We aim to leverage our Customer Data Platform, Organon: Chiraag Paul

Based in Singapore, Proem Sports aims to influence Asia’s sport, entertainment and live event industries by helping them understand their fans better. Co-founded in 2017 by entrepreneurs Chiraag Paul, Pareekshith Shetty and Sugato Ray, the goal of the organisation has always been to ensure that fans are at the core of decision making. The company is a one-stop destination for off-field analytics, data capture, fan intelligence and marketing automation.

In this exclusive interview, Proem Sports’ Co-founder and CEO Chiraag Paul speaks about creating a sports software-technology company, using Customer Data Platform to drive personalised fan engagement, future trends, the importance of emerging technologies in fan experience, overcoming challenges and future goals.

Q 1) As a co-founder of Proem Sports, what motivated you to create a sports software-technology company?

Sport has always been an integral part of our lives as founders. I began my journey as a footballer for clubs like East Bengal in India, Guarani FC in Brazil, and Birmingham City in the UK. This experience gave me the unique opportunity to compete in top leagues across three continents. Through my experience on the field, I noticed that sport organisations often made important business and marketing decisions without considering one of their most important stakeholders – their fans. Over the years, we witnessed a significant gap in the industry – the absence of actionable data to help organisations better understand their fanbase.

On the other hand, Pareekshith grew up playing cricket and football for college and recreational clubs. After graduating with a degree in Computer Science, he worked as a data scientist at Flutura, an AI platform and solutions company. During his time here, he was responsible for making core contributions to IP generation and service delivery for Fortune 500 clients. This experience strengthened his understanding of analytics and data products. 

In 2017, we combined our passion for sports and analytics to co-found Proem Sports, along with Sugato Ray, as a one-stop destination for all matters related to off-field management – be it data capture, fan intelligence, or marketing analytics. Together, we observed a growing need for sports organisations to interact better with their fans. This led us to build a sports-tech product, Organon – a state-of-the-art Customer Data Platform (CDP) to help organisations increase visibility and forge deeper connections with their fanbase.

Q 2) How is Proem Sports’ Customer Data Platform driving personalised fan engagement? Why is CDP important? 

Proem Sports’ Customer Data Platform (CDP), Organon, is designed to understand and activate fan relationships. It helps organisations capture and manage data, discover fan analytics, and rewire their decisions to improve business performance. Powered by Artificial Intelligence, Organon is built to address, solve, and enhance sports sponsorship, fan retention, and omni-channel marketing. The product also provides strategic foresight into potential opportunities that can be capitalised on and empowers organisations to make informed and strategic decisions, provide more personalised content, and drive better fan engagement.   

Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) play a vital role in ensuring that customers lie at the core of all commercial decision making. The global CDP market is predicted to reach USD 10.2 billion by 2028, and research indicates that 60% of customers now have higher expectations of their digital experience than before COVID-19. Thus, it has become increasingly important for organisations to tap into data to curate personalised experiences for their fans. In fact, 73% of companies report that a CDP will be critical to their customer experience efforts and 47% of companies aim to increase CDP budgets by more than 25% in the next 5 years. If there's one thing today's consumers seek, it's personalisation, and that's exactly where CDPs come in. 

Q 3) When comparing mass market vs. personalization, what would you consider to be the future?

We are living in a digital age where data takes centre stage when deciding how customers want to be engaged with any form of content. This has become increasingly prevalent through the COVID-19 pandemic, where mass content marketing struggled to penetrate engagement habits of a user as businesses were unable to showcase their products tangibly and only via a screen. Thus, personalisation has taken a dominant role in the plans of marketing teams across industries, especially in sport.

This is where a CDP like Organon plays a crucial role in identifying customer segments and buyer traits, and creating tailormade personalised marketing experiences for the end customers or fans in the sports ecosystem. The numbers speak for themselves – research has shown that leading brands equipped with personalisation have found proven ways to drive a 5-15% increase in revenue and 10-30% increase in marketing spend efficiency. Hence, we believe the present and future revolves around personalisation that leads to both retention and acquisition of a client base.

Also read: My goal is to solidify the organisation's fundings: Shahirul Sjahrial 

Q 4) Please share some insights on how emerging technologies are crucial to fan experience?

Technology forms an integral part of how sports is being consumed today, with nearly 70% of fans stating that emerging technologies like VR and AI have enhanced their overall viewing experience, both inside and outside the stadium. The sports industry is transforming every day and, with organisations working to bring together the best of both the physical and virtual worlds, the use of VR and AR is ever-increasing. In fact, studies show that fans from Asian countries like India, Hong Kong, and Singapore are spearheading the adoption and acceptance of emerging technologies in sports.

Digitising sport and the overall fan experience will help organisations strengthen engagement and create value for their fans. Reports also show that fans who enjoyed their tech-enabled experiences are likely to attend more matches in stadiums and increase their spend on merchandise, food, and beverages. 

Q 5) What are some of the challenges that you have faced as founders of Proem Sports? How did you overcome them?

All founders have their own unique journey whilst establishing their thoughts from an idea to a business. We have been on such a journey too where challenges have been, and still continue to be, a part of our day-to-day life. 

One aspect that we constantly work on is the need to popularise the concept and idea behind using a Customer Data Platform. As a product company, it is paramount that we are successful in guiding clients and the industry in understanding the importance of being data-centric when it comes to decision making. A part of this stems from the useability and stickiness of the product, but also from how we position ourselves to the industry and investors. This is often a challenging aspect as we deal with perceptions and behaviours that take time to change. 

Another challenge we faced early on was the fragmentation of data in the industry. Though data existed, it existed in silos and it was a challenge to put it together.

Q 6) What are your short and long term goals for Proem Sports? How do you plan to achieve them?

Our focus for the next couple of quarters is to leverage the use of our Customer Data Platform, Organon, for live event organisers, sport clubs, leagues and sponsors. We would like Organon to be used regularly by them to understand their fan base better by being aware of fan behaviour patterns and engaging with them accordingly. 

Our forecast this year is to penetrate the larger Asian market, as we see growth in personalised marketing through data in a variety of regions across the continent. Our plans to achieve these targets are quite clear as our focus is based on key parameters that include the internal development of our product, team, and marketing. 

We relish working at the intersection of marketing and technology and aim to leverage Customer Data Platforms to democratise data for sport and live event organisations. Our vision is to influence the industry by changing how organisations currently function, ensuring fans remain at the core of all decision-making.


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