Brand Engagement, Digital, Sport Business | Mar 14, 2019
What sport can learn from the aviation industry.

How do you drive a customer experience programme when you only know 30% of your customers?

It’s a question that could apply to many industries struggling to get to grips with the collection and interpretation of customer data.

Sport can learn a lot from the aviation industry when it comes to data-driven decision making: not least on how to drive ticket sales, provide bespoke and efficient customer journeys, and create best-in-class hospitality experiences. There are similar challenges too. Virgin Atlantic, for instance, only ‘know’ a third of the customers that they transport around the world based on third party data points.

Speaking on-stage at The Sport Business Summit, London in October 2018, Virgin Atlantic CMO Claire Cronin explained that the airline has to apply ‘laser analytics’ to the data that they do have. The company optimises what data it does have by routinely sharing it with cabin crew, who can then personalise their service to the customer as they begin their journey with Virgin.

It’s part of the “secret sauce” to Virgin Atlantic’s exceptional customer experience, explained Cronin. But, ensuring the consistency of that experience is another thing altogether, and naturally, data has a huge part to play in that service too.

In this edition of 5 Minutes with Leaders, recorded behind the scenes at The Sport Business Summit, London in October 2018, Cronin explains:

  • How insight is spread right the way through the organisation;
  • The secret sauce to Virgin Atlantic’s excellent customer service;
  • How the airline use data to make decisions;
  • And what, if anything, keeps her up at night.

Claire Cronin speaking alongside Al Guido, President, San Francisco 49ers and Russell Scibetti, Chief Marketing Officer, KORE Software at The Sport Business Summit, London 2018.

Cronin joined Virgin Holidays in late 2014, and was part of the leadership team that successfully led the company’s transition to a customer experience-led business. Then, in 2017, she was promoted to Chief Marketing Officer, and has global accountability for the airline’s marketing and PR.


Subscribe to our newsletters

Choose from a selection of tailored emails to stay in the loop with the people, ideas, technologies and projects driving the sports industry forward.

Sign up

Join us at Leaders New York

18 – 21 May 2020 will see 1000 of the brightest minds in the industry descend on New York. Register your interest to explore the innovation, disruption and consumer preferences impacting the future of sport.

Register your interest