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Helping international federation set long-term strategic direction for sport

Challenge

International Federations – governing bodies for sport at a global or regional level – have traditionally been organisations that, primarily, set rules and organise major events. This means most are at the start of their journey developing direct relationships with fans beyond those who attend events, understanding who they are and what they want from their relationship with the sport.

Insight

‘Target 26’ is the International Biathlon Union (IBU)’s strategic roadmap to grow the sport by empowering national federations, enhancing events, extending reach, upgrading governance, and making biathlon an even-more attractive proposition for participants. To fully understand how it could achieve this, the IBU needed to engage with and understand the attitudes of the biathlon community.

Solution

Opening and building a one-to-one dialogue with the biathlon community, and asking them about their relationship with the sport through a wide-ranging survey, would enable the IBU to get a data-driven understanding of biathlon fans’ attitudes towards the sport and the IBU. This would enable the IBU to better understand how it can effectively achieve Target 26 objectives and give IBU stakeholders, such as event organisers, strategic direction as to where to invest in their products.

Action

Using a decade of data-driven experience understanding the behaviours of sports fans globally, Two Circles worked with the IBU to undertake the biggest survey of the biathlon audience in the sport’s history.

After generating a set of hypotheses with the IBU, the survey was created and deployed during the 2020 Biathlon World Championships in Antholz Anterselva in February, and was targeted at biathlon followers globally through owned and operated IBU digital channels.

The data was analysed by Two Circles and presented to the IBU with strategic recommendations for initiatives that would achieve Target 2026 objectives, and grow stronger direct relationships with the biathlon audience.

Infographics showing the top-line results were also designed in-house by Two Circles (pictured) to help the IBU share the findings by the IBU on its website, social channels and in the media.

Additionally, country-level analyses for 14 markets were packaged into bespoke reports for each national federation. Each detailed the federation’s audience demographic profiles and the drivers of their relationship with the sport, and provided strategic recommendations for each federation to grow in its respective country.

Results

  • 73 countries represented within the survey responses
  • 14 bespoke national federation analyses and strategic recommendations
  • 85% of Biathlon fans say the environment influences their decision making
  • +79 NPS (Net Promotor Score) across all IBU events – ‘Very Good’ on the Two Circles Good Scale
  • 70% of people who attend biathlon events plan a holiday around the event

Results

  • 73 countries represented within the survey responses
  • 14 bespoke national federation analyses and strategic recommendations
  • 85% of Biathlon fans say the environment influences their decision making
  • +79 NPS (Net Promotor Score) across all IBU events – ‘Very Good’ on the Two Circles Good Scale
  • 70% of people who attend biathlon events plan a holiday around the event

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