Statistics and Insights Applied For Digital and Social Media Sports Marketing, Part 2

In a prior post, I pulled out some actionable, especially interesting stats and insights from marketing agency Exact Target’s national conference and discussed some things sports marketers can learn and think about. Here is the second part of that post, since there was too much good stuff to fit in one!

Mobile coupons drive 10x the redemption rate of traditional coupons.

This shouldn’t be terribly surprising, but is very important as marketers in every field try to get the right offer to the right audience on the right medium at the right time. A big question for marketers, then: are you taking advantage of the high redemption rate of mobile coupons, whether you’re in sports or not?

For people in the sports space, are you utilizing a strong SMS campaign with readily redeemable deals, emails with coupons ready to use on-the-spot, a mobile app that can push live offers at your venue or a sponsor locale? Conversions and redemptions are more important than sheer reach, so heeding use and placement of mobile coupons, clearly, is as important as ever! (This may get even more interesting as teams start to use alerts and coupons that can be geo-fenced for pushing within a cell area or Wi-Fi network at the venue).

The average open rate of SMS and MMS promotions/offers is 98%

Related to the previous statistic,  this should perk up the ears of sports marketers, including those who think they are already effectively utilizing an SMS tactic. Fans do NOT want to sign up for your SMS club to constantly get reminders about ticket and merchandise sales. These are ok and, of course, valued and expected at times, but NOT the way to build a relationship with fans to maximize their value. Use SMS to build a trustful relationship with your fans first – share information, quotes, stats, and, yes, sales messages and special offers, at times. Start with an 80-20 or even 90-10 rule and track what converts best given similar execution. If you can get into the text stream of a fan among their family and friends [and maintain trust while doing so], there is a plethora of possibilities opened for valuable use of SMS with its superlative open rate!


 75% of mobile users are more likely to take an action after seeing a location-specific message.

A lot of sports, whether home or away games, is about fans all congregating together to cheer on their team…and doing so at a specific location – the team’s home venue for home games and various locales, often tied in with sponsors, for away game “watch parties.” If over seven out of every ten fans will take action after seeing location-specific messages, this means there is a HUGE opportunity for sports marketers. Offer a location-specific coupon or deal during a watch party, experiment with ad-hoc offers at home games or even at specific concession/merchandise stands at home games (these can even be more fun and novel; be creative!).

Personalized ads convert almost 80-100% higher than traditional.

This is a very powerful piece of information that sports marketers have been starting to utilize for years, now, especially in ticket sales. All the talk about “big data” is enough to make one’s head spin, but some of it comes down to utilizing that data to optimize processes and, more importantly, to create personalized interactions and offers and transactions for fans. Analytics are increasingly penetrating ticket sales and season ticket holder profiles. And if this sounds foreign, you may be behind the eight-ball!

Knowing what games a fan has purchased tickets to attend, what kind of multi-game plans they have checked out, with whom they like to attend games, food they like or may need, merchandise offers that may interest them based on their demographics and previous purchases and browsing, the list goes on. Every action a fan takes [or doesn’t take] can be used to inform and create better, more personalized ads and offers, which clearly convert quite well!


Every 12 minutes: 2 million tweets, 10 million Facebook posts, 5 million Bazaarvoice reviews read by online shoppers.

These numbers are always fun and are so hard to wrap one’s head around that they tend to lose significance. But, what it can and should mean for sports marketers is two things [that stand out].

First, there is a TON of noise out there, even more pronounced in the sports world and during sports events. How can you cut through the clutter to make sure fans are reading your posts? It would require the character length of those 2 million tweets to discuss that answer, but it starts with being consistent, listening, and responding. All this noise means your fans are always talking, that they’re always on and consuming. It’s incumbent on teams to be part of this conversation by standing out among the noise (providing valuable, not useless posts), being different, being consistent, and don’t be afraid to repost popular and major content and news; otherwise. Not to mention, fans rarely get tired of rehashing an exciting play or piece of good news to share!

The second note is the last point about how many reviews are read constantly. Many sports marketers neglect to monitor what fans are saying about their experience at a game, a venue, or an event, unless they specifically @ tag the team in their post. That doesn’t mean these posts don’t exist, both good and bad, on all social media, including Yelp, Yahoo, and others. There is chatter everywhere and, as the numbers above not on Bazaarvoice suggests, where there is content, there will be people there to consume it, too.

 The real value of email is the data it produces.
Not all insights are actionable. Not all data is insightful.

Not a mind-blowing note here, but this is something marketers and analysts should repeat to themselves a few times every day. Not every tactic needs to lead to a sale, not every “insight” will boost your numbers a ton, not every insight and data point is even useful. Always keep your objectives in mind, figure out what your goals are, how you reach those goals, and what needs to be measured to track and optimize that process, THEN start collecting data, learning, adjusting, and succeeding. Work hard, but work smart. That goes for professional athletes and the folks selling tickets to their games all the same.

I hope everyone that read this got something out of it or these insights has you thinking! It’s important to learn something new and practical every day, to get better at your job every day, and get a little smarter about your efforts every day. Just like the team takes the field or court or ice to work on honing long-practiced techniques looking to get just 1% better, you should do the same. Now go to work!



Posted by Neil Horowitz

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