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How to boost fan engagement: Formula 1 Heineken Dutch Grand Prix use case

What makes sport so great is that it connects all kinds of people. On the other hand, knowing no two sports fans are alike makes it challenging for sports organisations to address different fan segments. The organisation behind the Formula 1 Heineken Dutch Grand Prix acknowledged this challenge and realised they needed to create individual experiences for fans at Circuit Zandvoort. With this ethos, they've built world-beating fan experiences for the first F1 event at Circuit Zandvoort in 35 years. But the team isn't finished. They're working to improve fan engagement year on year. Want to know more? Here we share five insider tips on how the Dutch Grand Prix built fan engagement before, during, and after the race.

Chloë Nieuwdorp
Chloë Nieuwdorp,
Content Marketer

5 tips on how to enhance fan engagement before, during, and after a sports event

1. Fan engagement goes beyond the event 

Did you notice the 'before, during, and after' in the title and introduction of this blog? Sports organisations need to recognise the importance of engaging with their fans year-round, even if the event is only held once a year, like the Dutch Grand Prix. If you want to build a meaningful relationship with your fans, you can't stop engaging with them at the end of the sports season. 

In times of clutter and information overload, being relevant for each fan is perhaps one of the biggest challenges in marketing. You can complete the puzzle only by targeting the right audience with a meaningful message.

Year-round communication might sound complicated, but it's easy with the right tools. Great marketing automation tooling makes connecting with your fans any time of the year a piece of cake.  

The key is to ensure your marketing is built around a Customer Data Platform (CDP) to store first-party fan data and create meaningful fan segments. These segments are the basis of your communication, ensuring every segment gets the right message at the right time. 

2. Take a holistic approach 

The yearly Dutch Grand Prix at Circuit Zandvoort is the focal point for fan engagement. The challenge is to get fans to see what lies beyond this experience. By taking a holistic approach, the Dutch Grand Prix takes its fans on the yearlong journey surrounding the event. Storytelling is a great way to do so. 

However, telling stories is just the start. The media and channels you use to tell your story and share it with your fans can make or break it. Use a good mix of channels to ensure your fans' favourite channels are available.

3. Know who your fans are 

As mentioned in the introduction, there's no more diverse group of people than a group of sports fans. Targeting everyone might result in reaching no one, hence the need to create different fan segments. To do so, you need to know who your fans are: from demographics, to purchase and behavioural data. 

At the heart of this data is your CDP. Here, the Dutch Grand Prix stored all its data to segment based on relevant metrics. Collecting data was simple, as the Dutch Grand Prix integrated its tools with its CDP.

4. Personalise communication 

As we mentioned earlier, a common communications adage is that speaking to everyone runs the risk of speaking to no one. That's why personalisation is of the utmost importance.

Collect all purchasing and behavioural data in a CDP to create fan profiles and build relevant segments based on them to send personalised communications to each cohort.

5. Reward your biggest fans 

All the fans' relevant touchpoints are stored in a CDP. This helps the Dutch Grand Prix identify its biggest fans. If you want to take engagement to the next level, rewarding your biggest fans is a logical next step. Personalised communication based on your fans' preferences rewards them with the best possible experience. However, there are many more ways to reward your fans' loyalty. 

Take the learnings from the Dutch Grand Prix for your sports event and spends some time thinking about how you can reward your most loyal fans. 

Enhance Your Fan Experience with 

Did you know that offers all these solutions? The Dutch Grand Prix combines Mobile Marketing Cloud and Appmiral's event app to engage with fans year-round. 

The heart of our Mobile Marketing Cloud is the CDP – the Dutch Grand Prix event app integrates directly with it to collect and give access to every piece of data the event holds. With these solutions, you can collect relevant data points as well as use the data to improve fan engagement.   

Our solutions are ready to perform above and beyond to accelerate sports events to the next gear! Curious to learn what we can do for your organization? Don’t hesitate to contact us!

Chloë Nieuwdorp
Chloë Nieuwdorp,
Content Marketer
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As a content marketer for our marketing and sales community, Chloë shares a lot of interesting content regarding these topics.

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