My Favorite #SportsBiz Insights From the 2015 Sloan Sports and Analytics Conference #SSAC15

On February 27-28, 2015, the annual MIT Sloan Sports and Analytics Conference was held in Cambridge, MA, where top executives in pro sports and thought leaders in sports analytics gathered to speak on panels, learn, and engage.

The folks at @SloanSportsConf put together another fantastic conference and I followed along via Twitter at #SSAC15.

While there were several topics in analytics discussed this curated collection won’t touch on, the following tweets from the event span my interests, which include: sponsorship, social media, in-venue experience, mobile, the evolution of sports gambling, and ticket sales. Enjoy and thanks to all the speakers and tweets at the conference!



Remember, sponsorship is a luxury investment and it needs to be justified every year. – Sam Kennedy #SSAC15 (@risapecoraro)

@skennedysox says advertising on @MLB jerseys is inevitable and is in support of it. Too big of a revenue opportunity for teams. #SSAC15 (@akerdmanee)

Goal of web content isn’t more banner (ad) impressions; shift to more immersive fan experience. @vanDijk #SSAC15” (@jay_christley)

Revenue is the ultimate metric for brand and sponsorship, but brand shouldn’t be sacrificed for short term gain. #SSAC15 (@risapecoraro)

Entering partnerships it’s important to “define what the goals are & how you’ll measure.” @nfl SVP #SSAC15” (@jay_christley)


LA Kings @AEGCheese will use variable pricing w/ season tix next year – provides flex. for dynamic pricing #SSAC15” (@blais17)

#digisport topics @ #SSAC15: social sales, friction in data sources, attribution models, engagement measurement, segmentation. (@AJKarg)

Amazon and Google have changed customers’ expectations of personalized communications/offers, per @perez2k of Orlando Magic #SSAC15 (@SprtsMktgProf)

@google researcher @elyselorraine says sports ticket buyers watch 5M YouTube video every month. #SSAC15″ #smsports (@SloanSportsConf)

Wow … @MLSAtlanta2017 has deposits for 19,000 season tickets as @thesoccerdon just noted at. #SSAC15 (@courtemancheMLS)

Good #sportsbiz STAT @ #SSAC15: 18% of ticket sales starts w/ social interaction (Google research). Prob MUCH higher w/ dark social included (@njh287)

More than HALF of traffic at Ticketmaster is mobile or tablet, per @johnforese at #SSAC15 (@SprtsMktgProf)

15% of @RedSox tickets are no shows. $10 in concessions x 5.5k seats = $55k / game. We hope the loyalty program will fill seats #SSAC15 (@SloanSportsConf)

#SocialSelling increasing in importance per @mikedfresh of LinkedIn during Finding the Digital Fan at #SSAC15 (@SprtsMktgProf)

Fader & Xu study on anonymous MLB team data suggests dynamic pricing decreased revenue. #SSAC15 #sportsbiz” (@steveseiferheld)


#SSAC15 In-arena experience vs home experience will be a battle of unique memories for sport consumers & challenge for media biz companies. (@MikeFlynn826)

Granger: the sacto kings revitalization is bigger than bball. New arena is a civic center, research is more about city than team #ssac15 (@brianmillman)

65% of game attendees engage in some sort of online activity. 1 in 2 is researching future events. #ssac15” #msports #sportsbiz (@tiffan)

A good thing? RT @SloanSportsConf: Ability to virtually attend a game “coming sooner than you think” – Phil de Picciotto #sportsbiz #SSAC15 (@njh287)

Beacons provide better insight into what fans do inside the arena. Use it to your advantage. #SSAC15” Value of passive data. (@GeoffTBlosat)


“Social media saved the @SacramentoKings. What happened on Twitter kept our team there. I can’t say enough about it.” @cgkings #SSAC15 (@SloanSportsConf)

We agree @cgkings @SacramentoKings social media saved the kings by giving fans a louder voice #SSAC15 (@SloanSportsConf)

Why doesn’t the NBA crack down on people ripping plays on YouTube? Adam Silver: “Highlights are marketing.” #SSAC15 (@matt_dollinger)

NFL teams focusing on engagement > traffic for digital analytics. Evolution. (@GeoffTBlosat)

“Important to measure the impact, not the effort, that digital impressions make”- @vanDijk #SSAC15” (@katheral)

Strategy to engage with the younger fan:Mobile. There is a new generation that will interact with media with mobile only #SSAC15 #digitalfan (@SloanSportsConf)

“Sports is about conversations and uniting communities” says @espn’s EVP John Walsh. Amen. #SSAC15 (@WarrenKZola)


Microbets & real time betting will make sports even more DVR proof in the US than it is now @SportsLawProf #SSAC15 #sportsbiz (@joefav)

According to @chadmillman sports betting market is $892 trillion #SSAC15” And he says average online bet is $25. #sportsbiz (@evergreenswag)

NBA VP @jeffma believes NBA owners support legalized sports gambling as it increases the value of the teams they own. #SSAC15” Strong point. (@matt_dollinger)


End to another great @SloanSportsConf, my 4th straight. Tweets #SSAC15 reached 2.6 million ppl, 3100 attendees, and a lot learned once again (@RotoAnalysis)

There were a lot of other interesting topics discussed, including injury prevention, gut instinct vs. analytics, wearable technology data, proper use of analytics in journalism, and more. I’d recommend following Sports Analytics Blog and searching the #SSAC15 hash tag on Twitter to see more.

What is your biggest takeaway?


Posted by Neil Horowitz

Follow me on Twitter @njh287   Connect on LinkedIn

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