How SAMFORCITY implemented the FanCard as an individual App Customizing with AppYourself
Former professional footballer Marius Sowislo founded an interactive sports network called SAMFORCITY in 2014. The aim is to enable competitive athletes, fans, clubs and business partners to network and support each other. With the help of the FanCard – a membership card – cardholders can receive attractive benefits when shopping, visiting restaurants or other services. The FanCard initially existed as a physical plastic card before Marius Sowislo decided to implement it as a digital solution. With this request he turned to AppYourself. In the following interview he tells us what lies behind the idea of SAMFORCITY, why he wanted to adapt the FanCard to today’s world and how the cooperation with AppYourself for this individual App Customizing went.
1. Hello Marius. Please introduce yourself. Who are you and what do you do?
I am 36 years young and currently live with my family in the state capital Magdeburg. As a sports marketer, I have been self-employed with my sports network SAMFORCITY since 2014. I was very lucky to be able to turn my hobby into my profession for 14 years – from 2004 to 2018. As a professional soccer player, I was able to experience a lot, get to know a lot of people and, above all, develop myself personally.
2. You founded SAMFORCITY in 2014. What exactly is it and what does it stand for?
SAMFORCITY is an exclusive network for athletes, fans, clubs and business partners. It provides an innovative and dynamic platform for a new and promising form of real and virtual networking. The cohesion of the region is enormously strengthened and above all contributes to the positive image of a location. True to our motto: SPORT verbindet. Eine STADT hält zusammen!
3. Why did you decide to found such a network?
Many outsiders are of the opinion that as a professional sportsman you sign a well endowed contract, lead a carefree life and the season can start! But unfortunately it’s not that simple. If you’re lucky as an athlete, you’ll stay with one club for one, two or three years, but then you’ll move on to the next. And your career is finite.
Now we come into play with SAMFORCITY. Since I have gathered the experience myself, it was important to me to create a platform for the athletes to support and help each other. The network is currently supported by 100 companies from the region and the surrounding area.
4. You offer your members the so-called FanCard. What is this and what advantages does it have for your members?
With the SAMFORCITY FanCard the people of Magdeburg can enjoy a large and exclusive purchasing policy. Every FanCard holder can take advantage of attractive benefits in numerous shops, fan shops, restaurants and various other services. At the same time, the FanCard (5€ per FanCard membership) provides financial support for regional projects, in particular the promotion of young talent.
5. Have you already achieved success through the use of the FanCard?
Yes, over 200 FanCard holders now trust us. The trend is rising. Trust is being built up further and the added value of the FanCard is becoming ever clearer.
6. Why did you then decide to offer the FanCard as a digital solution and what do you hope to get out of it?
To ensure sustainability. In two to three years, the current physical card will no longer be part of your pocket. The smartphone is the future and therefore it was an irreplaceable and strategically important step for me to introduce the digital solution already now. The combination of digital ID and mobile payment is our short-term goal.
7. Have you been able to achieve success since the launch? Does it work better than the plastic FanCard?
The plastic form will continue to exist because it allows payments to be made using an integrated RFID chip. But from 01 December 2018 we will start with the digital ID card and carefully introduce our members to it. At the moment I can only say one thing in advance, the implementation of AppYourself is promising and exciting.
8. What do your members and partners say about the digital FanCard?
The first users reacted very positively and find the implementation very successful – quote from one user: “Now I will never forget my ID card again.” This statement shows me that we are on the right track and that our product is also suitable for other companies and associations with a membership card.
9. How did you hear about AppYourself and why did you decide to implement your digital FanCard with us?
My reseller gave me the direct contact to you. After I described my concern to you and you placed an indescribable trust in me, I was pretty sure that together we could make a difference and build something sustainable.
10. You turned to us with your idea. How did you feel about our advice and conception for your digital FanCard?
The consultation and the recognition of my request was very good. After the competent and understanding consultation a convincing concept was presented to me. After we had gone through the concept step by step in dialogue, my decision had long since been made to enter into the project with you!
11. What was the most inspiring thing about working with AppYourself?
The impeccable communication and the satisfied implementation. As discussed, the time window was adhered to and even the smallest change requests were seamlessly met. And not to forget, both had one goal in mind: to create a recognizable added value for potential app users.
12. And last but not least: what do you think about the implementation of your own digital FanCard?
Unique because it is not a copy, but a unique selling point.
We would like to thank Marius Sowislo for this interview. It was a lot of fun to work together with him on his individual App Customizing.
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