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Case Study: How Wasps Maximized Fan Engagement Virtually And Offered Loyalty Programs

Virtual experience has narrowed the boundary between live and distant. As per a study commissioned by Smart Energy GB also revealed how UK viewers were using technology to try and recreate the match day experience, with one in six chatting with friends via video call during the game.

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For example, Wasps recently teamed up with Seyu and Vodafone to deliver virtual match day experience. Based on the demographic characteristics of Wasps fans engaged by Seyu’s photo posting service, Seyu completed a market research to help Vodafone ascertain the right tools to engage the right audience.

The research highlighted the following

  • 66,56% of all fans engaged belonged to Generation Y and Z and were under the age of 39.
  • The largest age group that was active is the 18-39 year olds, with 40,31% of all participants. Studies show that this age group is the financially strongest of all generations, they are the true engine of the global economy.
  • Family photos stand for 40,00% of all photos posted via Seyu.
  • 61,81% of all fans were smiling, 22,4% were displaying emotional devotion. This way communicating to the world that supporting Wasps Rugby comes with a happy and emotionally bonded lifestyle.
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As to how smooth was it was for Wasps to set up Seyu’s solution when it came to signing a deal, putting the technology in place and finding the right, most valuable business model, Adam Benson, Wasps Chief Commercial Officer said: “From the very first conversation with Seyu we knew we had found the right partner to deliver the unique fan engagement programme we had been looking for. Everything was really easy to understand, well organised and straightforward to rollout. They walked us through the entire process, worked collaboratively with us to create really strong marketing assets and tuned everything around to accommodate extremely tight timelines.” Seyu focused its deeper research on Generation Y and Z as these were the age groups most engaged during the two free pilot matches.

According to CrowdTwist, consumers want omnichannel loyalty programs, particularly Gen Z. 87% of Gen Z consumers want to be awarded points for walking into a brand’s location, restaurant, gym, or store. Seyu’s solution is that consumers purchasing Vodafone products in Coventry can be offered the VIP photo posting opportunity to the perimeter LED boards at Wasps Rugby matches. This can be done on other sport competitions too where Vodafone has a sponsorship deal in place and can create a country wide or even global activation depending on the scope of the sponsored sport event.

“Both Wasps and Vodafone are always looking for ways to create unique experiences for our supporters and to bring them closer to the action. The Seyu platform ticked all the boxes and Vodafone could see the benefit of this solution immediately,” added Benson.

As per Forbes, Gen Z is already on track to become the largest generation of consumers by the year 2020, and they account for $29 to $143 billion in direct spending. According to Mintel, Gen Zers aged 16 to 21 are spending most frequently on mobile phones.

Seyu can aptly handle the loyalty marketing campaign as well. For eg. Wasps Rugby fans posting selfies can be rewarded with special Vodafone deals (i.e. data offers, discounted mobile plans) available for 24 hours via Seyu’s automatic email system. In addition fans that would purchase the offered special deals can be awarded with VIP perimeter displaying of their fan selfies during the next match.

Seyu’s fan photo posting activity prompted 2 600+ engagement from fans across Wasps Rugby social media platforms, aiding Vodafone advertisement reaching in total 68 000+ potential customers.

Seyu’s research further found that in the aspect of Customer Acquisition Cost in the telecom sector, the average CAC is over $315 (£236).  Basing an assumption on that if Seyu’s activity would only convert 0,4% of all fans engaged on social media into Vodafone subscription or plan purchase, Vodafone would secure 10 new customers worth of £2,360 marketing costs.

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If Seyu created another calculation based on converting only 0,001% of all potential consumers reached, Seyu’s activity would deliver 68 new customers for Vodafone during a double header such as the one where Seyu’s service was available, delivering a staggering £16,048 ROI for Vodafone.

There is also the emotional bond that fans develop with Vodafone who made it available for them to support their beloved players. Wasps fans were also very pleased with the opportunity to feature the matches thanks to Vodafone and Seyu.

When asked, Duncan who is a lifelong Wasps fan and has a nephew in the squad said – “Love the format, our pictures being displayed on the pitch side coincided with our nephew Alfie Barbeary making his first team debut and subsequently scoring the winning try. Absolutely fantastic experience. Thank you so much for making it all possible. While Elizabeth who tunes in with her husband for all matches of Wasps said – “Was wonderful being able to show our support from home really felt involved in the match”.

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Wasps received quite a positive feedback on the activation as Benson further said: “The initial marketing and promotional material received a hugely positive reaction from supporters. Everything was produced as per ours and Vodafone’s brand guidelines which helped ensure the integrity of the activation. The branded selfie imagery displayed on our stadium screen and LED perimeter system far exceeded expectations and the real-time integration meant fans could continue to send in photos during matches, taking fan participation to a whole new level. This, coupled with the reach we achieved across social media, helped deliver an end to end campaign which delivered significant value for both Wasps and Vodafone.”

Using Vodafone’s communication channels and regularly promoting the photo posting activation on Wasps Rugby channels, Seyu’s solution can easily engage numerous times more fans per match during a whole season campaign. The number of fans reached in 48 hours via the photo posting activation was equivalent to 71.6% of the whole social media follower base of Wasps.

Tom Vechy Vecsernyes, Co-Founder and CEO Seyu said: “Working with Wasps Rugby after the restart of the Gallagher Premiership showed, first of all, that our solution is attractive for fans and brands like Vodafone in the UK. Secondly, it was interesting to see how the implementation of our service would fit in with the requirements of an international brand, Wasps Rugby and the league itself. I am pleased to say that all stakeholders were satisfied and wowed with how prepared we were for all their requirements. I guess the 160+ sport events on mainland Europe in the past 18 months were helpful to tailor our service in a way it is the most suitable for our partnerships.”

Installing a new technology at a stadium always carries many questions and obstacles with itself, however with Seyu’s clever cloud based and all platform compatible system, those worries were vanquished at once during the first testing event pre-match.

“It was great to see how it took less than a minute for the LED provider to display Seyu fan selfies both on the giant screen and on the perimeter boards. The LED operators’ confidence in our technology was a compliment by itself for our IT team.” – Tom further shared his experience with Wasps.

A new market filled with new kinds of consumers can be challenging for companies when entering with their services or products. Making available Seyu’s service for English rugby fans was a new territory in the life of the young startup, but the pilot matches showed that English fans are just as happy to show their club devotion to the players as their mainland Europe counterparts.

“Fans in the UK amazed us with their creativity when it came to taking selfies and with their strong love for their team that they displayed in the photos. We received heart warming feedback from many fans and the selfies delivered a huge social media exposure thanks to their popularity among Wasps fans.” – said Mark Nemeth who led the project on Seyu’s side.

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