The European Cricket Network (ECN) wanted to extend and power fan engagement beyond the onsite game day experience.
To build the ultimate fan experience, HCLSoftware and ECN teamed up to automate and personalize the complete user engagement strategy.
ECN can maximize their effectiveness and reach and turn spectators into participants, whether they are in the stadium or on their phone at home.
“We’re working with (HCLSoftware) to improve our fan engagement… We’re asking our fans to use data to answer some of the hardest questions in cricket. The winners that come through with the best answers will have the chance to win prizes, including the possibility for work at HCLSoftware in the future. We’re also partnering with them to use HCL Marketing Cloud and Actian Avalanche, enabling us to automate our communications, and allowing fans to literally craft their own digital experience.”
- Daniel Weston, European Cricket Network’s Founder
A primary challenge for sport networks is fan engagement beyond the game. An event captures a person’s attention for the duration of the action in front of them, whether in-person or watching on an app or device. The European Cricket Network (ECN) knew how vital it was to have an active effective reach with their fans before, during, and after the game — on- and off-site. The league has experienced growth across Europe and Asia the reception from players and fans has been unprecedented. They were capturing a lot of user data via digital platforms, but realized they had limitations with creating an end-to-end experience for cricket fans.
ECN identified three use cases specific to their marketing capabilities, with a prioritized focus on fan engagement, which would magnify their reach and effectiveness. Daniel Weston and his dynamic team at ECN took a hard look at how to deliver the complete fan experience beyond just the onsite game day for everyone across the globe. Tech capabilities were limited with their current options until they found a partner in HCLSoftware that could meet all of ECN’s needs in a single solution.
Left to right - Thomas Kloonz (Board Member), Frank Leenders (President), Daniel Weston (Founder) and Roger Feiner (CEO)
The Game Plan
With their three use cases identified as to how ECN was going to improve and extend cricket fan engagement, they moved forward to integrate HCL Marketing Cloud and Avalanche Cloud Data Platform into their plan. ECN leverages HCL Marketing Cloud's real-time interaction capabilities, best-in-class segmentation, behavioral insights, and fan journey mapping to engage fans at every step of their experience across all their engagement channels. Avalanche Cloud Data Platform is being used to scale their data infrastructure and global network to deliver breakthrough performance concurrency, and cost savings for data-driven fan experiences. By unifying these platforms, ECN can improve (1) communication and outreach, (2) management of fan profile acquisitions, and (3) fan surveying and data organization.
Use Case #1 – Communications & Outreach
ECN’s use cases started with the need to make their pre-match communications with fans faster and more efficient. Within the hour between the coin toss and match start, the ECN team could prepare match infographic images, deploy the images to the website and send pre-match emails to all subscribers and registered fans.
HCLSoftware answered this need for speed, ease and accuracy by leveraging:
Campaign execution and delivery automation
Powerful and easy to create drag-and-drop UI email templates within the HCL email delivery engine
Marketing operations management tools to flexibly configure (custom) user interfaces for optimal user experience
All these solution components were put together to provide a streamlined email execution experience for ECN’s marketers. Their team now only needs to fill out one send request screen with the selection of available target lists/segments and URLs for infographic images. Automated and scheduled campaign flowchart processes send requests, extracts email parameters, prepares target lists, and initiates mailings.
Use Case #2 – Managing Fan Profile Acquisition
As ECN goes through a period of continued rapid growth, fan acquisition and organization of fan profiles is imperative. After outreach campaigns are put into market, web registrations come fast and furious. Having one system that can collect, organize and make available all of the profiles for additional engagement is a must.
To solve this massive scaling complexity, HCL implemented its journey orchestration capabilities to use REST APIs to ingest all digital registrations from ECN’s digital properties, define and organize all the registration records, and structure them in a usable fashion that they can then be reviewed, corrected and made available for targeting. Now all ECN fan data is uniform and data errors are eliminated, making it super simple to access all fan records and eliminate fan churn due to bad data collection and organization.
Use Case #3 – Surveying FAN's
ECN is in the sports world and fans ALWAYS have an opinion to share. Because of this, ECN engages in a lot of survey opportunities where fans can share their preferences, opinions and predictions about the games and players. ECN needed a way to collect and organize their fan feedback to make it useful in their marketing campaigns.
HCL once again utilized their marketing operations UI configuration capabilities that offer ECN a view for filtering, counting, sorting and analyzing fan’s digital response data collected via emails and landing pages. By incorporating direct fan input, the entire ECN engagement strategy will become more effective and will get more fans around the globe actively involved in cricket.
Beyond these specific use cases, ECN also needed their tech solution to be provisioned quickly and become cloud-native.
HCL used their managed-hosted HCL Now offering to stand up ECN’s marketing environment and allow ECN to begin running campaigns within weeks.
Identifying what the fans truly wanted, ECN was able to find a partner to create the ultimate fan experience. Now ECN is a leader in providing millions of cricket lovers around the world real-time game experiences, whether a fan is on their phone, in the stadium, or at home.
About the Company
Founded in 2019, the European Cricket Network (ECN) is the digital home of cricket in Europe. The ECN is focused on growing the sport by developing great events, while using cutting edge technology to create entertainment, promotion and digital fan engagement of cricket being played all over Europe, then taking it to a global audience via ECN media partners. The ECN produces live, TV quality broadcasts of the following three marquee events throughout the year.