How Orlando City SC uses data to understand and reward its fans.
Learn how a fully integrated app can deliver deep customer insights and tailored experiences.
Orlando City Soccer Club (SC) — also known as the Lions — is a professional club based in Orlando, Florida. The club has competed in the Major League Soccer (MLS) competition since 2015.
Fan experience is key to Orlando City SC’s prosperity and sustainable growth goals. To build loyalty and future-proof its success, the club’s management recognized that it needed to improve fan engagement on game day and year-round. With sports fans increasingly expecting to interact with their team via their mobile devices, the club needed an engaging, interactive mobile app that was simple to use.
The club’s existing app wasn’t up to the job. So Bruno Scotton, Orlando City SC’s Salesforce DevOps Engineer, reached out to Salesforce and implementation partner Cogny for help.
Working closely together, the partners built the new LionNation app, which integrates with the club’s unified customer engagement platform and rewards members of the LionNation program to earn rewards for interacting with the club through an online portal.
Here are four lessons from how Bruno and his team use Salesforce to drive fan engagement and loyalty, deliver personalized experiences, optimize performance with data-driven insights, and contribute to sustainable growth.
1. Improve customer experience with a unifying app for engagement.
To deliver unique, interactive experiences for fans, Orlando City SC designed a mobile app that provides a single, dedicated space for engaging with the club. It invites fans to join in the fun by gamifying and rewarding them for interacting with the club.
For example, fans are invited to vote for the player who they think should be “man of the match” and share their suggestions for player substitutions. Fans can also access information about the team’s history, player stats, and fixtures; purchase tickets and merchandise; earn loyalty points that can be used to redeem experiences; and learn club chants.
Meanwhile, LionNation members who can’t make it to games in person can also watch the club’s locally televised matches through the app.
“Previously, with everything in different places, we didn’t have access to all of our data, and we weren’t able to engage with our community in real time, like we wanted to,” said Scotton. “The app is a place where people can go instead of social media or external websites to find out about the club and interact with us in real time.”
The results so far have been positive. Since the app’s launch, fan adoption has increased from 7,000 to 22,000. On game days, 62% of registered fans use the app. On days when there isn’t a game, around 36% of registered fans still log in to check out team statistics, read news stories, or claim rewards.
Watch this video to see how Orlando City SC supercharged fan engagement.
2. Gain a 360-degree view of customers with integrated digital solutions.
Orlando City SC’s sales, member services, marketing, merchandise, finance, and IT teams were already connected by a single cloud-based ecosystem, but the club needed to integrate the app into this shared environment.
Linking the LionNation app to the club’s existing customer relationship management (CRM) platform helps build a 360-degree view of fans. This improves sales, support, and the marketing teams’ ability to do their jobs, make smarter and faster decisions, and deliver tailored experiences to fans.
Connecting the app with existing digital solutions also enables the club to provide a consistent, frictionless experience across touchpoints. For example, integration with the club’s ticketing system allows fans to securely purchase and manage their tickets from the app. Also, fans who experience a problem with a ticket or merchandise purchase from the app can contact support teams via the app.
Further benefits of connecting everything on a single platform include faster response times for support cases, more leads for marketing campaigns, and increases in sales and customer satisfaction.
“The infrastructure Salesforce provides helps us to connect and automate everything we do through the app,” said Scotton.
Learn more about Salesforce Customer 360
3. Build customer loyalty with rich experiences and incentives.
The LionNation app helps build fan loyalty by offering members exclusive benefits. For example, fans making purchases through the app can access discounts and earn loyalty points, which are tracked in a digital experience platform. These points can be redeemed for rewards, such as signed jerseys or an opportunity for younger fans to run onto the ground with the players at the start of a game.
The app also makes it easier for fans to attend games in person by providing information that makes planning easier, such as where to park and how to buy last-minute tickets. The app includes a digital wallet that allows fans to preload funds, so they can buy tickets, merchandise, and food and drinks by scanning a barcode.
In addition to building loyalty, the solution delivers actionable insights about individual fans’ spending that can be used to automatically send marketing messages, improving the club’s cash flow.
“The wallet makes fans’ lives easier because they can show up to games with just their phones,” said Scotton. “But it’s also good for the club because people deposit their money with us during the season and that gives us more cash flow to work with.”
Since launching the app, the club has seen an increase in ticket sales and revenue. Revenue from concession stands alone has increased by more than 14%. Overall, the club has generated more than $1.5 million in revenue from app users.
Learn more about Marketing Cloud
4. Use data-driven insights to engage more deeply with fans.