ZSC Lions x yawave

Club digitization from A to «Zett»

Challenges off the ice field


The ZSC Lions stand for success in Swiss ice hockey like almost no other club – and not only in men’s field hockey, but also in women’s field hockey and youth field hockey. These success stories of the past are also binding for the future.

Particularly in the area of the Future Fan Experience and digital transformation, the Zurich-based company was faced with some forward-looking questions:


  • What does the experience look like that the Lions want to offer their fans, sponsors, media and employees in the future across the entire Journey? How will the new Swiss Life Arena be integrated into this overall experience? And how can you digitize effectively based on this target image?
  • How can the entire diversity of the association be convincingly and sustainably conveyed with a single web presence?
  • How do you generate more news power (frequency x reach x involvement) with existing resources?
  • How can fans be kept close to the club by means of targeted activation via digital channels – both between match days and during the match itself?
  • How do you get a handle on the multitude of fan data (ticketing, merchandise, food & beverage, fan profile, etc.) so that you can track, enrich and learn from the individual fan contact across all touchpoints?

Experience as a game opener for club digitization


A digital transformation process does not succeed overnight. This makes it all the more important to take a step-by-step approach in the direction of a clear target picture. From the strategic development of the future fan experience to the visualization and optimization of the fan value chain, on to the creation of the system/application architecture and concrete user stories, all the way to agile development and software integration: this is what step-by-step and effective club digitization looks like from “A to Zett”.

Approach ZSC Lions

Step 1: Future Fan Experience

Bringing people together, entertaining and moving them: This is the great power that few other areas of life besides sport can develop. Fans are the right of existence of every sports club. This makes it all the more important that the innermost strategic core of a sports organization is designed with this stakeholder group in mind. Without a stringent design of one’s own vision, positioning and brand attributes and the orchestration of the fan experience based on this, one will therefore not do justice to one’s own impact. Worse: you lose your right to exist.


Together with yawave, a fan experience map, a prioritized list of measures with 134 ideas, and a detailed roadmap for the next digitization steps were created. From the awareness and image phase and the question of how the ZSC can specifically create a preference for the club in its environment – to the post-match phase and the challenge of remaining in dialog with fans outside of match days and specifically binding supporters to the club: A total of 48 physical and digital touchpoints make up the overall “ZSC Lions” experience.

Such holistic orchestration does not succeed with a flood of conceptual slides or glossy pages. The yawave Future State Map incorporates all topics relevant to the Lions’ experience into a Big Picture. This is the only way to connect the individual contact points into a stringent overall experience. This is the only way to connect the individual contact points into a stringent overall experience.

Persona expectations

Maturity Signature Touchpoints

Experience phases

Digital interaction layer

Touchpoint description

Epics + possible processes


Influence intensity ZSC Lions

Fan Journey

Target groups focus

Performance analysis

Target experience (fans, sponsors, etc.)

Cross-/Up-Selling Potentials

Facts relevant to the experience

Emotion curve

Capabilities + Systems

Engagement Trigger

Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s)

Romano Caviezel

«As a top club, ZSC also aims to be a leader in digitally supported fan experience. This requires a well thought-out game plan in the form of a fan experience roadmap and effective tools off the ice as well. In Powerplay together with yawave, we create groundbreaking fan experiences.»

Romano Caviezel
CFO/CTO, Member of the Management Board, ZSC Lions

Step 2: Optimize fan value creation

The value of their own fan base for the ZSC Lions is manifold: they share their involvement with the club on a daily basis, are there during highs and lows, step into the breach as a protective shield in emotional fan discussions, sacrifice their voice for the next goal, live out their inseparable bond with the club on a daily basis and make their commitment to the club their leisure time. The list is long and certainly not exhaustive. In addition to the emotional significance, the monetary value of the supporters also secures the club’s existence. This makes it all the more important that the value chain is consistently integrated into the fan experience. For this reason, the designed fan journey was taken as the basis for analyzing individual contact points in more detail with regard to their current performance.


The analysis made it clear which adjustments still need to be made along the fan funnel in order to generate the desired experience. An example? Until now, the bounce rate from social media to the ZSC website was too low – once the fan landed on their own news page, there were few opportunities for interactions, conversions and engagements. In the future, these small inaccuracies in triggering an attack within the fan journey are to be prevented: through better linking of the “Social”, “Info/News Page”, “Web Ticketing” and “ZSC Shop” touchpoints and targeted creation of digital interaction opportunities. Thanks to binding key figures, the individual contact points can now also be monitored operationally and the ZSC Fan Journey can be controlled continuously and in a straightforward manner.

Step 3: Architecture and User Stories

Together with the other partners involved, the foundation created in the first two steps was used to address architectural issues. Thanks to a system architecture, it was possible to create a blueprint for the Lions’ future digitization steps. Among other things, this included structuring, locating and linking the future ZSC systems and applications.

Within the system architecture, the new ZSC platform (Typo3 website with yawave Fan Interaction Suite as backend solution) forms the central hub of digital communication, activation and marketing. Therefore, yawave visualized the future platform structure using an epic map and developed a comprehensive list of functional requirements through concrete user stories – so they put on the fan glasses, so to speak, hung the blue-white-red scarf around their necks, put themselves in the shoes of the fans, sponsors, media and employees and thus went through the future target experience on the new Lions platform.

