What topic could bring the likes of comedian Drew Carey, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, ESPN’s Bill Simmons, Forrest Gump producer Steve Tisch and me to a 30-degree, snow-covered Boston this past weekend?
The hottest buzz in the sports industry today is analytics. It was one of the hottest topics at the National Sports Forum in January and consumed the sold-out Hynes Convention Center in Boston this past Friday and Saturday at the 6th annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.
So why is analytics so hot?
It’s simple. Analytics helps companies make more money by working smarter, not harder.
Gone are the days when a team’s ticket sales staff blindly opens up a phone book to make 100 cold calls a day (yes, teams actually used to do this!). With the sophistication in technology, brilliant minds (like those of the team at Fathom), and strong business acumen, sports organizations are starting to realize the benefits of analytics.
So you’ve run some analytics, now what?
Running the numbers and identifying the trends is only the beginning of the process. The success really comes from activating the knowledge and insight gained in the analysis phase.
Better understanding your customers and getting a 360-degree view of the fan’s behavior (ticket purchasing trends, merchandise/concession sales, interaction on social media and email marketing campaigns, mobile and website interaction) help position the sport organization to pitch the customer the right product, at the right time, through the right communication method.
This is where digital marketing comes into play. Without the digital marketing tactics that turn knowledge into revenue, analytics are just fun facts.
Through digital marketing, an organization can have a true one-to-one relationship with the fan. Technology allows teams to send customized messaging to each specific individual—optimizing the opportunity for a closed sale. Through each digital interaction, new insight is gained and added to better understand the fan. This is the key to turning simple “analytics” into revenue.