From theme nights to bobblehead giveaways, NBA teams have gone to big lengths to improve game days for their ticketholders. Now, thanks to new technology, the Miami Heat are using data from fans’ interactions online and within the stadium, such as retail engagement and purchase history, to personalize their experience.
The customization begins when fans approach the main stadium gate, where their tickets pop up on their phones automatically. After entering the stadium, the fans can also receive personalized messages, ranging from food vendors they’ll enjoy to new gear celebrating their favorite players.
This deeper understanding of fan interactions has also changed the way the Heat operate their stadium. By analyzing the times that guests actually arrive for games, they’ve been able to rework how often eateries prepare food to massively reduce waste and spoilage. “We were able to determine that if we shift the start times of our guest services reps by 15 minutes, we could save almost a million dollars.” says Edson Crevecoeur, Miami Heat executive.
We want to know our customer. We want to anticipate what they want so we can meet their interests.Lisette Toirac Perdomo, Director of Data Platform Services
A custom experience
To create a digital experience that’s tailored to individual fans, the Heat are going beyond typical metrics like food and merchandise sales. Instead, the team has created 360-degree customer profiles that compile information from a number of sources including interactions within the arena and digital touchpoints on the Heat app, Heat.com, AAArena.com, and MiamiHeatstore.com.
Using the power of Microsoft’s cloud-based Azure platform, the Heat can break down the diverse sources of information into powerful insights with Adobe Analytics. Then, the team can use Adobe Campaign to contact fans directly with offers and experiences based on their individual preferences such as messaging, content, and products.
Changing the game
After seeing a boost in season ticket sales and impressive cost savings, the Heat are already in talks to share their new innovations with other sports franchises. For fans, it means a future where their favorite teams are able to customize experiences that are just for them.
“Now we’re helping other teams. That is really unique,” says Matthew Jafarian, executive vice president of business strategy for the Heat and American Airlines Arena. “Data is a new revolution in the business of sports.”