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How data can help drive sports sponsorship and fan engagement

Upping your game

​​Analytics in sports, specifically fan engagement analytics, could enhance the live game experience and maintain fan and sponsor participation. Explore potential revenue-generating ideas for boosting attendance, driving engagement, and enriching sponsorship opportunities.

Up your game with fan engagement analytics

​​​​​Advances in technology are making it possible to enhance the fan experience at sporting events. Digital event ticketing and biometric stadium entry systems, which produce fan engagement analytics, are opening doors for sports teams. With data gathered from digitally-oriented stadiums and interactive fan experiences, teams can gather important information about who’s sitting in their stadium seats.

This report offers a sampling of ideas under two themes that link back to ticket and sponsorship revenue in the nearer term: driving live game engagement and attendance, and enhancing sponsor opportunities.

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Live game engagement and event attendance

​Armed with rich data, sports teams are finding innovative ways to engage specific fans or fan groups. While our report offers a deeper dive into revenue-enhancing ideas, here are some examples to help you take your data in new directions:

  • At a basic level, live engagement could allow sports fans to enjoy in-game features, like requesting a song or earning rewards for frequent concession trips.
  • Taking it one step further, access to a deeper knowledge of attendees' profiles could enable more precise fan targeting. For example, by mining past attendance data, teams could drive repeat ticket purchases with targeted promotions or offer personalized discounts for games similar to those they've previously attended.
  • What about fans that aren't yet in on the action? Integrated data sources and analytics can be used to target people who don't frequently attend games. For instance, this data can help identify frequent sports app users or local sports bar patrons who haven't splurged on a ticket in the past 12 months. Perhaps these users would be motivated to make a purchase with tailored promotions.

As these examples show, teams are using data to leverage networks they already have access to in order to gain more authentic "ins" with potential future patrons.​

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Enhancing sponsor opportunities with rich data

With richer data, sports teams can know who was at the game, their in-stadium purchase history, and where they moved within the stadium. Having this specific information will enable more focused sponsor targeting and authentic engagement both inside and outside the stadium.

More data also means more creative ways to contract with sponsors and more opportunities to customize stadium advertising. For instance, with rich data, teams can find out who was at the game, their in-stadium purchase history, and where they moved within the stadium. Teams can also integrate sponsor engagement into “thanks for coming to the game” emails based on fan profiles: Consider cross-promoting with ride-share apps or hotel loyalty programs, issuing credits or rewards to users in the stands when the home team won.

In addition, analytics can also transform stadium advertising. Instead of general ads on a jumbotron, unique data will allow for more tailored advertising to distinct groups of fans. For example, if we know that attendees behind one basket are part of a corporate event, they could be excellent candidates for a targeted personal banking promotion.

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What’s next?

​With almost weekly advances in data access and analytics capabilities, the world we're describing isn't too far off. The question is: What can teams do now to claim a place at the front of the pack when the time comes to implement? Consider the following actions to help get ahead of the game:

  • Flex your data muscle. Begin to link and leverage the data sources in the team's arsenal today to enhance the organization's comfort level and aptitude.
  • Explore new data sources. Discover what's available based on proprietary interactions with fans and through relationships with third parties and external data sources.
  • Invest in the right talent. Acquire talent with the appropriate skill sets to not only analyze data, but to also draw out insights and narratives to influence executive decision making.
  • Establish a technology road map. Build a foundation to enable delivery of a more customized, data-driven experience in the future. Explore new technologies that may amplify the impact of loyalty programs and fan/team interactions.
  • Pilot the future state experience. Find logical linkages between the game and out-of-game experience and begin to build the vision for the next-generation fan journey.

Think beyond the ordinary. Download the report for more ideas.​

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