CHICAGO FIRE Growing THE Customer Base

The Chicago Fire is one of Major League Soccer’s premier teams.  Established in 1997, the team won the MLS cup in its first season, and has gone on to win three US Open Cups through the years.  With a move to a new stadium in a different area of Chicago, the team’s management was interested in developing a new, more effective marketing strategy to grow its season ticket sales.  The team engaged GeoStrategies to provide the insights needed to support the new strategy

Engagement Goals

Our goal was to support the development of the most effective marketing program possible.  We needed  to understand the identity of intensely loyal season ticket holders,  both demographically and psychographically – to understand their wants and needs, to improve fan experience and increase fan engagement.  Ultimately, our goal was to know who was buying, why they were buying, where they live and how to pitch them – so we would generate new raging fans with the marketing pitch.

STEP 1: MOST PROFITABLE CUSTOMERS

We began the process by pouring over the ticket sales data for every game sold over a four year period of time.  We categorized all expenditures by customer, looking for patterns:  what each attender purchased, how much they spent, how many consecutive years they attended, whether or not they upgrade services over those years.  And the patterns revealed a small group of attenders, about 15% of the customer base, who were insanely loyal to the team.
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STEP 2: WHO ARE THEY?

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GeoStrategies profiled this list of loyal season ticket holders with Experian’s Mosaic System.  Mosaic identifies 71  household-based lifestyle  classifications for every household in the US.  Within each of the 71 segments, lifestyle choices can be accurately predicted – how customers buy, work,  play, and live.

After every loyal season ticket holder had been assigned their Mosaic segment, GeoStrategies performed a deep analysis of the data.  The result was the identification of 7 targeted, very specific household segments in Chicago that were highly likely to purchase season tickets.

STEP 3: HOW DO THEY THINK?

brain2In addition, Experian also categorizes all US households into 11 psychographic segments based on a household’s historical spending patterns.  This valuable information provided GeoStrategies greater insight into what Chicago Fire season ticket holders valued, with the types of offers and services that they were most likely to percive as worthwhile.  It allowed the Fire to build a marketing program to its target audience that was relevant, and to extend offers and opportunities in accord with their lifestyles and purchase preferences

STEP 4: WHERE ARE THEY, AND HOW TO WE GET THEM?

Using the proprietary tools, models and techniques developed inhouse  by our team, we scanned the market for the highest concentrations of the 7 target Mosaic segments.  , We then took into consideration the maximum threshold commute distance (20 to 30 miles), the commute direction (North, West and East), and provided the Fire with the top 20 target areas for marketing in a series of market maps.  We helped them select a direct marketing list of target customers from Experian, that perfectly matched their target demographic within the target zones identified in the maps.

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Based on the Psychographics, we provided the Fire with guidance for the marketing message that would be most likely to bring new fans to the stadium.  And so, the Fire developed a new marketing strategy around GeoStrategies’ guidance, and went to market.

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THE FINAL RESULTS

The Fire implemented a direct marketing program to the areas of the Chicagoland area that GeoStrategies identified, and pulled marketing dollars away from the areas that GeoStrategies indicated would not be profitably spent.  The organization crafted the marketing message, and marketing method, around GeoStrategies recommendations.  After approximately 8 months, the team reported that their marketing closure rate had doubled, crediting the strategy developed by GeoStrategies as instrumental in that success.

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For more information this case study, or on how your organization can target new customers, and increase the success of your marketing program, contact GeoStrategies at (800) 738-4GEO.

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