Shot Callers: Don White, CEO, Satisfi Labs

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Artificial intelligence has ushered in a new age in college and professional sports. Thanks to technology like chat bots, organizations can be much more efficient with their manpower in serving the needs of fans before, during, and after games.

FOS Editor Ian Thomas sits down with Don White of Satisfi Labs to discuss the importance of understanding fan behavior and how artificial intelligence helps teams throughout professional sports do just that.

Edited highlights appear below:

On the beginning of Satisfi Labs’ AI technology (00:52)

White: “It started with such a simple idea: looking at Citi Field, hungry, wanting something on the menu and saw the bacon on a stick was there. So we thought how could a team know the bacon on stick demand? So what teams have kind of figured out is that now by providing a conversational search, they’re able to own the dialogue with the fan and now understand their wants and needs. It always starts out typically on the guest experience side just to help the fan get what they want. Now the transition is the marketing people are getting involved, the ticketing people are getting involved and now it’s moving heavily into a sales product as opposed to just a customer service product.”

On making fan data actionable (01:50)

White: “So the concept behind our product is that it’s omni-channel. So whether a fan enters through the web or through the app or through Facebook or Alexa or what have you, there’s a trail of their queries. We call them. We track those back to devices or if there is login data, we could track it back to the actual fan. We keep profiles that are available to the team or the venue and then show them they’re intents. They’re looking for a designated driver, that means they’re probably also looking for a beer, or maybe they want to be a designated driver and they might not be interested in a beer. So now you’re going to be able to do smart offers and discounts in addition to just adding to your CRM what they want or how they operate.”

On the uses for Satisfi Labs technology in music and sports (03:58)

White: “I was at Bonnaroo, which is in Tennessee, middle of nowhere, and we were able to get a ton of data about what artists or types of bands people want to see. So there’s the lineup and the lineup is based on social demand in theory, but what about who’s really looking for who and who’s hoping who is going to be performing? So when you think about sports, we start doing more about the players they’re interested in and the merch of those players as opposed to just generic merch. What kind of merch do you want? What kind of media do you want?”

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On the future of artificial intelligence technology in sports (7:01)

White: “I mentioned products like Google and Siri, all of those engines are going to be able to tap into the knowledge we are creating very soon. It’s going to be a consolidation of access points and then the competition is going to be around ‘what more can I do with this conversation?’ Now that I’ve talked to you about your tickets, well I can maybe sell your ticket, I could dispatch someone to walk you to your seat. I could have then have your order ready when you get there. We could start to build more convenient trails of things. Right now they’re all kind of separated, broken out, but we haven’t really created the one thing that can take care of all facets of it for you in one single experience. That’s the missing link.”