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Straight Outta MIT Sloan: Why Sports Analytics Is Hot

By | March 6, 2012

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?

Analytics
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.

 

What topic could bring the likes of Comedian Drew Carey, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettmen, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, ESPN’s Bill Simmons, Forest Gump Producer Steve Tisch and me to 30 degrees and a snow covered Boston this past weekend?

Analytics

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 with 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 that a team’s ticket sales staff blindly opens up a phone book to make their 100 cold calls a day (yes, teams actually use to do this)! With the sophistication in technology, brilliant minds (like 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 degrees view of the fan’s behavior (ticket sales purchasing trends, merchandise/concession purchases, 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.

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 in a way to optimize 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. Turning “analytics” into revenue.

Analytics are just fun facts without the best digital marketing tactics to turn knowledge into revenue.What topic could bring the likes of Comedian Drew Carey, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettmen, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, ESPN’s Bill Simmons, Forest Gump Producer Steve Tisch and me to 30 degrees and a snow covered Boston this past weekend?

Analytics

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 with 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 that a team’s ticket sales staff blindly opens up a phone book to make their 100 cold calls a day (yes, teams actually use to do this)! With the sophistication in technology, brilliant minds (like 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 degrees view of the fan’s behavior (ticket sales purchasing trends, merchandise/concession purchases, 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.

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 in a way to optimize 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. Turning “analytics” into revenue.

Analytics are just fun facts without the best digital marketing tactics to turn knowledge into revenue.

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About Steve Kessen

Steve Kessen is both a director of Fathom’s enterprise solutions and its sports marketing practice. Formerly the vice president and general manager at TeamWork Online, he has worked with more than 750 of the top brands in sports: the NBA, NFL, NHL; MLB, NASCAR, IMG, ESPN Wide World of Sports and many others. Prior to his role at TeamWork Online, Kessen was one of the first ever dedicated analytics professionals in the professional sports business for the Cleveland Cavaliers. In addition to Kessen’s extensive experience in analytics and the sports industry, he has also been a CPA in the State of Ohio while starting his career at Ernst & Young. Kessen holds an MBA from the Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Business and a BBA in accounting from Kent State University. Complementing his full-time role at Fathom, he is also an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Master of Sport Industry Management program. He resides in Northeast Ohio with his wife and son.

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