“We want to use the data for everything. When should we be talking to our fans? What type of fans consume what type of content and when? We’d like to translate the insight that we have currently from our one-to-one email marketing efforts and try to shift our entire organization that direction.”-Rich Wang, Director of Analytics & Fan Engagement for the Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings connect and engage with their fans in new, innovative ways by leveraging cutting-edge technologies. The adoption of new tech, like digital ticketing, created many new sources of fan data. However, the Vikings realized that their siloed approach to intaking this data was preventing them from building next-level relationships with their fans.
“Everything was separated, and we had no way to connect the dots between data points,” said Rich Wang, Director of Analytics & Fan Engagement for the Minnesota Vikings.
The team needed a solution that would allow them to connect all of their fan data in one database. The team knew if they could achieve this, they could understand that fan as an individual – across all touchpoints – and engage with them in personalized conversations and provide better game-day experiences.
The Vikings looked to Ticketmaster’s Nexus Partners to help consolidate multiple data sources into a single, centralized location. The SSB Central Intelligence Platform brought all of the Vikings fan data into a single database, where it was then cleaned to eliminate duplicate records and enhanced to provide the most comprehensive view of their fans.
The powerful data management tool integrated seamlessly with the Ticketmaster platform, making it easier than ever for the team to access real-time and historical data from a myriad of sources in a single location and a unified format. For instance, the Vikings assumed 60-80% of their season ticketholders were attending every game. The consolidated data analysis helped them realize this wasn’t the case and that the original ticket was being transferred multiple times prior to the game. Ticketmaster’s digital ticketing data provided a huge opportunity to build relationships with net new fans. Combined with the ticketing data sourced from Ticketmaster, the partnership allowed the Vikings to marry additional fan touchpoints to a single profile, including merchandise, concessions and more, to paint a clearer picture of every fan.
Now armed with a holistic view of each fan’s interaction with their brand, the Vikings were able to glean key strategic insights and improve operational decision making. Within a month, the team had a functioning data warehouse system and results in-hand to empower their team and drive revenue.
For the first time, the Vikings had a centralized database that helped them identify new fans, create more personalized marketing and create operational efficiency to deliver better game-day experiences.
“We literally had hundreds of thousands of people buying merch and tickets before, but that data just sat in siloes,” says Wang. “SSB opened those doors and let it all in. They collect it, they clean it, and they make it all accessible. Now, whether you’re engaging with us by email or our app, or by any in-stadium purchase, all that information is sent to the warehouse and presented into a user-friendly interface that we can use to drive efforts across our business.”
The team then used this information to improve its marketing strategy. Instead of relying on assumptions around what a “typical” Vikings fan may respond to, the marketing team was able to craft multiple fan personas modeled on real Vikings fan data, as well as any captured preferences and expectations. Armed with this data, the marketing team began to send highly targeted, personalized email marketing campaigns to single ticket and season ticket holders – even acknowledging that individual fan’s game-day experiences down to the number of touchdowns during the game they attended. As a result, the Vikings saw a +20% increase in Email Open Rates, leading to higher conversions in ticket sales than in past years.
An additional operational benefit of the Vikings’ data-driven approach was improved staffing efficiency. Because the team now had access to time and gate of entry data, they were able to ensure each entry point was adequately staffed for smoother game-day entry.
“SSB’s Central Intelligence Platform is really the engine to our car. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to do this work, so it’s the backbone to our operation.”