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5 Personalised Segments to Strengthen Relationships with Your Fans

Updated: Jun 24

In the modern era of sports marketing, the strategy that has proven its worth is personalisation. By tailoring communications and offers to specific fan segments, rights holders can significantly enhance engagement, loyalty, and ultimately, drive revenue. Leveraging a Fan Data Platform (A CDP tailor made for the sports industry) is a game-changer. It enables rights holders to collect, analyse, and target fans based on data driven insights. 

Customers expect personalised, and relevant interactions from the brands they support. Fans in the sports industry are no exception. With the rise of data-driven marketing, sports organisations have access to a goldmine of fan data to deepen their relationships with fans by delivering customised experiences.

According to McKinsey, the fastest-growing brands drive more than 40% of their revenue from personalisation strategies.

This guide will explore five key segments that can be effectively targeted using a Customer Data Platform, providing tips, examples, and practical advice to help you get started.

Want to understand the power of personalised fan segmentation? Dive into our blog here to discover its importance in building stronger fan connections.

5 key segments examples & campaign ideas

1. Engaged Subscribers

Who They Are:

Engaged subscribers are fans who have actively interacted with your brand in the last 90 or 180 days. This group includes those who frequently open emails, click on links, and engage with your social media posts.

Why They Matter:

These fans are already showing interest in your brand, making them prime candidates for further engagement. By focusing on this segment, you can nurture their interest and convert them into loyal supporters.

How to Engage Them:

  • Personalised Email Campaigns: Use data from your CDP to send tailored emails that reflect their interests and previous interactions. For example, if a fan frequently clicks on content about a specific player, send them updates and exclusive content about that player.

  • Exclusive Offers: Reward their engagement with exclusive offers, such as early access to tickets or discounts on merchandise.

  • Interactive Content: Keep them engaged with interactive content like polls, quizzes, and contests related to their favourite aspects of the team.

Example: Rights holders can use a fan data platform to identify fans who frequently engage with the team. They could then send these fans personalised digital competitions with exclusive offers, increasing their engagement and loyalty.

Fan engagement experience of a digital quiz

2.  Unengaged Subscribers

Who They Are:

Unengaged subscribers are fans who have not interacted with your brand in the last 90 or 180 days. This group may have signed up for updates but have since lost interest or become inactive.

Why They Matter:

Re-engaging these fans can be more cost-effective than acquiring new ones. By understanding why they became unengaged, you can tailor your approach to win them back.

How to Engage Them:

  • Re-engagement Campaigns: Use your CDP to segment these fans and send them a personalised re-engagement email. Offer incentives like discounts or exclusive content to entice them back.

  • Feedback Surveys: Send surveys to understand why they became unengaged. Use this feedback to improve your future communications.

  • Targeted Ads: Use data to create targeted social media ads aimed at recapturing their interest.

Example: Rights holders can identify unengaged subscribers and send them a personalised email offering a discount on tickets for an upcoming game, along with a survey trying to understand their preferences.

Email to a fan offering a 50% discount on match tickets

3. Recent Purchasers

Who They Are:

Recent purchasers are fans who have bought tickets, merchandise, or other products within the last year. This segment is crucial as they have already demonstrated a willingness to spend money on your brand.

Why They Matter:

These fans are prime candidates for upselling and cross-selling opportunities. By understanding their purchasing behaviour, you can tailor offers that encourage repeat purchases.

How to Engage Them:

  • Upsell and Cross-sell: Use your CDP to analyse their purchase history and recommend related products. For example, if they bought a jersey, offer them a discount on matching accessories.

  • Loyalty Programs: Enroll them in a loyalty program that rewards repeat purchases with points, discounts, or exclusive experiences.

  • Post-purchase Follow-ups: Send personalised follow-up emails thanking them for their purchase and offering related content or products.

Example With the help of a CDP, rights holders can identify recent ticket purchasers and send them a follow-up message, "We’d love to see you again!" through WhatsApp marketing, along with an invitation to join the membership program.

WhatsApp marketing send to a fan

4. First-time Buyers

Who They Are:

First-time buyers are fans who have made their inaugural purchase with your brand. This segment is critical as it represents new opportunities for building long-term relationships.

Why They Matter:

First impressions are crucial. By providing an exceptional experience, you can convert first-time buyers into loyal fans who continue to support your brand.

How to Engage Them:

  • Welcome Campaigns: Use your CDP to send a personalised welcome email that thanks them for their purchase and introduces them to your brand.

  • Exclusive Offers: Offer special discounts or incentives for their next purchase to encourage repeat business.

  • Educational Content: Provide content that helps them get the most out of their purchase, such as how-to guides, FAQs, or tips related to their interests.

Example: Send a personalised welcome email within 24 hours of their first interaction. This email should thank them for signing up, introduce them to the brand's story and values, and a guide on what to expect when attending a game.

An email, welcoming a new fan to a sports club

5. Lapsed Fans

Who They Are:

Lapsed fans are those who have not engaged with your brand or made a purchase for an extended period, typically over a year. This segment may have drifted away for various reasons, such as changes in personal circumstances or dissatisfaction with previous experiences.

Why They Matter:

Reactivating lapsed fans can be a valuable strategy for boosting engagement and revenue. By understanding why they lapsed, you can tailor your approach to win them back.

How to Engage Them:

  • Win-back Campaigns: Use your CDP to segment lapsed fans and send them customised win-back emails offering incentives like discounts or exclusive content.

  • Personalised Surveys: Send surveys to understand why they lapsed and use this feedback to improve your future communications.

  • Special Events: Invite them to special events or exclusive experiences to rekindle their interest and engagement.

Example: Send a targeted push notification with a personal message from a star player to reignite interest. Follow up with personalised retargeting ads to reinforce the message and drive engagement.

Push notification example from a club's app


Personalisation is no longer a “Nice to have” but a necessity in the sports industry. By leveraging a Fan Data Platform, rights holders can gain invaluable insights into their fan base, and deliver tailored experiences that foster deeper connections and drive loyalty. The ability to segment the entire fan universe effectively ensures that every communication and offer is relevant, increasing engagement and maximising revenue potential. As sports marketing continues to evolve, staying ahead with data-driven personalisation strategies is crucial.

Unlock the full potential of your fan data and boost your engagement strategies with our Fan data platform. Explore how we can help you increase your return on marketing and sales efforts.


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