Real-Time Social Data and Its Untapped Potential

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There used to be a time where a fan could scan their ticket, enter a stadium or arena, buy a hot dog, a beer, and an ice cream cone and enjoy the game without anyone knowing who they were.

Now, thanks to technology, teams, and leagues know who the fan is, who they sold their ticket to, what they like to buy, where they like to eat inside the facility, and how much time they spend in each place.

It seems natural that the next step to the data race that has enveloped major sports franchises over the last five years would be finding out how to monitor the sentiment of fans who are posting on social media during the game.

Enter Crowd 411, a visualization index of social pulse data at professional sports games and events, free to teams, sponsors, and fans interested in a quick view of what’s trending at games.

Built by Jeremy Gocke and his team at Ampsy in collaboration with Jeramie McPeek, former Vice President of Digital and Brand Strategy for the Phoenix Suns, Crowd 411 is able to surface social conversation inside venues without the need for beacon hardware, an advantage that McPeek sees as crucial for the adoption of the platform by teams and leagues going forward.

“First and foremost, we’re delivering “found data” to teams,” said McPeek when talking about the new doors the platform opens. “With this additional layer of data, teams now have a more comprehensive view of fan activity at games, as well as a conduit to engage directly with fans in a more authentic and meaningful way.”

A look at how Crowd411 breaks down the data it collects. (Image via crowd 411)

It is this new data that McPeek sees as a gateway to a whole new fan experience that can be customized based on how the fan is feeling on social media.

“Imagine being able to identify an influential fan with a large, engaged social following at a game. By using our technology, we can know, based on his social posts inside the venue, that his emotional reaction was at ‘85% Excitement’ during the 4th quarter after his favorite player scored a game-winning goal. Armed with this data, the team delivers a special jersey offer to this fan: ‘We’re offering you a free #12 jersey and everyone one of your followers a 25%-off code to purchase their favorite player’s jersey…’ Accompanying that offer is the video clip of the player’s game-winning goal. This is truly personalized commerce at scale.”

For those already using the tool, the insights have proved both valuable and actionable.

“The data gives us quick, efficient clarity on our loyal superfans who take to social during games, and we’ve had success retargeting and leveraging those,” said Raul Fernandez, Vice Chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment. “As we look to further unlock insights about what motivates and interests our fans, we’re eager to see how audience emotion data can help us engage event attendees with purpose and improve our customer experience over time.”

Besides delivering data that was once mostly tracked by multiple Tweetdeck columns and other social listening tools, teams now are able to have an out of the box solution that requires no setup or installation. Think of it as setting up a Snapchat geofilter but for all social media channels.

“The data is accessed through a cloud-based dashboard, requiring no set-up or on-site implementation,” mentioned McPeek. “Additionally, the venue geofences are predefined and all data capture, processing, and analysis is done automatically throughout the course of the game.”

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The ease of use, the opportunity to discover new things about their fans, and the chance to deliver on those insights with tailored content, offers, and rewards are what Gocke sees as the most exciting opportunities the tool presents, and ones that will help teams continue to find new revenue streams.

“We want to help teams personalize the game experience at scale. If you truly surprise and delight fans, the revenue piece follows.”

As we near the midpoint of 2018, the conversation around the impact of data inside the sports industry has only heightened and thanks to Crowd 411 data and social teams around the country now have a new tool to help them create an experience that can’t be found anywhere but in the arena.