Twitter, Weather And The Information: IBM And The Senators’ New Approach To Analytics

For skilled sports groups, the sport has modified relating to how they market tickets to followers. Greater than ever, groups are turning to know-how to realize insights into tips on how to greatest market ticketing alternatives to their followers. One group main the cost on this space is the Ottawa Senators.

“We need to enhance our retention on season ticket renewals and develop internet new enterprise and sponsorships. We have to know the way to attain out to those segments based mostly on their previous experiences with the group. In doing so, we hope to transform that into a greater supply based mostly on what they did up to now,” Ottawa Senators chief advertising officer and vice chairman of ticketing, Peter O’Leary stated.

To achieve a greater understanding into the workforce’s clients and sponsors, the Senators–like a rising variety of different sports groups–turned to analytics. Lately, the Senators started making use of a conduct-based mostly, predictive analytics know-how from IBM, referred to as IBM Fan Based mostly Perception, to mix knowledge starting from climate, geospatial info and Twitter sentiment to find out how one can greatest market ticketing alternatives to their followers.

“In taking a look at our first predictive fashions, we noticed some unsurprising issues, like that the nearer you reside to the world, the extra possible you’re to resume your season tickets. Nevertheless, we discovered some shocking issues. For example, for those who’re a pure hockey fan who solely purchases hockey tickets from us, you’re much less more likely to renew after a nasty season than a hockey fan that additionally experiences our live shows and different promotions. From this, we discovered that our greatest shoppers from a renewal standpoint are the shoppers that use different elements of our enterprise,” O’Leary defined.

For IBM, in creating its Fan Based mostly Perception product, the objective is to offer analytics options that may be carried out by any skilled sports workforce.

“There’s a bottom line platform that we’re creating that will probably be related to any sports group in order that they will leverage analytics and take a look at knowledge of particular person clients. The answer generates totally different insights for each group from their knowledge. We’re creating it in shut partnership with the Senators and they’re serving to us have the ability to present the actual-world enterprise necessities of a sports workforce,” stated IBM’s basic supervisor of analytics options, Alistair Rennie.

Whereas groups are capable of obtain vital quantities of analytical knowledge from the present model of IBM Fan Based mostly Perception, Rennie notes that future will permit groups to realize even higher insights into followers and their buying tendencies.

“The preliminary launch of this answer doesn’t embrace exterior knowledge. We now have plans to incorporate exterior knowledge. Groups will be capable of take a look at how issues like climate, news and native occasions have vital impacts on individuals’s spending patterns and what they purchase and the place they go. Whereas some have checked out how this knowledge impacts issues, what we’re discovering is once you mix a number of totally different forces the predictive energy goes up exponentially. If it’s raining outdoors, individuals are extra possible to purchase umbrellas. If it’s raining and there’s an outside sporting occasion happening, umbrella gross sales might go up by an additional issue,” Rennie defined.

As know-how’s use turns into extra expansive, its position in advertising and promoting tickets to sports followers will solely proceed to develop. By way of know-how, groups are gaining higher insights, which can permit them to streamline the method and strategies by which they aim ticketing alternatives to followers.


Alicia Jessop is an lawyer licensed in California and Colorado who focuses on Sport Regulation. A professor on the College of Miami, Jessop teaches Sport Regulation, Sport Governance and Globalization of Sport. In 2011, Jessop based the Sport Regulation web site, Since then, she has been a contributor to and presently writes for The Huffington Publish and CNBC.