(*StellarAlgo is a proud partner of Front Office Sports)
A strong ticket sales strategy is an important key to success for any professional sports team, especially those looking to grow rapidly.
“When we look at building a strong ticket sales strategy, our first focus is understanding our audience: how our fans engage with the club, their preferences and purchasing behaviors and their experience with our guest services,” says Allison Yee-Garcia, VP of Marketing at Sacramento Republic FC. “We seek to understand these key metrics through genuine interactions and strong data collection and analysis, which then shape how we move forward with new initiatives.”
A strong understanding of the audience gives a team a head start on preparing for the future.
“As we look toward a potential MLS stadium, we are already planning to implement technologies that will enable a robust understanding of our fans, including a cashless environment, beacon technology and data-enabled fan activations,” Yee-Garcia says. “We also recently launched an official mobile app that’s helping us with fan profile development and surveying as well as setting the groundwork for a move to an all-digital ticketing environment in 2020.”
Building a strong sales strategy can be a difficult process. In the opinion of many professionals within the sports industry, however, it comes down to a few critical factors.
In an age where everyone carries a screen in their pocket at all times, consumers are being sold products at every possible second. Teams need to find ways to make fans care about their messaging in order to stand out. This is one philosophy that StellarAlgo imparts to the more than 30 professional sports teams they work with.
“Your fans are busier than they’ve ever been in history. They get more marketing messaging than they ever have,” says StellarAlgo Founder and CEO Vince Ircandia. “There’s more demand on their attention than there ever has been in the past. While you have these really, really passionate people that love your brand, teams need to innovate and think hard about how well they understand their fans, and message to them on a more personal basis.”
Personal messaging can help build the lifetime value of that customer. For that reason, teams that develop a strong community around their brand will see better results than using a more generic marketing strategy.
After recently beginning a partnership with the Kansas City Royals, StellarAlgo is working with the team to go through audience analytics including survey data, marketing automation, primary and secondary ticket purchase history, and other datasets to find commonalities amongst their most engaged fans. This helps the team realize the best ways to cut through the clutter and reach new fans.
All the game days at #TheK you want for one low monthly fee.
— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) April 30, 2019
Know The Important Analytics
It is expensive to find new fans. If teams can better understand the fans within their current databases, they can find ways to bring them back more and more frequently.
“Segmenting those fans starts with having a really good dataset,” Ircandia says. “So we are using pretty strong machine learning techniques in order to really let our algorithms determine how fans cluster and which of those attributes are really important in terms of the messaging around the fans.”
For example, StellarAlgo helps teams pay attention to the size of frequent transactions. This can often be some of the most predictive data. Understanding where a customer is in their customer life cycle can help teams tailor their messaging.
“If there’s someone that’s just made a whole bunch of purchases with you, you’re going to deal with that a little bit differently than you would deal with somebody that maybe hasn’t engaged with you in a while or if they’ve engaged with you in a really specific way as of recently,” says Ircandia.
Behavioral and demographic data also makes a difference. Certain groups of people may like to purchase tickets far in advance, some may prefer to purchase day of game. Others value cheap tickets over premium experiences or family events over other themes. Understanding how those fans cluster helps prepare ticket reps for the sales process.
Know Why Something Was Successful
Engagement, clicks and revenue all factor into whether or not a sales campaign was as effective as it could have been. But why did the customers respond the way they did to the different elements of the campaign? Understanding this is important to replicating success in the future.
Be Able To Change Course Quickly, If Needed
Many organizations don’t have the time to evaluate the success of a campaign until after it is over. Machine-learning and automation can help solve some of these issues.
“Organizations are so lean and people get so busy that the postmortems that they do for sales campaigns are not generally automated. That’s one of the things that we try to do at StellarAlgo with our machine-learning technology,” Ircandia says.
“With this instant insight, teams can pivot in the middle of campaigns and learn. Being able to iterate on what kind of touchpoints or what types of creative might be resonating with different segments at different points in time is really important. It can make a difference when it comes to turning fans into repeat visitors.”
For more on how StellarAlgo delivers actionable data insights for Major League teams, visit stellaralgo.com/major-league.