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Oracle Data Cloud Blog

How sports marketers can engage fans using data

This week’s guest blog post is contributed by Melissa LaFrance, Senior Client Partner, Media & Entertainment, Oracle Data Cloud.

In April, the NFL Players Association signed a multi-year deal with WHOOP, the wearable device company, to collect and access player data related to diet, sleep, exercise, heart-rate and other physical information.

The idea here is that giving players access to data will help them make small adjustments that can positively impact on-field performance. Players can also share their data, which is cool for fansand, interesting for coaches and recruiters, too.

The deployment of data in sports should come as no surprise, as we’ve witnessed its success in the past.

Take the story of “Moneyball,” for example; the movie and true story about the Oakland A’s using data to transform their 2002 season and the game of baseball as we know it.

Their record-breaking winning streak that leveraged sabermetrics helped prove data has a permanent place in sports.

So there you have it. Data is the new norm when it comes to on-field performance. But what about off the field, in the stands?

Don’t sports leagues exist because of fans? Shouldn’t we deploy data-driven strategies to ensure fans also are getting the maximum experience?  

Read this next: All our data-driven sports blogs

It’s possible to do and, for those marketers embracing it, it can be very rewarding.

Take, for example, the ability to differentiate super fans from occasional and bandwagon fans, and tailor messaging to them accordingly.

Or the capability to determine a fan’s demographic profile, TV viewership habits, specific team and player interests, purchase behavior and other offline and online attributes. All this information contributes to more relevant, interesting messaging and, as a result, better fan engagement, which leads to incremental team revenue.

The NFL, for instance, can work with third-party providers to differentiate between a Red Zone prospect versus someone who prefers to watch a game in person.

The league also can determine whether these fans should receive related offers via Facebook, Snapchat or some other online destination.

Data can help the NFL and all sports leagues identify the brands and products their fans are most interested in, thereby driving better partnership marketing and sponsorships.

As we see with on-field performance, data turns tradition on its head. It can transform the way leagues and teams build for the future and it can predict outcomes. Today, data is being applied to other sports functions, including marketing, and those who take advantage of all data can offer are transforming the game for everyone—not just the players.

About Melissa LaFrance

Melissa is Senior Client Partner for Oracle Data Cloud’s Media & Entertainment vertical. In this role, she helps networks, studios and sports leagues leverage data for strategic planning, analytics and activation.
Melissa previously served in a variety of ad-tech roles, including data management platform sales at Oracle, business development at PayPal and corporate and product marketing for demand side platform, Digilant.

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Image: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

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