New York Mets sign analytics to lead their lineup

The New York Mets are a perennial fan favorite, but they knew if they had the right information, they could do even more to engage their fan base. The goal? Analyze fan data at an individual level to discover what fans want and how they behave so the team can design experiences that appeal to them on a personal level.

How? For starters, the Mets are building a fan engagement hub that uses analytics to generate a 360-degree view of fans. The data will help them personalize communications and promotions. By analyzing data from social media, mobile and email, the Mets will accurately gauge fan sentiment relating to different players and games. And they’ll be able to interact with fans on league and team sites, social media channels and public forums with information the fans care about.

There’s an ever-increasing volume of data in the business of baseball and we’re always looking for new ways to analyze.
Lou DePaoli
Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer,
New York Mets.

“There’s an ever-increasing volume of data in the business of baseball and we’re always looking for new ways to analyze,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer Lou DePaoli of the New York Mets.

The Mets are planning to analyze all their data – from when and where fans buy tickets to the seats they select, what drinks they enjoy with their hotdogs, and the merchandise they buy – all to improve the fan’s experience.

The Mets are one of many sports organizations around the world using analytics to improve fan insight and engagement, operations, player management and marketing. Here are just a few:

Orlando Magic

Using analytics, the Orlando Magic are among the top revenue earners in the National Basketball Association (NBA), despite being in the 20th-largest market. The Magic accomplish this feat by studying the resale ticket market to price tickets better, predict season ticket holders at risk of defection (and lure them back), and analyze concession and product merchandise sales to make sure the organization has what the fans want every time they enter the arena. The club even uses analytics to help coaches put together the best lineup.

“Our biggest challenge is to customize the fan experience, and analytics helps us manage all that in a robust way,” says Alex Martins, CEO of the Orlando Magic. Having been with the Magic since the beginning (working his way up from PR director to president to CEO), Martins has seen it all and knows the value that analytics adds. Under Martins’ leadership, the season ticket base has grown to 14,200 and the corporate sales department has seen tremendous growth.

Major League Soccer

Fan loyalty is everything in the sports business. So when Major League Soccer (MLS), the top-flight pro soccer league in the US and Canada, wanted to deepen customer engagement, they turned to analytics for a better understanding of fans. Instead of sending out traditional static emails, MLS wanted to reach out to fans with personalized information that matched their location, club affinity (the league has 16 clubs in the US and three in Canada) and more. To do this, MLS had to first build a fan database.

The first step in the process was integrating data from various internal sources, including ticketing, merchandising and digital subscriptions from all of the league’s clubs. MLS then applied predictive analytics and data mining to get a better understanding of what its fans wanted. With these insights, MLS was able to put together an automated content relationship management program to increase ticketing and merchandising opportunities for its clubs.

Toronto Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs are planning to use analytics to help analyze aspects of the team’s performance. This initiative includes applying a data-driven approach to everything from player performance to on-ice strategy

This is the latest phase in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ move toward an analytics-focused approach to complement traditional hockey decision making. “Analytics is a big part of the future of sports, and we’re excited to add a sports analytics platform to complement our overall hockey evaluation process,” said Kyle Dubas, Assistant General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. “We’re bringing a fresh method to approaching all aspects of our team development and strategy this season.”


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