Southampton Football Club is a Premier League club competing at the highest level of professional football. In recent years, the Club has worked hard to create a unique culture to define the spirit of the team: “The Southampton Way”.
Embodying the values of respect, unity, accountability, creativity, and aspiration, “The Southampton Way” hopes to build stronger relationships between the organization and its fans as it delivers on its mission to turn potential into excellence.
At the end of an erratic 2019/20 season full of uncertainty, Southampton needed to go the extra mile to launch its kit for 2020/21.
During a pandemic and with fans banned from attending matches, the Club recognized the importance of engaging audiences in new and exciting ways. With questions still in the air about when the public would be able to attend live games again, it couldn’t rely on footfall before and after its end-of-season matches to drive initial sales. It was time to get creative.
The Club’s 135th anniversary was also approaching, making it all the more important to keep fans connected with the team and its long, rich, history.
In its history, Southampton has had to overcome a lot of obstacles on its way to success, the most recent being placed in Administration in 2009. Since then, the Club has enjoyed back-to-back promotions and has been a ‘Top 8’ team in the Premier League for four consecutive years.
With this recent triumph fresh in fans’ minds, Southampton launched its new kit campaign under the tagline “Defying the odds since 1885”.
The campaign featured a playable retro arcade game where elements of the new kit were unlocked at the end of each level, with fans able to win prizes if they were one of the top scorers.
Using email as its main communication channel, the Club built a campaign to consist of six stages:
- The game launch: Using a link or QR code to drive mobile visits, the first email focused on driving fans to play the game.
- The pre-order email: Two days later it followed up with a kit-focused email with a call to action (CTA) to “pre-order now”.
- Thank you email: Triggered to be delivered a couple of days after a fan visited the game, a thank you email would highlight the fan’s highest score coupled with another “pre-order now” CTA.
- Reminder email: This email was triggered when a fan engaged with content focused on the new kit launch but had yet to place an order, encouraging them to make a purchase.
- Second pre-order email: To drive more engagement and purchases of the new kit, this email featured the announcement that the team would be wearing the new kit for the last Home game of the season.
In total, Southampton’s “defying the odds” campaign generated nearly £16,000 in kit sales. This was a significant increase on the email-generated sales from the previous season.
The triggered “reminder email” enjoyed a remarkably high open rate of 67%. Similarly, the Club’s “thank you for playing” email achieved an open rate of 45%.
Overall, from 728k email sends, this impressively creative campaign generated 106k unique opens (15%).
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