Relevent Sports Group and Adobe: Data is Name of the Game

Relevent Sports Group and Adobe: Data is Name of the Game
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Committed to bringing the culture and enthusiasm of international soccer to the U.S., Relevent Sports Group (RSG) is a promoter focused on elevating sports and entertainment properties on a global scale. A key partner to many sports and entertainment brands looking to raise their visibility, RSG regularly brings high-profile European clubs to the U.S. to play during its International Champions Cup tournament. While RSG was created in 2012, in the past year, they’ve gained serious ground largely in part to an investment in customer experience management through Adobe Experience Cloud.

In a world where sports are an integral and universal part of our culture, the act of playing and watching often dominate any free time. Yet soccer, the world’s most popular sport with fans captivated across the globe, is still seemingly in infancy in the U.S. In a country where football, baseball and basketball reign supreme, while soccer’s popularity is exploding, it’s still not categorized as mainstream.

A huge lifelong sports fan myself, I have only really gotten into soccer within the past few years thanks to some prodding and patient instruction from friends. While I was thrilled (and a bit relieved) to see my club, Liverpool, capture their sixth Champions League title in June, it made me wonder when I might ever get to see the Reds play a match live. Enter Relevent Sports Group.

Committed to bringing the culture and enthusiasm of international soccer to the U.S., Relevent Sports Group (RSG) is a promoter focused on elevating sports and entertainment properties on a global scale. A key partner to many sports and entertainment brands looking to raise their visibility, RSG regularly brings high-profile European clubs to the U.S. to play during its International Champions Cup tournament. While RSG was created in 2012, in the past year, they’ve gained serious ground largely in part to an investment in customer experience management through Adobe Experience Cloud.

From football to futbal

While the NFL has a proven track record of using Adobe Analytics and Adobe Audience Manager to drive cultivated fan experiences, it’s a different beast from the world of soccer. With limited visibility and insight into fan expectations and experiences, RSG grappled with understanding the fan epicenter, and riding shotgun on each customer journey — from purchase to first penalty kick.

Aidan Lyons, senior vice president of growth marketing and global analytics at RSG, saw the opportunity to make an impact with enterprise-grade analytics. “With Google Analytics, we struggled with true fan engagement intelligence — it was too simple for the type of entertainment experience Relevent Sports Group is looking to drive,” Lyons says. “Pivoting to Adobe Analytics helped us discover deeper insights that lead to personalized moments, generating an immediate impact on our bottom line.”

Punting the ball

Like any successful brand, RSG understands the pain of staying stagnant in their approach, and the significance of persistent innovation. As fans demand experiences that are personalized and relevant, data-driven insights are the foundation for success. Through Analytics and Audience Manager, RSG  was able to gain awareness of fan actions, and make immediate changes — ultimately resulting in a two million dollar return in investment.

One specific change was the strategy behind giving fans access to purchase tickets directly through an app. As RSG’s average customer is 45 and older, assumptions were made that fans preferred to purchase tickets through a website instead of a mobile phone. Adobe helped RSG to understand their fans at a much deeper level, coming to the conclusion that their customers are mobile-first, regardless of age. That led to a complete strategy shift, with a bigger emphasis on ensuring and empowering fans to purchase soccer game tickets in-app.

The kicker

As the backbone for RSG’s marketing efforts, we helped them to unearth insights that weren’t previously possible with simple web analytics. In one year, RSG saw an increase of 177% in overall digital visits to their client, International Champions Cup digital properties, as well as an increase of 137% in return visitors following a first click. Additionally, visits to the International Champions Cup ticket sales digital locations increased 22 times from 2018 to 2019, resulting in 26 times more total ticket sales.

With a business that is driven by major sport moments, one being the launch of a schedule, that one day can make or break the year’s revenue. Since leveraging Adobe Experience Cloud, RSG saw an increase of 130% from 2018 to 2019.

“We have an incredible opportunity to drive deeper fan engagement with the help of Adobe,” Lyons says. “Soccer is on an explosive growth trajectory in the U.S., and being able to understand fans’ preferences, and how to engage in a meaningful way, will alter the future of soccer in America and beyond.”

Relevent Sports Group uses Adobe Analytics and Adobe Audience Manager to scale customer experience. They’re especially excited to use Adobe Experience Platform in the coming months to deliver real-time personalization at scale.

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