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How sponsorship can retain your customers

In a world where you can swift from one brand to another in just a couple of clicks, customer satisfaction and loyalty increases in value. To keep their customers happy, O2 has prioritized sponsorship as a key platform.

O2 sponsors, among others, the O2 Arena, Rugby Football Union and 19 O2 Academy music venues.

According to IEG, the company has reduced contract churn from 1.8 percent to 0.9 percent over the last decade, a result the company credits in part to its marketing investments.

“The Priority program has resulted in a significant reduction in churn among customers who use it actively,” said Nina Bibby, O2 chief marketing officer, to IEG.

O2 reportedly paid £6m a year in 2007 when the partnership with O2 Arena began, and it’s thought that the value of the deal has increased over the decade as the venue has become more popular. The latest report says £125m for 10 years.

O2 is working with AEG on different technology integrations, such as enhanced Wi-Fi and smart phone apps. With these features, AEG can track crowd movement, analyze the most popular moment of the night (measured by crowd noise) and other insights.

The 21 year-old partnership with the Rugby Football Union is also used to offer ”exclusive experiences”, content and other offers as part of the Priority customer loyalty program. In 2016, O2 extended the RFU partnership for another five years.

“We know customers love live experiences we offer them with rugby and concerts so now we’re focusing on how digital can enhance those experiences before, during and after [events]. That’s really what we want to try and do more of, that whole end-to-end experience from live to digital and back.”, says Nina Bibby to The Drum.

Stadium sponsorships are perfect for these kind of loyalty programs because the arena can offer different types of entertainment; you can please both sports and music fans with one partnership (read: one brilliant activation idea is enough). Sometimes the most ”obvious” campaigns are the best; give your (most loyal) customers the possibility to buy tickets before others. 

// Magnus Berglund

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