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Volume 26 No. 227
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Personalizing Fan Experiences Could Be Key To Better Engagement

King said schools need to provide prolific personalized recommendations for every fan
Photo: MARC BRYAN-BROWN
King said schools need to provide prolific personalized recommendations for every fan
Photo: MARC BRYAN-BROWN
King said schools need to provide prolific personalized recommendations for every fan
Photo: MARC BRYAN-BROWN

Connectivity and personalization will be the biggest improvements in the college fan experience over the next ten years, according to a panel of execs discussing leveraging data at the '19 Learfield IMG College Intercollegiate Athletics Forum. SSB Senior VP/Higher Education & Collegiate Athletics Steve Hank said business intelligence solutions companies like his own must understand who fans are, which comes through data. He said, “Wi-Fi is one. The app. What are they actually doing at the concessions stand? What are they doing with their merchandise purchases? What are their surfing habits?” He concluded, “You have to build that profile of that person and then communicate with them.” SIDEARM Sports President & CEO Jeff Rubin called Wi-Fi the “new scoreboard.” He said, “In the ‘80s, ‘90s and 2000s, it was all about putting in these massive scoreboards and really that was to enhance the fan experience. Really that’s what Wi-Fi is as we enter the 2020s. Wi-Fi gives you the ability to expand your brand.”

FAN FEELINGS: Univ. of Texas Exec Senior Associate AD/External Affairs Drew Martin said sports is a “relationship-based industry,” noting fans "want to feel valued." He said, "They want to feel like we know them. They want to feel like we’re listening." Duke Senior Deputy AD/Administration & Legal Affairs and Chief of Staff Nina King said universities need to provide “prolific personalized recommendations” for every fan specific to who they are, where they live and other factors. Univ. of Kentucky Exec Associate AD and CRO Jason Schlafer noted surveys are an effective tool for engaging fans, but added, “Then you have to be prepared to act on that.”