This approach and the artifacts that ultimately emerged (system architecture, epic map and user stories) gave the ZSC Lions and all the partners involved a clear and prioritized implementation plan in hand for the concrete development steps.

Step 4: Agile development & software integration

Digital transformation does not happen overnight. But you can approach “today” in a way that achieves “tomorrow” more quickly and efficiently. Thanks to the clear picture of the future architecture and the desired experience, the new platform could be developed on the basis of the user story backlog. All the people involved from the ZSC Lions and the various project partners ensured ongoing progress in two-week sprints.


In addition to the frontend development with the partner agency, yawave also ensured the linking of the Fan Interaction Suite in the backend with the various systems (CMS, CRM, ticketing, store, etc.) and integrated individual tools of the software directly into the platform. In a next step, a yawave application was created for the Lions – this will be the daily working tool for the marketing and communications department in the future with the Content, Interaction and Fan Hub. The internal user rights for the various employees can be assigned directly and configuratively in the application. Through personal training and live testing (e.g. trial live ticker), the various users learned how to use the software suite and the tools it contains.


yawave not only ensures platform operation and customer support, but also helps the Lions monitor and control fan interactions. But if we’re honest, the last point doesn’t really take up much time on yawave’s side. This is because the central contact management as part of the fan hub allows the impact and success of the various communication measures to be monitored independently and any necessary measures to be derived directly. What does that mean specifically? Lions staff can view generated reach, visits to publications, tools used, interactions made (shares, feedbacks, etc.) and engagements triggered directly in the software – whether from the overall view (across all users), related to individual segments and dimensions or on the individual fan contact.

The digital transformation is far from over with the “go-live”. Fans can expect exciting innovations in loyalty, Business Club, marketing automation and Stadium Experience in the coming months. The “Zett” therefore remains on the puck – even off the ice.


Strategy + Implementation x Technology


With this formula for success, yawave was not only able to provide ZSC with consulting support, but also with the appropriate technology for the jointly developed target image. In addition to the appropriate content marketing tools for more reach, interactions and conversions, an automated news categorization, a MyLions login area and a game center with interactive live ticker were also implemented in the newly designed website.


Thanks to the interface between yawave’s contact management and the CRM “Microsoft Dynamics” in use at ZSC, the strengths of both systems can be combined. The collected fan contact data is entered directly into the CRM system, while ticket purchases, store orders and stadium consumptions can be displayed in the MyLions area. Thanks to the latest SSO technology and a link between the yawave Fan Interaction Suite and the IDP “Microsoft Azure”, fans will only need a single login for all systems (ticketing, fan store, MyLions, etc.) in the future. Between the Content Hub and the CMS (Typo3) the communication is managed by a direct plugin.

FC Luzern Men of the Match Voting

Content Hub

Thanks to a central hub, Lions can capture dynamic content such as news in one place, schedule it, and play it out across channels (web, social, newsletter, notifications, etc.). Interaction tools such as share, feedback or forms can be placed directly on the content.

FC Luzern Liveticker Mobile

Live ticker

By fans for fans: With the interactive live ticker, fans can follow the game with the necessary club flavor. The ticker tool is so intuitive that it can be managed by three fans. This can generate a completely new ticker experience.

FC Luzern Men of the Match Voting

Contact Management

Today, the “Zett” interacts with his fans at numerous points of contact. With contact management, the administration, enrichment and use of fan data is centrally solved and data protection is guaranteed across all interaction tools.

FC Luzern Liveticker Mobile


Fans not only need a stadium, but also an emotional home in the digital world. In the MyLions area, the fan can manage his own profile, specify interests, view all purchases & stadium consumptions and devour exclusive news.

Marketing powerplay thanks to traffic and interactions


Thanks to yawave’s strategic support, the Lions were able to solidify a holistic target picture for the future fan experience and the gradual digitization steps within the club. The Zurich club is thus one of the first to have consistently carried out the entire club digitization from the perspective of its stakeholders and their target experience.

Within the ZSC project, one circumstance became very clear: A planned system replacement (e.g., website, CRM, etc.) or a large infrastructure project can be perfect starting points for precisely breaking down all digitization intentions. On the way from strategic considerations in the area of the Future Fan Experience to the clarification of important architectural questions and concrete implementations, gaps and gaps that would have remained in the dark without a targeted approach become visible.

As an organization, however, it needs the necessary foresight to do so. Intervening in the systems with cosmetic surgery on the surface to bring about a short-term solution is often the more pleasant and faster way. However, in order for a sports organization to position itself for the future in terms of marketing, communications and marketing issues, it needs a holistic approach. This is precisely what the ZSC Lions recognized and, through the yawave approach, not only ushered in an effective digital transformation, but also created a foundation for long-term club success alongside the ice. The first positive effects are already noticeable in the first six months after “go-live”.


Traffic increase on the website

User numbers


generated interactions
with the club environment

Publication-Visits, Shares, Feedbacks, etc.


Revenue from
digital marketing

Sponsorships, Presentations, etc.