(StellarAlgo is a proud partner of Front Office Sports)
In 2018, Minor League Baseball experienced an expected slight decrease in attendance due to fewer scheduled games and unusually cold April and May. It is more important than ever that teams from single-A to triple-A understand their fans and what keeps them coming out to the ballpark.
One tool that clubs are using to help with this process is StellarAlgo’s Customer Data Platform (CDP). StellarAlgo’s technology allows teams to consolidate fan-specific data and gain predictive insights about their customers and their behaviors. FOS spoke with a few of the clubs partnering with StellarAlgo to find out what they are doing to inform themselves and adjust their respective strategies.
The triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Indians had one of the highest total attendance and average attendance counts of all affiliated teams in 2018. Even so, the organization has partnered with StellarAlgo to find ways they can improve ticket sales.
Originally the team’s sales and marketing staff thought that a large number of their single-game buyers were returning year over year. However, using the StellarAlgo CDP, they determined that only 10% of their single-game buyers were returning as of the end of last season. This allowed them to shift their focus.
“We set the goal of getting that 10% up to 20% for single-game buyers this year,” Joel Zawacki, Assistant General Manager for Corporate Sales & Marketing states. “Having that information really changed our strategy with our ad campaigns, with our email campaigns, and with what we’re doing on social. Being able to pull and segment lists of previous purchasers within their platform and then turn that around and use it with our email provider has made both our paid and organic marketing efforts more efficient.”
El Paso Chihuahuas
The triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres are constantly looking for ways to up their fan engagement. Using StellarAlgo, the team is able to pull data to provide to their ticket sales team so that they can establish strong lines of communications with season ticket purchasers on the fence about renewing.
“Next year we have a pretty targeted plan that includes something that I’ve been preaching a lot: messaging post-game,” says Ross Rotwein, the organization’s Senior Manager Ticket Operations & Business Development Analytics. “We’re looking forward to doing that including touchpoints based off of the day of the week. If a fan purchased on a Sunday, which are our family days for example. Maybe they would be interested in a family pack on a Wednesday or something that might be more appealing for a family or that might be linked to a specific theme night. It’s things like that that I think are informing our approach now because we do have this information on hand.”
Great Lakes Loons
The Single-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers began working with StellarAlgo earlier this year. The decision is already paying dividends.
“In my role as Director of Ticket Sales,” says Noah Heiber, “we have an abundance of leads and information. So I think at times when someone doesn’t know which way to go as a sales rep, I have almost too much information or too many leads lists to give out. I have more leads than we can call it this moment, which is fantastic.”
StellarAlgo’s platform scores these leads, using dozens of attributes, on a daily basis which is helping teams prioritize who sales reps should call first.
The platform has allowed the Loons to maintain a more proactive outreach approach with their current clients and provides the information to target potential opportunities to upgrade current clients and find new plans for them, while also identifying potential problems before they arise.
“When we look at the attendance trackers,” Heiber says. “We notice if a certain account hasn’t been out to a game and can easily reach out to them to find out what issues might be happening now rather than asking for that when they don’t return next year.”
The team can also use the platform to identify certain sections of the stadium or packages that are not selling particularly well and their strategy can be adjusted accordingly.
“The venue heatmap identified an area that was very under utilized over the past three seasons,” says Eric Ramseyer, Director of Business Applications and Analytics. “It was an area that we only ever sold as part of a season package. Now we’ve opened that up for single game sales. That decision is projected to create an additional $8,000 in revenue for us.”
In addition to helping organizations increase revenue and attendance, it also helps them increase their efficiency. Data consolidation of this type would take a significant amount of time to accomplish manually. StellarAlgo’s CDP, however, accomplishes these tasks in an automated way so account executives and account managers can focus on selling and managing client relationships.
“Time is probably the most valuable resource any of us have in this business,” Zawacki points. “If we can be efficient with that time to make sure that we’re talking to the folks that seem unlikely to come back to us, I think that’s where our time can be best spent.”
For more information on how StellarAlgo provides actionable data insights for minor league sports teams, visit stellaralgo.com/minor-league.