Driving Sports Fan Engagement Through Data and Innovative Technology

By Steven McInnes

This post will discuss how the sports industry is using data to innovate and improve fan engagement. Later today — Monday, January 29th — I will be off to San Francisco to take part in the 2018 Sports Performance Data and Fan Engagement Summit, happening Tuesday and Wednesday. It’s an event that I’ve been looking forward to — especially post CES, where new technology shaping the fan experience was on full display. In my opinion, when it comes to data, the sports ecosystem is extremely lucky: There is a treasure trove of data collected from everywhere and it is full of strategic potential.

From in-app, in-home, in-stadium, to live broadcast, and most recently with biometrics, each tech realm is an endless source of insights for teams, leagues, and brands to DRIVE innovation and OWN change for their customers and fans. The industry is more than aware of this… Look no further than the number of startups being acquired to deepen product offerings, and the hockey stick-like influx of accelerators and innovation labs worldwide. Everyone wants to be on top of their game: creating and building the next big thing.

Our Chief Innovation Officer, Roger Chabra, wrote about ‘innovation theatres’ late last year. He is a highly intelligent and experienced VC, and the theme of his post was bang on. This is especially true if you are someone who owns the mandate for digital transformation and innovation in your company. Innovation is not just about putting up some fancy glass walls and a ping pong table, it requires tough discussions about change (in terms of product and process) and the user journey both today, and down the road.

This week in San Francisco I will be paying close attention to how industry leaders address these issues in each of their respective companies. How are they moving faster to own change? What are they doing to shape the customer journey? How are they using data to create meaningful business outcomes? And most importantly, what are they doing to create a more personalized and tailored 1:1 experience with their fans?

Speed is the key here. The marketplace demands it. Lean, cross functional teams are more valuable than ever before, especially in sports where just like on the playing field, execution always wins out over strategy.

The smart app era is here and the time for transformation is now.

Some of the best minds responsible for some of the biggest properties in sport will jam on this issue, and others this week. As one of the people responsible for helping TribalScale’s sports partners create their own new era of innovation, I am excited to take part and engage in some great discussions with industry peers who are focused on data, engagement, and innovation.

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About the author

Steve McInnes is an Agile and Digital Transformation Partner at TribalScale. He works with clients in the sports, media and entertainment verticals.

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