La causerie by bFAN Sports & Rouen Normandie Rugby - Episode 2

Today find the interview Ange, of the club of Rouen Normandie Rugby. He explains the launch of his application during a pandemic (Covid-19)!

Today in the Chat, we welcome Ange, operations manager for the Rouen Normandie Rugby club, a French club playing in PRO D2.

Ange tells us about his club's choice to launch his fan engagement platform during a pandemic!  The whole bFAN team thanks Ange for the time he gave in answering the various questions, but also for the trust in bFAN Sports!

Why did you seek for a solution to engage your fans in times of a pandemic?

We were already looking before the pandemic and the Covid-19 crisis simply allowed us to speed up our decision-making process and advance on the work required by this kind of project. Benjamin (bFAN Sports) had presented the solution to us back in November 2019, so I already had seen the application. In addition, I had already work for the Quevilly Rouen Métropole club which at that time had already been one of your customers for a few years, so I had already discovered your applications at the time. During the confinement period, we lost contact with our fans but this allowed us to have the necessary time to devote ourselves to this project. We are a small club with limited staff. When the Covid-19 started, in March 2020, we were only two in the administration, so carrying out this kind of project would have been much longer and much more complicated. Everything had completely stopped for most sports and rugby was no exception. The matches were canceled over a long period of time, we were thus much more available during that period. We quickly realized during the confinement that it was going to be complicated to resume the matches and reach the end of the championship. We quickly knew that the matches would not resume before the month of September and so that left us with a period during which we were going to have more time available, it was the right time to work on our digitalization and on a cool project. In addition, it was during this period that we saw that the link which we could not have with our fans at the stadium or during events such as signing sessions, we could on the other hand find them via digital means, thanks to our social networks for example. We realized at that moment that we had to be present in the digital environment and that we had the necessary time to devote ourselves to it. This is where bFAN really stood out for us by allowing us to test the solution for several months and this is what allowed us to come to a decision. We would not necessarily have committed to this type of expense without having tested the product first. This “Covid trial offer” was really very clever from bFAN in my opinion because since then, we are still here, we have kept the application and we are one of the clubs which have contracted as well the business solution. We are well aware of the progress we still have to make due to the lack of staff compared to the other clubs, but we are really committed on the long term.

Have you compared several solutions before joinning bFAN sports?

Yes, at that time we had looked and considered several solutions since we had a lot of free time. The business part, which was not completely finished at that time due to the fact that it was developed recently, this ended up delaying the project. As we had positioned ourselves from the start on this module, we were ready to wait. At the time, there weren't many clubs which took a position on the subject, if I remember correctly, we were only 3 or 4 clubs, including a basketball club, the Montpellier rugby club and another club. So we worked with our association of partners which we created as well during that time, we wanted to launch both at the same time because they also wanted to have some sort of digital support, so the idea was to do everything at the same time . Both having this link with our supporters and at the same time allowing our partners to have acces to a digital platform. We had inquired how much would it cost them to develop such an application for our partners’ association through independent developers, but the price was very high. It wouldn't have helped them much. We looked to develop it locally, except that bFAN Sports today has the power of a large structure, they work with many clubs and they have services which meet the needs of all clubs. Finally, it was the value for money and the delay due to to the Covid-19 crisis which convinced us to launch our application with bFAN Sports. Even if the business version was delayed, we discussed it back in April/May 2020 then we released the app for our fans in July. At the time, we planned the launch of the business module for December 2020. In the end, we didn't had that until February 2021, there were a few months of delay even so bFAN Sports is a company which has the know-how. Imagine if we had gone with a classic developer, it would have taken a lot longer and we wouldn't have been ready for the 2020-2021 off-season.

How would you describe your app launch with bFAN Sports? In terms of efficiency, speed and in terms of support when launching your app?

Very well, we were very well supported by Benjamin (bFAN Sports) who is always available but also by Xavier (bFAN Sports) with whom we had talked a lot at the time. Everything was clear regarding the elements and the visuals which we had to create on our side thanks to the work done beforehand by Xavier (bFAN sports), to help us. This allowed us to work effectively on the subject. The launch went rather well, then there are internal reasons why we don't use the application as much as we should but those are not linked to the app, which works very well. If we don't use it, it's more our fault. To sum up, we have always been well supported by bFAN Sports’s team.

It's been several months since you launched your application, have you already had feedback from your fans?

We really don't use it as much as we would like to, but we have had feedback on the gamification part of the application in which people and even our partners like to participate in the games and votes. The application has been a real support for one of the projects which we have carried out in recent weeks. It was a student challenge in which different schools were involved. We created polls within the app, which was really cool, so thanks to the tool we were able to quickly create polls and get people to vote which allowed us to rate the schools competing in the contest . In addition, on our side, it has allowed us to increase our number of accounts created within the app and registrations. For example, during an MVP (vote for the best player), we had around 100 votes per game in terms of fan engagement. Whereas for the student challenge, we collected more than 400 votes. So it really allowed us to develop our downloads, we are already starting to think about next year and it really motivates us to continue working in this direction.

After using it for several months, do you think investing in a fan engagement solution has proven to be the right choice despite your limited sources of income due to the current pandemic?

Today, with hindsight, yes it was the right choice but again it was only possible due to the conditions favored by bFAN Sports. We still have a lot of room for improvement on our side with regard to the use of the app. Despite this, if we had to do it again under these conditions, we would do it again without hesitation, yes.

Which arguments would you use to convince another club to join the bFAN Sports family?

Today, despite our lack of staff, I think it's a tool that allows us to do a number of things without needing to be much more staffed on the project. This allows us to immediately improve what is important, it is a real guarantee of professionalism. Today, we have the same application as a club like RC Toulon or UBB Bordeaux, so it's definitely a sign of seriousness. It's really important in terms of the image it conveys. It's a serious product which works and is finished, it's really important for our brand image. Whereas if we had developed something locally, it would not necessarily have been so well developed nor finished.

What they says about us ?

The fan experience is at the heart of our marketing strategy: Providing qualitative content, offering gamification solutions to reward the loyalty of our fans, etc. We are delighted to work with bFAN, which solution meets all our expectations. Its backoffice is easy to use and the application has been well received by our fans

CSP Limoges
Marketing Manager

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Andrew s.
Sydney, Aus

The fan experience is at the heart of our marketing strategy: Providing qualitative content, offering gamification solutions to reward the loyalty of our fans, etc. We are delighted to work with bFAN, which solution meets all our expectations. Its backoffice is easy to use and the application has been well received by our fans

CSP Limoges
Marketing Manager

bFAN Sports is an excellent solution that meets our expectations and fully satisfies our fans. A real pleasure to work with their team. The functionalities are very advanced and bFAN Sports is very attentive to taking their solution even further in line with our expectations, I recommend it to all clubs

JL Bourg
Director of Marketing

bFAN solution allows us to develop new relationships with our supporters and to provide additional visibility to our partners and sponsors. The level of download is beyond our expectations and enables us to fill-up our CRM database

Section Paloise
Head of communication

Excellent product, team at the top. bFAN Sport allows us to offer an optimal digital experience to our fans.

RC Toulon
Marketing & Communication Director

We have now a genuine fan engagement and retention solution, even our partners play on the app

Elan Chalon
Digital & Communication Manager

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