In a previous post, we identified the 4 Things You Need To Know About Your Fans to better understand and connect with them. Below, we’ve highlighted eight technologies and methods that are fueling the data transformation in sports and entertainment. These sources, when aggregated and centralized into one platform, give a more complete view of your fans, including their distinct affinities and behaviors. This leads to actionable insights that personalize sales and marketing efforts and enhance the game day experience, driving engagement, increasing attendance, and ultimately, boosting revenue and team value.
Whether it’s online or at the stadium, ticketing integration creates instant knowledge about your fans, starting with basic demographic and purchasing data. You can also see the away teams your fans are most interested in and gain insight into who is attending which game. While ticketing gives access to this information, some of the data can be skewed or misleading since the original ticket purchaser may not necessarily be the attendee. This can be resolved when aggregating other data sources, helping you keep your data clean and accurate.
2. Game Day Engagement
Game day engagement includes anything from a team-sponsored tailgate before the game to surveys or fan sweepstakes set up in the concourse. To participate, fans should enter their name, contact information and other key attributes like their favorite player or teams. Game day engagement, such as in-game promotions or exclusive offers from sponsors, can help you identify brands or products fans like and what they might want to receive in the future.
Bonus: teams can push surveys via email or a mobile app to engage fans outside of the venue and beyond game day.
3. Point of Sale (Concessions and Merchandise)
Knowing what is selling and during what time allows you to adjust prices or promote discounted items during key periods. In terms of merchandise, purchasing history reveals your fans’ favorite player, which can lead to targeted promotions using that player or that player’s likeness. Also, with POS data, you can reduce waste and operational inefficiencies, helping you run a more profitable business. If you don’t collect your own POS data, this requires you to work with a third-party supplier to integrate it into a centralized platform.
4. Mobile App
Team-specific mobile apps are key to fueling your data transformation. In today’s mobile world, fans prefer to access news and information or engage with their favorite team right from their mobile device. This data can go back into your platform, creating a feedback-rich environment, letting you send more personalized communication or targeted messaging when it matters most. Ahead of the Rio Olympics, The British Olympic Association (BOA) launched an app, which 140,000 people downloaded. Nearly 100,000 of those fans completed an interactive quiz, giving BOA rich fan insights to improve targeting and engagement. Other functions for an app include learning a fan’s favorite player, promoting sponsors and seeing which sponsors a fan engages with most. Engagement analytics from the mobile app provides insights into a fan’s affinities and behaviors which can be used to develop hyper-targeted sales and marketing campaigns.
The initial signup process as part of in-stadium Wi-Fi is yet another way to develop more robust fan profiles. The additional benefit — one Chelsea F.C. leverages — is that you know who is in your stadium and how often they attend games. From this information, you can launch targeted sales campaigns. For example, you can use the data to gain insights about which Season Ticket Members (STMs) may be at risk of dropping or target fans who might convert to STMs based on an increase in attendance.
6. Social Media
Roughly 77 percent of the United States population has at least one social media account. You can use social listening techniques to learn what a fan is saying online, find out who they’re following, know the brand or player pages they like and see what they’re sharing and tagging. By mapping this data to your fan profiles, you can develop better, more personalized sponsorship offerings or send 1:1 communications. You can also understand or uncover new learnings that can change game day operations based on social sentiment. For example, a fan could check-in on game day or post a picture while in the stadium. This data can be used in an endless amount of ways to better engage with and market to your fans or promote your team and sponsors. You can also use this to measure your brand sentiment, adjusting the marketing message or key strategies to attract and retain fans.
7. Geofence and Beacons
Using geofences and beacons around your parking lot, at the gates and in the stadium helps clarify attendance data and identifies the most popular areas of the stadium. This can be used to send fan-specific communications — one study found mall shoppers spent 24 percent more after receiving a location-based text when they got near a specific retailer. You can also use location-based information to influence your stadium design and layout to increase profits and more effectively position popular concessions and merchandise. An additional benefit includes knowing which fans are tailgating but not attending the game. In this case, increasing out-of-stadium engagement might be necessary.
8. Affinity Programs
Use an affinity or loyalty program to know what your fans value and what makes them loyal to your brand. This is a good way to see what sponsors they’re interacting with and what merchandise, concessions and experiences they favor. You can use this information — demographics, contact information and affinities — to create targeted communications based on popular sponsors and spending behavior. In order to implement a successful affinity or loyalty program, you need a deep understanding of your entire fan base. The insights you gather from fans will help drive the type of rewards and experiences that should be offered as part of the loyalty program.
This list, by no means, is complete nor will it ever be — technology and the Internet of Things is ever changing and evolving. But by uniting these data sources, you can take a major step toward becoming a data-centric organization. Use combined knowledge to create a 360-degree view of your fan base so your team can implement strategies to increase attendance, enhance the game day experience, drive engagement and boost revenue. If you’d like to learn more ways to gain insights about your fans, how to aggregate and centralize your data or better engage with your fans, contact us or subscribe below.