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From CRM to FRM: applying CRM in the football industry

by Garry Adamson, Warwick Jones, Alan Tapp
Database Marketing & Customer Strategy Management ()
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In this paper, the authors develop a conceptual and implementation framework for 'fan relationship management' (FRM) that learns from the successes and failures of conventional customer relationship management (CRM) but considers the special nature of football. Although often not explicitly described as such, in reality most CRM is a mixture of transaction and relationship marketing, often leaning towards the former. Here, the authors examine the current state of CRM implementation within the football industry based on information collected from football club business managers. Based on existing knowledge about supporter behaviour the notion of FRM is developed. The authors believe that FRM provides an appropriate balance between transaction and relationship approaches. The paper discusses the football industry's approach to CRM and includes an in-depth case study into one football club's attempt to implement CRM. These results suggest that the football industry may be replicating mistakes already made by mainstream business sectors, reinforcing the need for FRM.

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