Manchester United centralises fan management

Premier League team Manchester United is developing a better understanding of its growing fan base by updating its customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities to handle new, international data sources.

The club sees developing a better understanding of its supporters as a key component of its business growth strategy and has taken on marketing software and services from multichannel marketing software company, smartFOCUS.

Steven Falk, Manchester United commercial services director said: "We constantly strive to improve the relationships we enjoy with our fans and sponsors to ensure they get exemplary customer service and stay connected to the club.

The new investment will provide campaign management and marketing analytics technology, alongside consulting services to help the club build a single view of the supporter across all Man Utd related transactions.

"Our fans represent a growing and vibrant global community and with smartFOCUS we can better communicate and cement relationships with them, keeping them at the very heart of our success both on and off the field," added Falk.

A key element of the system, for instance, is the management of international data and in particular double-byte characters for data sourced in Asia.

The vendor said the evaluation process put particular stress on seeking a long-term business partner that could assist the cub in meeting its CRM objectives.

The club wants to centralise its CRM systems to manage and enhance relationships with supporters on a global basis. It said the information about supporters and how they interact with the club will act as cornerstone in achieving these objectives.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.