In the News
by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Arizona Coyotes
The Coyotes want to improve their connection with you. They want you to be part of their planning processes.
So, they’re implementing a data-based system to better nurture your relationship with the team, and ultimately, how the Coyotes reach you.
To do this, the Coyotes have partnered with StellarAlgo to further personalize the team’s digital connection with fans – both near and far – through the incorporation of a machine learning Customer Data Platform (CDP).
“It’s a journey of getting more personalized with the fanbase,” said Megan Kurcwal, StellarAlgo’s Director of Sales and Marketing.
We have all experienced suggestions on our phones for an alternate route during a commute, or Netflix suggesting a show based on watch history. The StellarAlgo algorithms will help the Coyotes connect with fans in similar ways.
“In the digital-first world we live in today, everyone expects a personalized experience,” said Cole Cook, Coyotes Vice President of Strategy and Business Intelligence. “For instance, a college student looking for something to do with friends should be receiving a different marketing or sales message than a retired couple who spend winters in Arizona. StellarAlgo’s customer insights will allow us to better segment our audiences to deliver upon those personalized marketing messages that customers have been accustomed to receiving.”
StellarAlgo began its partnership in April and has eight machine-learning models running for the Coyotes to help the front office staff better understand fan interest and the types of messages that resonate.
Cook believes the technology will be a “game-changer” for how the Coyotes front office communicates with and markets to fans.
“Their ability to ingest large amounts of data … and return it to our team in a digestible manner is going to help create efficiencies across all of our marketing and sales channels,” Cook said.
The technology, too, is helping the Coyotes adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Given the smaller staffing that sports teams are faced with because of the pandemic, we have to have strong technology partners in place to help us focus on quality over quantity, especially with our universe of sales leads,” said Cook. “StellarAlgo allows us to prioritize our efforts to ensure we’re operating as efficiently as possible.”
Kurcwal, of StellarAlgo, stressed that the system improves targeted messaging.
“Whether the information comes from channels like email or social media, or through sales reps, you really want fans getting the messages that they’re going to be the most interested in.,” Kurcwal said.
“Our tools are really helping teams better understand who their fans are and how they’re engaging with the team at any given moment, to be able to segment audiences and create lead lists for different types of products,” Kurcwal said. “This also helps from a marketing perspective. If you’re launching a specific marketing campaign, who are the people that are actually going to be the most interested in it? If you know that, then you can spend your advertising dollars more efficiently and effectively, and, in 2020 and the pandemic, that’s never been more important.”
One simple example of teams not always using their resources effectively can be based on standard geography misalignment. These “one and done” tickets to sporting events are more common than you might think.
“We hear these stories all the time and even see it in historical data. Someone is traveling for business or leisure and decides to buy tickets to an event or game, then three months later they get an email that says, ‘Hey, buy season tickets! They’re on sale now!’ But, this person is in a completely different State or even country and 3,000 miles away from that team. So, it doesn’t make sense to send them that type of message.”
The main objective is to develop a winning connection between the organization and fans, Kurcwal said.
“Your new ownership group, they’re forward thinkers,” Kurcwal said. “This partnership has really centered around how we can best use machine learning to help sell more tickets to the right kinds of fans, and how we can personalize those marketing efforts. We want fans seeing the messages they’re going to be most interested in, the messages they’ll connect with the best. Also, we want to make sure we’re using our budget and advertisement dollars in the most effective way possible. It’s about having a win-win for the organizational and fan sides.
“We’re proud to be part of the Coyotes’ journey to becoming the gold standard of innovation.”