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Subscription Billing, Sports, and xkcd

Yes, a potpourri of themes for today's post.

This week's xkcd comic drew a smile, not just because it represents how our sports-mad household discusses various on and off-the-field topics (including soccer, mind you), but also because it highlights the relevance of sports in the digital ecosystem. As a vendor that supplies three of the largest US sports leagues with subscription billing solutions (and last week we signed an agreement with a fourth league to undergo a Vindicia Select test), we now better understand some of the critical requirements that these organizations have.

  • Seasonal Billing: All sports leagues have seasons and it is critical for any subscription billing solution to enable a process to bill fans during the season, stop it during the the off-season, and launch again when the next season begins.
  • Peak Usage: Similar to what a number of our clients face during the Christmas season, sports leagues also have peak usage periods, typically the day of an event. Ensuring that your billing system has the scale to support the provisioning, entitling and billing of hundreds of concurrent users is key. As the only subscription billing vendor that offers a four 9's service level agreement, we feel pretty comfortable we understand and can handle scale and uptime.
  • Customer Retention: While sports fans are notorious for their life-long passion for teams and leagues, it's still critical to ensure that they can overcome passive or involuntary churn. Whether the churn is a result of poor communications or payment failures, there are many best practices to help digital businesses overcome them and maximize customer lifetime value.

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