Super CRM for the Birds
Football fever doesn't have to end after the Superbowl--with the emergence of the Web, some sports franchises are turning to content management solutions to feed the fire, optimizing the content they're providing year-round to teams' e-savvy bleacher creatures.
Two such teams involved in the recent run up to Super Bowl XLI were the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens, both of which have turned to Epic Cycle to personalize their Web sites. The vendor's content management software allows companies to manage Web-site content and digital media, and provides a data management framework for e-commerce and marketing. Epic Cycle began working with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2003 to manage the franchise's official Web site and the Lincoln Financial Field stadium Web site. "Sports franchises, venues, and entertainment companies are realizing that the Internet is that touch point to that broader fan community," says James Fitzgerald, CEO.
Fans can register on the site Eagles "watch parties" to be chosen to win hats or T-shirts, and can share photos and opinions. They can also play interactive games to test their skills, such as Donovan McNabb's Distance Throwing Practice or David Akers's Pro Kicking Challenge. "With these types of Web-site overhauls, you're integrating customer databases via content management systems and creating more personalized interactions," says Marc Singer, a director at McKinsey & Company. "They're receiving the data to create targeted messages," says Chris Charron, an analyst at Forrester, "instead of relying on a media outlet to send a generic message."