Travel & Entertainment

The Chicago Fire

The Challenge

Illinois-based MLS team the Chicago Fire wanted to understand the different segments of the Chicagoland sports market, as well as identify which segments to target and how to appeal to them.

Our Tools

  • In-Person Qualitative
  • Quantitative Research

Client Objectives

  • Identify and quantify a customer target for the Chicago Fire
  • Understand and measure growth opportunities for each consumer target
  • Determine the most relevant brand positioning territories and key messages needed to capitalize on the growth opportunities

Our Customized Approach

Our team conducted in-person focus groups with ticket holders and self-identified soccer fans to evaluate consumer entertainment choices, as well as uncover the perception of soccer and the Chicago Fire. Then, we conducted an online quantitative survey with soccer fans and Chicago Fire ticket holders to profile target customer segments and identify the most relevant brand positions and key messages. This gave the Chicago Fire a roadmap to the Chicagoland soccer market, which included clear target segments and effective marketing strategies.

Segments Identified:

Client Objectives

  • While awareness of the Chicago Fire was high among respondents, being aware did not translate to attending a match.
  • Many soccer fans are considered casual fans and should be approached in a different way than avid fans and supporters of the Chicago Fire.
  • 3 Targeting segments of consumers who love soccer and find entertainment and social value in attending a match is vital for the Chicago Fire, as these segments add up to potentially 13 percent of Chicagoland residents.

The Results

Through our approach, we were able to:

  • Identify their target market and their characteristics
  • Employ various marketing tactics that best align with each recommended target
  • Revise the client’s marketing communications and sales presentations to appeal specifically to their target segments
  • Launch new advertising campaigns based on the new research

IIM helped us better understand which segments have the highest potential for the team. The insights they identified are invaluable to the team and we are actively using those presentations and marketing communications.

- Chicago Fire

Team members who worked on this project