Learn the Purpose and Value of a Cradle-to-Grave Fan Profile

July 14, 2015 Mike Evenson

With school out for the summer, my wife is faced with the challenge of keeping our kids busy to keep her from going insane. We’ve been scouring our local community to find events and camps that our kids can enjoy and learn from too.

As I think back to the various sports and day camps I attended as a child, there’s no doubt in my mind that these moments helped shape me into the person I am today. I specifically remember attending one basketball camp where I convinced my mom to buy all the gadgets that would help me with my game. Dribble goggles, the shooting glove and a giant basketball all came home with me on the final day of camp. I may have looked a bit crazy on our driveway, but I was passionate about improving!

As I was watching a recorded NBA Summer League game recently (I know – but I love me some Frank the Tank), it reminded me that interests and hobbies from our childhoods result in lifelong passions.

So why am I babbling about what I did as a child and what it means for your organization?

You must find a way to start getting to know consumers when they are young.

Most organizations have programming for young people and/or a percentage of attendees at specific event types are children. Understanding who those kids are and what makes them tick has immense, lifelong value for your organization. Consider these important points:

  • You start to build customer profiles around kids. By tracking and understanding their likes and dislikes, you are growing your database and future-proofing your business.
  • The children of today are your passionate fans tomorrow. Going a step further, the children of today are your students of tomorrow. These are the same students who will come to your games. They are also your future season ticket holders.
  • Today's season ticket holders are tomorrow's major donors. Clearly there is value in watching and engaging kids as they grow up.

Building Lifelong Loyalty

This cradle-to-grave concept is something every entertainment organization should implement.

The cost of capturing and storing data is nothing if you have the right technology. By including customer relationship management (CRM) in your core organizational strategy, you at least ensure that you’re collecting the right data at the right time, even if you haven’t quite figured out how to use it. It’s never too early to start.

Understanding your younger demographic also brings value because they are a gateway to people who have money to spend today. Parents of children, much like my wife, are always looking for activities and events to attend with kids. It’s a simple equation: find the kids, get the money.

Creating and maintaining a lifelong relationship with people is hard, but it’s also essential. Plant your seeds, grow your roots and cultivate those relationships for as long as possible. You’ll be thrilled with the results.

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