Arsenal eyes location-based partner offers

Mobile World Congress: Premier League club Arsenal is exploring the use of location-based marketing to target fans with relevant offers depending on whether they are at the stadium or not.

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The club is working with its partners to offer fans contextual promotions on their mobile, for items including Arsenal merchandise and offers from affiliated brands, such as test drives of the latest Citroen cars at the nearest dealership to their location.

Speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Arsenal’s partnership development director Rupert Daniels said the club is investing in its CRM strategy to tailor its interactions with fans depending on where they are, but added it is critical its partner marketing remains relevant to its fanbase.

He adds: “We have to strike that very delicate balance as a brand because fans of Arsenal have a really personal engagement with us. It’s life and death: one minute they’re high fiving us, next they are hitting the floor with the despair. You can’t just bring that intimate relationship we have with fans ‘courtesy of Mars Bar’ for example,” he said.

Daniels said that any location-based partner marketing must “reward, augment and make the experience of being an Arsenal fan even better”.

“If brands give fans something they really appreciate, it has a halo effect and makes fans of Arsenal feel much better towards our partners and sponsors so we always make sure whatever we do is heavily vetted to drive value – we turn a lot of brands down,” he added.

Current Arsenal partners include kit sponsors Nike and Emirates, which also has the naming rights to the team’s stadium, Carlsberg, Citroen, O2, Lucozade Sport, EA Sports and Indesit.

Also speaking at Mobile World Congress, Nokia’s marketing director for location and commerce, Diana LaGattuta, said the phone manufacturer is integrating location-based marketing into its mapping service to help drive consumers into bricks-and-mortar stores.

Earlier this week Nokia announced a partnership with Groupon to integrate a deals function into its mapping software and the mobile company is also exploring how data on a consumer’s location and activities can be leveraged to serve useful and highly personalised advertising.

An example LaGattuta gave was that if someone was sitting at a train station and their train was 15 minutes late, they could be served an ad for the nearest café or a link to download Angry Birds so they can pass the time.

LaGattuta said: “The early days of targeting were about context and location but where we’re looking at now is the next phase of recognising location patterns and using data in a really sophisticated way to target people.”

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