Understanding your audience, particularly the behavior of a sports fan, is an invaluable tool for the client, the sponsor and everyone involved, according to a team of experts at the Sports Marketing Symposium in New York City on Wednesday.

“Right now, analytics are telling us a ton about consumer behavior,” said Meredith Kinsman, digital strategist, group director, Octagon. “Data enables you to reach any goal you want to reach. It gives you the tools and the necessary support, which in today’s world of uncertainty is critical.”

How analytics are tied into the fan experience was the focus of a panel titled “Creating a Competitive Advantage: Leveraging Data to Create a Deeper Understanding of Fan Behavior.”

“Through platforms like Facebook we know what your interests are and we know where you are spending your time online,” she said. “Right now we can predict what you have done in the past and what you are going to do in the future.”

Kinsman works alongside the agency’s brand clients to create digital strategies throughout program ideation, planning and execution. She was featured along with Adam Grossman, CEO, Block Six Analytics; Richard Henderson, CEO, Stats; Johannes Waldstein, Founder & CEO, FanAI; and Kyle Nelson, co-founder and chief marketing officer, MVPindex.

“We are working with brands and teams to figure out how you can use the available data to create a compelling experience for the fan,” said Henderson. Stats is a leading sports data and technology company that analyzes performance data from more than 100,000 games a year.

“We are spending a lot of time with our science team right now to learn the fan’s preferences; what player you are interested in, what team you are interested in, and more of the fan’s behavior to better understand the audience,” he said. “What it all comes down to is understanding the fan through analytics, which is immeasurable for a sponsor looking to reach the target audience.”

“What we can see through the available data is what people are really engaging in versus what the media or anything else wants to believe,” said Grossman. “And we use that data to inform our clients where exactly they should be spending their sponsorship dollars.”

Grossman’s firm, Block Six Analytics, enables sports organizations to manage their sponsorship, media, ticketing, event, and billing activities on one platform. Their web-based application, Partnership Scoreboard, estimates the value of sponsorships to sports organizations and demonstrates new engagement opportunities for corporate partners.

“A lot of data that we end up working with is from our team clients or our platform clients, and they have names, emails and addresses which is a huge asset that they don’t really know what to do with,” said Waldstein. FanAl is described as an artificial intelligence driven audience monetization platform that collects fan data to build brand-specific personas and archetypes to predict behavior.

“All of this helps us predict fan behavior, which gives the client and potential sponsors a better understanding of the available audience,” added Kyle Nelson, whose firm ranks, measures and values more than 50,000 of the biggest influencers on social media in sports and entertainment. “The more you know about the fan, the better you can position yourself in this rapidly fragmented marketplace. Knowledge through these analytics is a powerful resource.”


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