Creating a seamless customer experience after a merger can often be challenging, but when two fairly young companies merge−like DraftKings and FanDuel−future results look promising.

The two companies−which offer daily, weekly, and season-long sports fantasy contests−will bring together two fantasy sports innovators to better serve consumers.

Back in 2013, Don Hughes, chief information officer for Kobie Marketing, offered sage advice about creating a seamless customer experience after a merger.

Hughes told Loyalty360 that outside of technical infrastructure and delivery, a marketer’s first “massive consideration” is to determine what it stands for and what is the affinity for brands in play during the acquisition.

“How do you bridge the gap between two brand promises and deliver something greater than the sum of its components?” Hughes said. “You have to maintain the brand promise.”

Understanding the concept of brand affinity – a metric that allows marketers to predict how a customer will behave – and the statuses within those relationships is an integral part of ensuring a seamless customer experience after a merger, Hughes said. Focusing on this area is a major priority.

Brand affinity adds a useful layer of information that helps differentiate among consumers in market segmentation, Hughes said.

“Customers who demonstrate brand affinity are more likely to stay with the company, make referrals, and enjoy high levels of satisfaction,” Hughes added.

For DraftKings and FanDuel, the operational efficiencies and cost savings that are expected to result from the merger will drive a greater focus on developing new products and features, including more variety in contest formats, loyalty programs, enhanced social functionality and ancillary sports-oriented content and experiences, all aimed at creating a more diverse, exciting, and appealing experience for fantasy sports players and all sports fans. The merger will also help the combined company accelerate its path to profitability.

The combined company will invest in strategic partnerships across the sports ecosystem. Media, advertising, and other partners will benefit from access to more products and customers as a result of DraftKings and FanDuel’s diverse user base and league relationships, as well as increased investment in advertising. Together, the combined entity can accelerate the growth of the fantasy sports category, drive broader and deeper fan engagement, and more efficiently reach those players.  

“We have always been passionate about providing the best possible experience for our customers and this merger will help advance our goal of building a transformational global sports entertainment platform,” said DraftKings CEO Jason Robins. “Joining forces will allow us to truly realize the potential of our vision, and as a combined company we will be able to accelerate the pace of innovation and bring a richer experience to our customers than we ever could have done separately.”

FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles said the merger “presents a tremendous opportunity for us to further innovate and disrupt the sports industry.”

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