There are very few things that can bring people together like sports. Sports unite us, and in many ways define who we are. They say you can change friends, your job, or where you live, but you can never change your favorite club. There is no greater loyalty than that of a sports fan.
Yet, do you know who your fans are? Are you creating meaningful and tangible experiences that take them from the TV set and into the locker room?
Most leading sports and venue organizations are grappling with how to best leverage technology to capitalize on opportunities to create meaningful 1:1 connections with their fans.
A Tale as Old as Time
A local sports and entertainment venue hosts a variety of events throughout the year – including games for the local NBA and WNBA teams, family-friendly events, mega headliner concerts, and local fundraising and volunteer events.
One of their biggest fans, a lifelong fan who was born and raised in the area, now runs a successful business and has a wife and two young kids. His company purchases NBA game tickets for their sales team to use every year; he often buys one-off WNBA tickets to go to games with friends and family; and he and his wife often take their children to events at the venue.
However, the venue struggles with creating a 360° view of this fan, and hasn’t built out the right personas to know that he’d be a key customer to reach out to to consider upgrading to suite tickets for his business. The fan gets contacted by disconnected members of the various sales teams from the organization, who aren’t able to tell that he just took his family to Disney on Ice last week when they call and offer him a season ticket package upgrade.
The venue calls and lets the fan know they have a special offer on suite packages because his company already purchases group tickets, but they make no mention of the recent events the fan has attended or make an effort to discuss the game last night with the fan – even though he can’t stop talking about that crazy buzzer beater to his coworkers.
Imagine the way the conversation would change if this fan got a call saying, “Hey, Fan. How are you and your family doing? I saw you went to Disney on Ice last weekend – how was that? By the way, how do you like that sweatshirt you bought at our swag store? So comfy, right? Great.. I wanted to let you know that we’re offering a special on suite packages right now for your company, ABC Company.”
*Plot twist: this persona is loosely based on our CEO, Michael, but luckily – our customers, Pacers Sports & Entertainment, have mastered the fan experience.
Having the right data, tools, and processes in place to have these meaningful conversations with fans can seem daunting to many organizations. But, having worked with dozens of venues and teams across the nation – from coast to coast, north and south, and everywhere in between – on solving this very problem, here’s what we’ve found to be key considerations for teams who are ready to level up their fan experience.
Ready, Set… Go?
Transitioning from a traditional one-sided connection into a two-way, highly-personalized and measurable relationship requires an immense amount of planning and consideration. Having the right people and the right approach is key to ensuring success. How do you take the vast black and white data points and turn those into technicolor breakthrough opportunities to pull your fan into the action? There are three key areas that every club, sports team, or entertainment venue should be thinking about. Let’s dive deeper.
In most cases, this is the single most important and single most impactful moment for both the seller and the buyer. You, the seller need to fill your venue to optimize revenue; this is also the only guaranteed moment of interaction the buyer has with you.
It is essential that this process feels anticipated, and meaningful. Arming your sales teams with a comprehensive 360° view of who their fans are – similar to the story above – makes every interaction highly personalized, and an experience that makes your fans want to come back even more.
Suites and Sponsorships
We see a lot of organizations still managing their most lucrative revenue streams through manual and dated processes and technology. Teams and venues must optimize how their are going to market with these assets. Inventory optimization, lease management, and dynamic pricing optimization and tracking are just a few of the ways organizations can mature quickly to show quick time to value in these critical channels.
How do you make the most of every interaction you are having with your fans? Do you know who they are? Do you know Michael – the family ticket buyer, from Michael the corporate group ticket page buyer? Do you know that they’re the same person? How do you bring visibility to any team member talking to Michael so that it is orchestrated music and not noise? Those experiences must also transcend all channels; voice, text, email, and in venue. Bringing those moments to life are possible.
So Now What?
Creating the ultimate fan experience starts with a unified understanding of the fan. Fans leave both implicit and explicit digital fingerprints that help teams identify what they care about.
Are you ready to level up the fan experience?
Sign up now for an email series and webinar as we share deep dive stories and tips on how leading organizations are redefining the fan experience. Here at Lev, we’re big fans of helping our customers win – and we want to help you do the same.
A live webinar featuring our customers, Pacers Sports & Entertainment, will be held on September 25th, 2019 at 3 pm ET. A link will be included in our email series.