagine you are an ever-expanding sports club without SSO. What does this mean for you? One, two, three, four, five, six (maybe even more!) databases.

Now imagine you have SSO. What happens? You’re right! Your cost of data maintenance drops significantly. No longer do you need to have several databases – you store everything in one.

Savings quickly offset the relatively high cost of the initial investment in SSO on maintenance costs. In the long-term, lower costs of maintenance save you more money than integrating third-party platforms.

  • Internal (in-company) use

SSO can also be used inside the club for employees. This is a great advantage because it proves that SSO facilitates not only football club – fan relations, but also the internal ones such as football club – its employee or employee – employee connections. It’s building a strong sense of community among your fans, as well as clubs’ personnel.

HOW TO IMPLEMENT SSO IN YOUR CLUB

An investment in SSO shouldn’t be an enormous change to a well-organised club. It’s rather the next step in your development. You don’t need incredible changes, but there are some things to be prepared for.

First of all, you need to be ready to change responsibilities within the club’s employees so that the activities are as effective as possible. You need to prepare for the implementation of the SSO by designating a person to handle it. A good practice is to think about the reorganisation of your employees’ responsibilities prior to the implementation of SSO. 

Secondly, you have to think of SSO as a long-term project. The implementation can be a bit time-consuming. It may take a moment to integrate various systems and applications that have already been created by you. Nonetheless, it later has a strong positive impact on the possibilities of your club.

SSO in Sports Clubs? A Way to Enhance Daily Fan Experience

The last and most important thing is to take the right mentality. It’s better if you set the intra-club perception of investing in SSO to a long-term willingness to be ahead of the competition. Help your club treat SSO as a tool to make an advantage in the market.

Remember that the more related applications you have, the more the club performs actions towards fans, the greater the savings resulting from the introduction of the SSO. This additionally motivates you to be more active in the marketing field.

CONCLUSION

Need help with low fan engagement between Match Days? You don’t need to shout S.O.S, just try SSO first!

Not only will it help you in becoming a data-driven club, but it will also enhance your fan experience by increasing the convenience of using your (and your business partners) applications. Be ahead of your competition by implementing solutions that will give you an advantage in the long-term.

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Thanks to Dominik Łagowski, an expert in SSO and PO of WICKET, who contributed to the creation of content for this article with his experience and knowledge.