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Helping international federation set long-term strategic direction

Challenge

International Federations – governing bodies for sport at a global or regional level – have been organizations 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 behaviors of sports fans globally, Two Circles worked with the IBU to introduce and undertake an annual survey of the biathlon audience.

After generating a set of hypotheses with the IBU, the survey was created and deployed for the first time 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.

Every year the data is analyzed 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 have been designed in-house by Two Circles (2021 infographics pictured) to help the IBU share the findings by the IBU on its website, social channels and in the media.

Additionally, in 2020 country-level insight 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

  • 13,330 biathlon fans surveyed (2021)
  • 83 countries represented across survey responses (2021)
  • 78% of biathlon fans say sustainability is a core issue (2021)
  • +79 NPS (Net Promotor Score) across all IBU events – ‘Very Good’ on the Two Circles Good Scale (2020)
  • 70% of people who attend biathlon events plan a holiday around the event (2020)

Results

  • 13,330 biathlon fans surveyed (2021)
  • 83 countries represented across survey responses (2021)
  • 78% of biathlon fans say sustainability is a core issue (2021)
  • +79 NPS (Net Promotor Score) across all IBU events – ‘Very Good’ on the Two Circles Good Scale (2020)
  • 70% of people who attend biathlon events plan a holiday around the event (2020)

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