Increasing the client & sponsor partnership value through digital activation

The challenge

In 2016, PSV Eindhoven's (PSV) founding partner Philips stepped away as shirt sponsor after 33 years. Energiedirect.nl then took over this historic sponsor property. The challenge for energiedirect.nl was not only to do this in a dignified way, but also in a manner that would add value to their commercial proposition as an energy supplier, in a sustainable way. A great challenge, which we gladly took on!

Our approach

With Energiedirect.nl taking the bold step of replacing the big-name Philips, our first question was why? It became clear that there was a values based match between PSV and Energiedirect.nl; both no-nonsense, direct, sympathetic, clear and daring. These aligned principles became central to a fanbase strategy. In understanding the partnership, we then needed to understand the objective. Energiedirect.nl sought to build a relationship with PSV fans in an engaging and creative way, get to know them better, so they can deliver a custom energy offer, at the right time.

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As the foundation of the fan connection strategy, an activation platform was developed. Behind this platform, a data infrastructure was set up and linked to energiedirect.nl's existing customer database. This made it possible to: Centralise all campaigns and activations around the partnership on one digital platform for fans. This is where energiedirect.nl together with PSV carries out their fan acquisition and segmentation component of the partnership. Give fans the opportunity to voluntarily participate in the activations in order to get to know them better. Both with generic data, as with data specifically relevant to energiedirect.nl, e.g. favourite player and current energy supplier.

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By matching with energiedirect.nl's customer database, fans are recognised as customers or potential customers. Based on the customer profile, an acquisition, retention or loyalty strategy is executed via (automated) campaigns. With the infrastructure and platform as a basis, energiedirect.nl leverages their sponsorship with creative and interactive activations. This helps create reach and provides fun digital options for PSV fans.

Energiedirect.nl psv fan profile


Using its sponsorship rights, energiedirect.nl developed activations that would be memorable for PSV supporters. Besides various 'always-on' campaigns where fans can win tickets or merchandise, large and unique campaigns were carried out. For instance, the coolest children's party ever was organised, a local amateur club was boss of the Philips Stadium pitch for a day, former player Romario was brought to the Netherlands and crowned King Carnival and there was a meet-and-greet with football legend Maradona. A lasting and recurring memory that was created by energiedirect.nl was with the annual Christmas jersey campaign and to construct the walk-of-fame.

PSV Christmas sweater
  • Christmas jersey: Every year, during the festive season, energiedirect.nl and PSV develop the traditional Christmas jersey. It is presented to the fans and they have the chance to an win one. To launch the initiative, the 'biggest Christmas shirt ever' was hung up in the middle of Eindhoven city centre. The result? A lot of media attention and more than 30,000 entries for the Christmas playing jersey.
  • Walk of Fame: To immortalise the PSV heroes of the past, energiedirect devised a PSV Walk of Fame. Just like in Hollywood, but with the foot and handprints of PSV legends. The opening was a true media spectacle and, of course, the fans decided who would be the first 11 players in the walk of fame. It yielded over 12,000 participants, 45% of whom were new to the database.
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The fan base strategy has delivered a lot of value to energiedirect.nl on several levels, over the past two years particularly. First of all, a database has been built with 40,000 customers and non-customers that provides direct commercial value as well as potential value for the future. The segmented communication approach has yielded an increase of 26% in open rates and a 79% uplift in the number of clicks. In doing so, the creative activations greatly increased the awareness and popularity of the energiedirect.nl brand among PSV fans. Finally, the various campaigns have given energiedirect.nl national presence and will forever be etched in the memory of PSV and Dutch soccer fans alike.

40,000 profiles

customers and non-customers

26% open rates

through a segmented communication approach


uplift in the number of clicks.

Want to know more?

Do you want more information about this Energiedirect case, creative activations and enrichment of your database? Feel free to contact Sion de Jong.

Sion de Jong

Sion de Jong

Director Business & Strategy