Customer experience for sports and entertainment is continuing to evolve before fans very eyes. As the weather begins to warm, fans are excited to head back to the arena, field, and theater to cheer on their favorite pastimes and celebrate. Digital Velocity ’22: The Ultimate Sports, Media and Entertainment CX Event stepped companies orchestrating these events through how to meet the moment of this mass return to in-person – and  even virtual – entertainment. Increasing personalization, adapting to new technology, and even hearing where experts think the industry is going were all covered on Tuesday, May 12th at our Digital Velocity ’22: The Ultimate Sports, Media and Entertainment CX Event.

Here are the Top 5 Key Takeaways on Customer Experience for Sports and Entertainment in 2022

1. Become Proactive Rather Than Reactive 

Companies are in a position of having a lot of data about your patrons, and are now tasked with creating opportunities with this data. In order to make their customer experience more enjoyable and your life easier you must use the data to anticipate their needs. Instead of reacting to changes in technology and the industry itself, change the game, go out and create new practices, embrace new technology, and set new goals in order to meet the growing and ever changing demand that we are constantly experiencing. Lead the market, do not let others dictate the trajectory of your business. 

“We need to aggregate, build models, become more proactive versus reactive based on how people are behaving, and speak to people in the brands they are using.” – Michael Davis, VP Corporate Strategy, Shift Paradigm

2. Get to Know Your Patrons 

Understanding who your patrons are, what they like, and what they value will make all the difference in your marketing. Changing your marketing strategy from things you think they will like to events and products you know they will like not only saves you time and money, but most importantly shows that there is a level of trust and understanding between the patron and the company. There is a fine line between a customer feeling as though they have entrusted you with their data and as though you have just taken it. Be careful how you personalize marketing to the consumer. 

“How do we get a really holistic view of the fan and then use it to find new fans, or to market to them better, advertise to them more efficiently, creating new products they want? How do we get that data and respond to our customers and then use it to market to new customers? It’s important to really get to know that fan.” – Julie Souza, Head of Sports, Global Professional Services, AWS

“We are looking at predictive models and behavioral data across 30 plus websites, how they are behaving across these different brands. That directly feeds our ability to do experience design. For example, someone who has a horse, participates in a certain brand, engages with a certain magazine, has a certain subscription service, this lets us know we should now offer them this new service or product. They don’t want to feel like they’ve been hit by a corporate service, but a trusted product.” – Michael Davis, VP Corporate Strategy, Shift Paradigm

“First and foremost, our audience is relatively niche and craves authenticity across the board. If we take something creative or an experience from the eastern horse riding side, it will fall flat on the western horse riding side. Our audiences’ ages differ across business lines, as well as for social issues. These segments help inform the way we talk to them and how we prioritize value in our company and plan for the future.” – Jason Crain, Director, Analytics and Insights, Equine Network

3. Use the External Resources Available to You

It’s okay if your organization cannot do everything. There are technical experts in the customer data field whose job it is to make your company excel and it is okay to rely on them when building a customer experience for sports and entertainment. While it can be hard to trust others with your customer data initiatives, their job is to help you succeed and only want to help make that happen for you. Have confidence that there are networks outside of your company that want to support you and help you take your company where you know it can go. The proper processes and proper people behind you make all the difference. 

“Run lean. Build resources for those verticals. Shift Paradigm helped us set up our data lake, which is our source of truth outside of Tealium. Work with Tealium support. Look to invest in an analyst. Technical resources are hard to find and not always easily deployed across platforms. Shift Paradigm has bought us time until we figure out what we need to hire for ourselves. The resources you need today won’t be the resources you need in three months, and Shift Paradigm helps get over that hurdle.” – Colin Bunn, CTO, Equine Network

Own the data, keep that close. When using the data, outsource for help. We own the collection and analysis. But when we need the people to crunch the numbers, Shift Paradigm helps and we don’t have to keep them on staff all the time.” – Jason Crain, Director, Analytics and Insights, Equine Network

4. Select the Right CDP for Your First-Party Data

First party data is arguably the most important asset your company has,  so be sure to protect it and organize it in a manner that reflects its value. Take the time to find a Customer Data Platform that fits your company’s needs, as well as one that understands not only what you are currently attempting to accomplish but where you want to be in the future. 

“We love Tealium because it’s allowing us to look at the data layer differently – maintenance and governance, data privacy, not just tags. Tealium has helped us tackle those issues, and they were neutral to our technology stack with all our brands. Being technology neutral is very important.” –  Ali Shoukat, Manager, Technology Innovation, Cisco

“A CDP is great for having your data all in one place and eliminates manual processes. It is extremely important that our first-party data strategy is at the heart of everything we’re doing. We want a single source of truth that we can activate across all channels.” – Milin Shah, Digital Experience – Insights & MarTech, UPS

5. Customize Pricing Models Based on Customer Experience

It is no secret that different consumers value different things. Thus, having a more elaborate pricing model where you can customize valuable seats based on patron interest data, whether that be closer to a good concession stand, bar or even the exit, is useful. Knowing who you are selling to and what they value will make your job easier and their experience infinitely better. Use your data to increase the profitability of your company and the experience of your customers.  

“How do you optimize the ticket price? That can mean different things for different people – sometimes it’s the closest seat to the floor, or sometimes it’s closest to the bars. You need to optimize different experiences and then price them differently.” – Julie Souza, Head of Sports, Global Professional Services, AWS

Watch our On Demand recording of Digital Velocity ’22: The Ultimate Sports, Media and Entertainment CX Event and learn even more about creating an amazing customer experience for sports and entertainment! And be sure to check out the rest of our Digital Velocity 2022 line-up for Retail, Travel and Hospitality, Financial Services, and Healthcare. Even if it’s outside your industry, there are still incredible insights and ideas to be discovered for powering up your CDP!

Post Author

Sophie Saddik
Sophie Saddik Is the Content Marketing Intern at Tealium. She is currently studying at NYU with a concentration in English Literature and International Relations.

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