Through our spotlight interviews, we have been able to get a better sense for how our speaker faculty balance data-driven decision making in a corporate environment and how they are utilizing data to better understand their fans and corporate partners.
Today’s interview is with Arri Landsman-Roos, Director of Analytics for the Jacksonville Jaguars. At the forefront of the industry-wide data & analytics revolution, he discussed how it has positivley affected his organization
What were the main factors that inspired you to pursue a career in the sports industry?
Like many kids, I spent a lot of free time playing and watching sports. In school, I always gravitated toward math. Numbers and sports frequently overlapped for me, but it wasn’t until college that I truly began to recognize how I might merge these two interests into a career. Any opportunity to analyze data excites me, so making sports the subject matter only adds to the enjoyment. The competitive, team-oriented culture that exists within a sports organization further fueled my desire for a career in this industry.
How is your organization utilizing data & analytics as a means to more effectively engage and retain both fans and corporate partners throughout the course of a season?
We make a concerted effort to log interactions we have with fans and partners so we can better understand how these actions impact engagement and retention. Our most developed cases include the use of a season ticket member retention model to focus our renewal efforts, a “disengaged fan list” to help identify fans we’ve lost touch with mid-season, and a “hot lead list” to highlight non-purchasers who are, on average, three times more likely to purchase tickets than the average non-purchaser. We’re continually looking at how we can integrate more types of data and improve the accuracy of our models. Many of these projects are now evolving into their next form.
Have you found it difficult to balance a data-driven approach to implementing marketing and business intelligence strategies without eliminating human beings from the decision making process?
The Jaguars maintain a very data-oriented culture. We use data to augment our strategies alongside the wealth of experience that our organization holds. We’ve built a great decision-making process by weaving together personal expertise with numbers. At the same time, there are many cases where people are happy to make one less decision, and that’s where we let the data take over.
The sports industry has been at the forefront of data & analytics for the past decade as people who were teenagers or college students during the “Moneyball” era are now working in the business, often in senior-level positions. How has this industry-wide data & analytics revolution impacted your organization’s ability to hire and develop talent in an increasingly competitive space within the sports landscape?
We’ve established some technically rigorous requirements for new hires in the Analytics department, but the increased recognition of the opportunity to apply those skills in sports has helped us attract the right talent. That said, hiring can still prove to be very challenging as we compete with companies where the attractiveness of the sports industry isn’t enough to win over a candidate. To remain competitive, we’ve developed our Analytics department with a strong focus on autonomy, empowerment, and practicality, while maintaining an emphasis on fostering intellectual excitement.
Are there any specific emerging trends or technologies in the data & analytics space that you believe will be particularly impactful to marketers in the sports industry?
The application of virtual and augmented reality to sports and entertainment is very interesting, but I’m most excited by the developments in machine learning and artificial intelligence. This includes improvements in prediction and classification techniques that will allow us to enhance our decision-making and personalization for fans, as well as the continuing advances in the capabilities of bots and their potential to help keep fans engaged. The Amazon Go store will be a great case study in the integration of artificial intelligence with the physical world. We have to remain aware and considerate of how fans’ privacy changes as we look to integrate data further in what we do, but I look at what Amazon is doing as an example of how we might use sensors and image recognition in the stadiums and arenas of the future. The idea that a fan could scan their phone, walk into a stadium, grab a drink, throw on a jersey in the team store, get a burger at halftime, and walk out after a win without ever having to pull out a ticket, their wallet, or their phone even a second time is really exciting to me.
The XLIVE Data & Analytics Summit will convene festival and live event producers, leading data and analytics executives, in addition to brands hosting their own corporate events and festivals. With digitization of the live event experience – event organizers can now harness the power of their data to more effectively engage attendees, understand customer behavior, increase revenue, analyze competition, identify talent trends, monetize assets, enhance sponsorship activation and more!
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