In the News
We are well underway with Sports 2.0 in North America and we will soon be awarding championships. It’s definitely a little strange with the fans missing and some sports being played in a bubble but it is a leap in the right direction. While it’s great that we have returned to action on the field, ice and diamond, teams should be in full planning mode for the day that fans are allowed back through the gates and into the stands.
The big question is how will the fans react in a world that looks very different from when we last saw it in March? Luckily teams don’t need to figure this out on their own. There are a myriad of great sports tech and data companies who have done nothing but work to prepare for the day that the fans come back. Coming back is a huge task and you should be able to lean on your vendors not just for great tech but also to be valuable business partners as they can bring a unique view of the industry to help you achieve targets and grow your fan base.
Here are 3 game changing tech companies that are perfectly positioned to help your team hit the ground running, cover the fan journey and make you shine on your Sports 2.0 strategy.
StellarAlgo is a company I’ve written a lot about because they are the leaders in i) predictive customer analytics, ii) understanding who your fans are, and iii) personalizing as necessary to get them to your event. They were one of our partners at Tennis Canada for our Rogers Cup event and were invaluable in helping us to grow and activate our audience. I can think of no company better to help navigate uncharted waters. StellarAlgo provides game changing technology and is also a true business partner who can be counted on to collaborate with your team to get full value out of ticketing, CRM, email and digital marketing analytics. Effectively tying together both online and offline data sources into a single customer view to personalize and activate on insights is such a new area in the world of sports that it pays to have a partner that lives and breathes in this area instead of trying to figure it out alone in house. Let your Vendor do the heavy lifting which frees up more time for your analysts to…do analysis!
Some key benefits of bringing StellarAlgo into your ecosystem:
- The ability to better understand your audiences, audience segments and how the different segments are engaging with you so you can test different approaches towards each segment coming out of the pandemic (more effectively engage and grow affinity) by knowing what’s changed vs what’s stayed the same behaviourally, avidity-wise, if segments have changed, etc. pre/post covid
- Connecting digital data points to customer profiles and using both online and offline data sources to understand fan journeys will be critical (ex: being able to segment off all these data points, understanding channel affinities for different segments, and then using machine learning models to map out the most likely path to conversion)
- Activating on these fan insights in a way that is streamlined and automated will increase efficiency (time savings are more important than ever since front offices might look different than they have in the past)
Bonus note: Stellar really understands sports data sources but also integrates their predictive segmentation capabilities with leading platforms like Salesforce sales and marketing cloud. In my past experience their data really made life easier when it came to getting value from our tech at Tennis Canada
In sports 2.0, fans’ eventual return to venues will be at a reduced capacity with social distancing protocols in place. How do you provide in-venue experiences that will encourage fans to return? How do you manage the atmosphere with a reduced capacity? How do you create exclusive experiences only available to those in attendance? Enter ProWire — a technology that lets fans at the game stream in-game audio channels in real-time via their phone. Think commentary, live coach and player mics, and ambient game sound effects all delivered fast enough to be in-sync with the action in front of you.
This technology is all about elevating the experience for fans in the stands and bringing them closer to the action. We installed ProWire at Aviva Centre and were set to debut it at the Rogers Cup this summer. For me, the easy install, the fact it runs on my existing WiFi network (and now 5G is an option), and that the fan experience could all be packaged up within the Rogers Cup app made it an obvious choice. They provide a suite of activation options for our sponsors and an impressive array of data analytics on usage.
While it’s a great technology for a packed stadium, ProWire will also find their sweet spot in the gradual return of fans. For venues, it’s about utilizing technology to deploy content strategically — to bring people together with a common experience and overcome the obvious implications that social distancing entails. It’s also a great opportunity to make use of the “enhanced audio” and specialized in-game betting broadcasts that have been a major feature in the return of live sports on TV. Give fans a comparable experience when they’re back!
Some key benefits of bringing ProWire into your ecosystem:
- Deliver real-time, exclusive content experiences solely for your fans in attendance.
Use content as a strategy to overcome atmosphere challenges in reduced-capacity seating
- Leverage the rise of enhanced audio and specialty betting focused broadcasts
- Drive fan engagement within your team app and tie in real-time content with other in-venue activations, promotions and services (food and beverage promos, merchandise sales and fan contests)
WaitTime is a perfect example of a multi-use technology. WaitTimes main objective is to steer fans to the shortest lines in concessions, bathrooms etc to increase per caps in venue and also sell digital assets on the video board to sponsors. During Covid, they have pivoted to use their cameras and technology to help maintain social distancing in venues which is great for the return of fans which is a crucial component of safe venue protocols. The technology provides value to fans, sponsors and collects data analytics which hits key revenue drivers in the business.
Some Key Benefits of WaitTime:
- Technology support social distancing and traffic flow
- Steer fans to concessions out of view, reducing lines and increasing per-caps
- Provide brand exposure to a captive audience on screens displaying Wait Times
Don’t try and reinvent your business alone. I’ve outlined 3 great sports technology companies that will drive huge value to your Sports 2.0 strategy and there are many others out there willing to help you strategize and execute. Only through collaboration and partnership can you recover, grow and reimagine your business model moving forward.