Q&A with Olympique Lyonnais’s David Banget

Digital Sport was afforded an opportunity to sit down with David Banget, Olympique Lyonnais’s Chief Digital Officer. Following several years as Technical Director for some pure players and as mentor for around 20 tech start-ups, David Banget was given the challenge of driving the French club’s digital strategy two years ago. As digital expert, he shared with us how the club improves fan experience every day via digital solutions.

How many people work in Olympique Lyonnais’s digital department?

Today there are about 20 of us, two years ago there were only four. Now we are a real department with four teams:

  • CRM & Data: their mission is to know our customers, B2C and B2B better in order to provide the best service possible. The objective here is to tend toward a personalised offer thanks to automation marketing.
  • Digital Fan Experience: they provide all digital tools (websites, apps and tech innovations) to users working with external experts. The objective here is to provide the best UX possible to fans and companies on our 10 websites and two apps.
  • Digital Marketing: their job is to increase our audience, to launch campaigns and to manage specific projects. The objective here is to promote our products and services in order to make gains.
  • Digital Community: They manage our community on social media, the MYOL program (for loyal OL fans) and eSports section. The objective here is to get engagement from fans and to increase our community.

The digital department is concerned by the B2C as well as the B2B. Fans are very important but companies are too. Our job is to use our 360° vision to help the club to be positive in terms of benefits.

The new stadium, Parc OL,  opened in 2016. What was the impact of the move?

We are in a new dimension with Parc OL. Our Business Model changed with the development of a B2B market. Indeed, we used to organise seminars for companies all year round. The stadium features 105 boxes, six suites and one restaurant, too. Our mission is to increase the occupancy rate of these spaces dedicated to companies on match day.

With the new stadium we’ve change our thought process. We have now three cases: match day, event day (like concerts) and no event day. According to the day, we want to offer visitors the best journey possible with customised messages on screens or specific content on the stadium app.

It’s really important for us to define the best visitor experience and to roll out all digital activations needed to provide it.

Can you explain to us the concept of the sociOLroom?

We created this place in partnership with our main partner, Hyundai. The sociOLroom is activated only for gold category matches (PSG, Olympique Marseille, Saint-Etienne…) and has to provide a great social experience to our fans community on social media. The idea is to create a dynamic atmosphere and to have a reach outside the stadium. That is achieved through working with our Community Managers, partners’ Community Managers and influencers.

What is your strategy on social media?

Our strategy is to provide content to all ages. So the message is always different according to the audience. On social platforms we provide three kinds of message:

  • Sports news: to share what happens inside the club
  • Self-promotion: to promote our services and products
  • Partners: to help them to be more visible

Social media is also a good place to boost our activations. For example, as part of our clashes in the UEFA Europa League against AS Roma and Ajax Amsterdam, before the game, we organised a FIFA 17 match between our official players and theirs in partnership with EA Sports. The game was streamed on Twitch and promoted on social media. This sort of activation is a good way to engage fans before the real match.

On social media we focus on the engagement. With the number of followers/fans, the engagement rate is definitely the most important KPI, notably for our partners.

How are partners integrated in the strategy?

Our role is to help partners to be more visible mostly via social media and websites. On social media around five millions fans follow us and on our main website we number over one million users per month. So our audience is really interesting for them. And as I said, we have to assure a good engagement from the audience to highlight our partners.

How does the club improve fan experience on match day?

I can talk about the Parc OL app. The app has been developed in order to make fan experience easier inside the stadium. Our objective is to provide a great service: ways to come to the stadium, nearest toilets or snacks, live stats, replays… and many other features to make the experience better. Of course, we don’t want to see our fans looking their smartphones during the game. Our goal is to give them the right information at the right time.

The app numbers over 120 000 users. In the future, we want to improve the UX, integrating new services such the one created this season in partnership with Parions Sport (a betting company). We added in the app the possibility for fans to bet. After betting, the user gets a QR code which can be scanned on dedicated terminals inside the stadium. Then, fans can get their winnings at the store.

Do you have an international strategy?

Of course. First, China is a strategic country for us. As 20% of the club is owned by a Chinese investment fund, that makes sense to be present there. So we recently launched a Chinese version of our website and a WeChat and Weibo account. We also created in March a Chinese eSports team. This new presence should help us to increase our visibility in China.

Then, we want to be more visible across the world. We have now an English Twitter account (@OL_English). We also work with foreign fans communities which have already a good audience on social media. As they are club ambassadors, we helped them in their animation creating for them visuals and banners.

For the future, we are waiting for the next transfer window to know which countries will be strategic for us.

To conclude, how do you see digital sport in the future?

It’s not a secret but the experience is the key. We will no longer talk about matches but about experiences. I think we are going to follow the American model. In football, 90 minutes is too short. So clubs have to give more to fans in terms of entertainment with a customised experience out of the match. At Olympique Lyonnais, we started on this road. For the last game of the season against Nice, we implemented three zones (Family Zone, Like Zone and Fan Zone) outside the stadium with each zone dedicated to specific visitor: families, young people and adults. However the road is long. We all need time before offering the best personalised fan experience. And that’s a very exciting challenge!

About author

Adrien Danjou
Adrien Danjou 109 posts

Adrien is a French student in Digital Marketing and a contributor to Digital Sport. Follow him on Twitter: @Adrien_DH

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