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Volume 22 No. 44
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KAGR to provide NFL with deep dive in ticket sales, fan habits

The NFL and Kraft Analytics Group (KAGR) are lifting the curtains on an advanced ticketing database that promises to give everyone from Commissioner Roger Goodell to club sales teams nearly real-time insights into ticket transactions and usage.

Officials believe the tools can lead to substantial improvements to both club revenue and the in-stadium experience by allowing executives to quickly identify and respond to buying trends.

The software, quietly implemented last October, was made possible by the NFL’s decision in 2017 to discard its previously exclusive relationship with Ticketmaster and embrace an open distribution model. It includes transaction data from Ticketmaster, StubHub, SeatGeek and others. Also critical is the rapid expansion of mobile ticket usage.

“The goal of it all is to better understand customer behavior and data in the primary and secondary market, bridging that gap, looking at it holistically as one,” said Peter O’Reilly, NFL executive vice president of club business and league events.

The NFL chose KAGR, spun off of Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s Kraft Group in 2016, through an RFP process and is paying an annual fee to access the software. Teams can access five visualization tools, according to KAGR CEO Jessica Gelman:

We have trust in what the data is, and now they can do the super fun and interesting work of applying it to improving the customer experience.
Jessica Gelman

■ A seating map display showing ticket sales and transfers by stadium geography as they happen.

■ A season-ticket-holder tracker — when they use their own tickets or transfer them, and what that means for their future intentions to renew.

■ One tool tracking the intersection of the primary and secondary ticket markets, which officials think will allow them to spot inefficient pricing or sense changes in demand.

■ A comparison tool showing one club’s data against other teams (anonymously), both across the entire league and against predetermined peer clubs.

■ A customer insights tool that will help teams group fans into various categories to better understand their tendencies — do they buy tickets at the last second? Do they only care about certain matchups or times of year? Are they bargain hunters?

At league headquarters, Goodell and the rest of the C-suite have access to an executive summary, and a deeper summary of team data is generated for the club business development unit.

The Steelers, Jaguars, 49ers and Patriots beta-tested the KAGR products. The 49ers were integral in helping develop the “realization rate” metric, which combines season-ticket-holders’ ticket usage frequency and price at which they resold tickets to pinpoint the value they receive from their tickets, O’Reilly said. Across the league, teams combined for about 2,000 dashboard views in the first nine months, according to Robert Gallo, NFL senior vice president of club business development.

The main goal of the tool, Gelman said, is to streamline the path from raw data to decisions. “If you don’t trust the foundational data, that it’s accurate and right, it doesn’t matter what you roll out,” she said. Now that the setup is done, “We have trust in what the data is, and now they can do the super fun and interesting work of applying it to improving the customer experience.”