Leinster Rugby: building lasting relationships with fans 

Niall Fitzmaurice

Niall Fitzmaurice

Former Business Applications Manager

Read Time, 3 min.

Leinster Rugby, a powerhouse of professional rugby in Ireland, is constantly trying to improve how they manage fan engagement and the match day experience for their fans.  

That’s why, Leinster Rugby engaged Microsoft Partner BearingPoint as their official Innovation Partner. A key objective of that partnership would be to explore technology that could help Leinster Rugby to build and sustain deeper relationships with their fans. 

For Kevin Quinn, Head of Commercial and Marketing with Leinster Rugby, working with BearingPoint was about trying to connect with their key stakeholders by centralising and analysing data: 

“We wanted to put our customer data into a single management system to glean information and learn insights that would help Leinster Rugby better engage with these key stakeholders and find out more about what the match day experience is like in our home ground at the RDS.” 

Gillian O’Sullivan, Country Leader at BearingPoint understood the importance of what Leinster Rugby was trying to do. Gillian and the project team at BearingPoint prioritised taking time at the start of the project to really listen to and understand the needs of Leinster Rugby: 

“We needed to understand how they work right now and the challenges they face, but also the ambitions that they had for engaging with their fans. We did a lot of research and looked into case studies from around the world. We looked at how other sporting organisations were doing it.” 

 

The project team at BearingPoint developed three key objectives: 

  1. Create a platform that would provide a single view of Leinster Rugby’s supporters to allow them to gain insights and to be able to tailor and personalise their communications with fans.  
  2. Showcase data and insights to the fans themselves so that they really felt part of the club. 
  3. Harness analytics and insights that would allow Leinster to make better business decisions based on the data itself.  

 

Gillian O’Sullivan was clear on the technology that would power those objectives,   

“For us, Microsoft was a clear leader when we looked at all the options to meet Leinster Rugby’s requirements. Microsoft technology provided a flexible platform where we could tailor the solution that Leinster needed. Being part of Microsoft’s Azure eco-system really helped us to evolve and flex the platform to meet Leinster’s needs right now but also prepare for their needs in the future” 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power BI would deliver accurate and real-time data analysis for Leinster Rugby and allow them to manage fan engagement in a far more structured approach, which in turn enables them to communicate better with their supporters. 

For Kevin Quinn, the project will really come to bear fruit over the next few seasons.  

“The introduction of this Microsoft technology marks a step change in how we will communicate with our supporters. We will be able to understand how many times we email our supporters, which emails are more important to them and differentiate between different stakeholder groups. A very simple example might be sending an automated thank you email to a supporter for coming to a match or automating simple messages to our younger season ticket-holders to wish them a happy birthday from Leo the Lion, our club mascot” 

Customer Engagement 

The automation of simple tasks, that, at the moment, are very manual and take a lot of time, is a key benefit when it comes to interacting with Leinster’s customers and supporters. For Leinster Rugby, this project is delivering a whole new set of customer relationship tools that, in the future, will help them better engage with their customers whilst improving the all-important match day experience.  

Kevin Quinn from Leinster Rugby thinks the future looks bright for Leinster supporters at the RDS. Let’s hope their on-field performance matches their off-field optimism next season!  

 

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