How is analytics bringing us the next generation of fan experiences?

The fan experience of the future is just around the corner. How are data analytics and smart stadium innovations helping deliver it?

By Travis Murphy

Think about what the game day of the future will look like.

You arrive at the stadium in a self-driving car, and the navigation system brings you right to a designated parking spot; it's by the entrance closest to your seats. As you walk in, you're shown an ideal route to your seats. Once you get there, a drone delivers the snacks that you ordered with the ticket. Just before the game starts, you receive a notification - an offer to upgrade to seats in the 'Player's View' virtual-reality lounge that just became available.

While this might sound like the fan experience of the 22nd century, it's right around the corner - and sports data analytics is making it happen.

Smart stadiums will be able to boost the fan experience through the connection between customers' devices and a network of sensors around the complex. These innovations will go a long way towards making a day at the stadium even more unique, an improvement that will pay dividends in fan satisfaction and engagement.

Sports, data and the Internet of Things

The speed at which we can gather and analyse data is improving on a daily basis, thanks largely to advanced analytics tools and the Internet of Things (IoT). In all areas of life, from smart stores to smart homes, IoT-connected devices are taking in a wealth of information.

Innovations enabled by the IoT are set to revolutionise the fan experience.

We know that retailers are already capitalising on this technology to improve the in-store experience, so it is not much of a stretch at all to imagine how such methods will do the same for sports fans and the in-stadium experience. In fact, these smart stadiums are already being built; that game day of the future is closer than you could imagine.

Smart stadiums will be able to boost the fan experience through the connection between customers' devices and a network of sensors around the complex. These innovations will go a long way towards making a day at the stadium even more unique, an improvement that will pay dividends in fan satisfaction and engagement.

Marketing analytics for the professional league

Just like a concert, no home theatre setup can compete with the experience of actually being in the stadium when your team takes the field. Recognising that and delivering the best experience on game day will be instrumental in filling every seat, and customer intelligence solutions will make it happen.

Everyone who has been to a game has seen the excellent front-row seats that stay empty through the night - and some may even have tried sneaking into them! With marketing analytics, those empty seats become an opportunity for fans and franchises alike. With omnichannel data, marketers will know when seats are free, as well as which fans are most likely to pay for that upgrade when it's available.

Customer intelligence analytics will help make sure there isn't an empty seat in the house.

Through sentiment analysis and one-to-one marketing, stadium operators will be able to ensure that the stands are filled with fans, maximising their ability to deliver on the unique, in-person game day experience.

Putting the fan on the field

Just a few decades ago, there wasn't much more to do at a game besides sit down and watch the action with what little snacks concession stands had to offer. This is a far cry from modern stadiums, which are now entertainment mega-complexes on their own.

Data analytics will help deliver unique offers to the fans who want them.

The next iteration of stadium technology will go a step further in fan engagement, figuratively putting them right into the middle of the action happening on the field. Player stats, close up shots and replays will all be available at a spectator's fingertips on a connected device, or live in the virtual- or augmented-reality premium lounges.

With data analytics behind the scenes, putting these opportunities in front of the fans most likely to take them up is an easy task. All the elements of such a smart stadium work together to deliver a more immersive and satisfying experience for fans and an improved revenue stream for franchise owners.

To learn more about how SAS Analytics are helping to drive this sporting revolution, contact us today.

About the Author

Travis Murphy is Marketing Lead for SAS Solutions in Australia and New Zealand. He has over 15 years of experience in BI, DW, Data Visualization and Analytics. Prior to SAS, he held roles with other large IT vendors focused on business analytics. These roles include product management, consulting, training and presales. In his current role at SAS, Travis covers a broad range of offerings and works with customers in adopting SAS technology and driving better insight from all available data.

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