Royal Dutch Hiking Federation

Walking is one of the fastest growing sports in the Netherlands. But the fact that so many people are engaging in the sport outside the walking governing body means that the role of Royal Dutch Hiking Federation (KWBN) is changing. Sports Cloud partnered with the Royal Dutch Hiking Federation during this transition.

From 58,000 members to one million walking fans: The digital transformation of KWBN

The Royal Dutch Hiking Federation has 58,000 members and more than 1,000 member organisations which organise 1,500 events annually. Some 300,000 unique visitors participate in these events, but that’s just a fraction of the 10.5 million total number of walkers in the Netherlands. People who, on a sunny weekend afternoon, enjoy nothing more than a stroll through the forest or a bracing walk along the beach. The Royal Dutch Hiking Federation also wants to engage with these walkers. After all, its mission reads: ‘Royal Dutch Hiking Federation wishes to be the ‘go to place’ for walkers, walking organisations and other stakeholders in the world of walking.’


1 million

Profiles created about walkers in the Netherlands

New content platform

Targeting the walking community in the Netherlands


New partner propositions


People in the database enriched with valuable insights

Knowing the walker better than ever before

As noted, there are 10.5 million unidentified walkers in the Netherlands… but they also leave their digital footprints behind. This occurs via countless digital platforms that they visit such as websites, apps and social media platforms. The detection and mapping of these footprints is how Sports Cloud worked towards a solution that allowed for a relevant dialogue with the individual walker.

Due to the huge acceleration in digitisation and individualisation of the walking market, the Royal Dutch Hiking Federation has been forced to undergo a transition from a traditional members’ organisation to a hybrid market organisation.


From an anonymous walker to a known walker

The KWBN had to think differently about who they could target with their offerings. We developed a strategy that placed the individual walker at the centre of attention, together with a range of programs and activities that allowed for frequent interaction with the KWBN. Literally hundreds of thousands of previously unidentified walkers engaged with the KWBN, in the process leaving their contact details.

This has resulted in the creation of a walking community platform that now provides tailored information to walkers, Content includes walking routes, events, travel tips, equipment advice, training schedules, health and nutrition tips and inspiring stories. Hard work happened in the background where we centrally collected all the digital footprints (data) left on the new platform and the other digital channels managed by the Royal Dutch Hiking Federation. We turned a million anonymous walkers into known walking fans! The collection and centralisation of such data across all the digital channels happens via the customer data platform and the CRM system.


New business models

The total size of the walking market in the Netherlands is estimated to be worth 1.7 billion euros representing huge potential for the KWBN. Our walking community data platform strategy has allowed digital walking concepts to be rolled out and new business models have emerged.

We are now supporting KWBN in harnessing the power of the huge amount of data that is collected on a daily basis, and how this can best be used in developing marketing campaigns. Consider, for instance, integrated marketing campaigns that hit all the touchpoints of the walker’s customer journey. This is done by maximising the marketing functionalities that tech tools are offering, such as dynamic content blocks, personalised e-mail campaigns and display campaigns. Products and services from other providers can also be incorporated. In parallel with the walking fan base strategy, KWBN has also devised a new partner proposition in order to further capitalise on these commercial opportunities.

Want to know more?

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

Sion de Jong

Sion de Jong

Chief Information Officer