Fanatics, Ticketmaster Find Insights Through Data Analysis


Fanatics and Ticketmaster agreed to sell verified tickets and merchandise on each other’s sites earlier this week. While there are many interesting components to this deal, one driving factor for the new partnership is using data to drive incremental revenue growth.  

In the book The Sports Strategist: Developing Leaders for a High-Performance Industry, my co-authors and I talk about how data mining can be used for sports organizations to target the marginal fan. This often means examining data to identify current or potential customers that are likely to make a purchasing decision in the near-term if targeted at the right time with the right message to drive the right call-to-action.

 Fanatics and Ticketmaster have identified a clear opportunity to identify and monetize the marginal fan. More specifically, it is easy to see that fans looking to buy a team’s merchandise on the Fanatics site should be more likely to purchase a ticket to a game or sporting event on the Ticketmaster site than the average person and vice versa. Having more granular data on what and how frequently customers buy merchandise can help Ticketmaster both identify customers to target and what messaging will specifically resonate with those customers.

 Fanatics and Ticketmaster’s new relationship is a good example of the importance of data-driven sports partnerships that should be applied outside of ticketing and merchandise. In particular, one key reason to partner with a sports property is to generate lift from an economic and engagement perspective. Both Ticketmaster and Fanatics are driving tangible lift in both areas by partnering with each other because they are increasing the probability of reaching their target demographics. 

 Using data to drive incremental growth is at the heart of Block Six Analytics’ (B6A’s) product offerings. Buyers and sellers of sports sponsorship use B6A’s Corporate Asset Valuation Model (CAV) within our Partnership Scoreboard platform to identify fit between partnership activations and a company’s business and brand goals. The CAV examines how effectively a partnership with a sports property enables a company to better reach its customers in the right channel with the ability to drive tangible business results.

 One of the new ways B6A can use data to identify these opportunities is using our Social Sentiment Analysis Platform (SAP) to determine the demographics of partners and properties by looking at Twitter accounts. More specifically, B6A can look at the follower activity on Twitter to predict the age and gender breakdowns of those accounts.

 We completed a sample of analysis of AT&T and Notre Dame to illustrate how this information can be applied to a sponsorship analysis. The average wireless customer is between 43-49 years old with AT&T's average wireless customer being 46.6 years old. SAP found that Notre Dame Football Twitter followers are 45.4% more likely to be ages 44+ than AT&T’s current followers. Therefore, AT&T can potentially leverage a relationship with Notre Dame to better target and engage its wireless customers through a Twitter campaign. 

 The key to this example is that a potential Notre Dame sponsorship is a particularly good fit for AT&T given its customer base that drives current top-line revenue for the company in its Entertainment Group and Consumer Mobility business units. Having specific insights for specific companies about specific partnerships is really where data-driven analysis provides significant benefits to both partners and properties. This is the type of information should be at the heart of any conversation about sponsorship ROI.