Twitter is now a public company, will it’s focus on profits change the experience for sports fans? On Grandstand we discuss Twitter IPO and we discuss strategy how digital plays a big role in fan development. Then we chat with Director of CRM and Analytics at Columbus Blue Jackets Jeff Eldersveld about how he uses Ticketnet to drive more ticketing leads into his database.
On this podcast you’ll find out about:
- How Twitter is changing Twitter app for growth and advertising.
- How focus of Twitter has changed in last 12 months with strong picture focus
- Latest Twitter app changes will help with growth of followers
- Understanding different kinds of conversions to track in digital efforts
- Growth of sports paywalls and what are fans willing to pay
- How Blue Jackets use Ticketnet to attract friends of fans via social media
- Importance of closed promotions for Blue Jackets sponsors
- How Ticketnet was used to drive fans to Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants connecting digital with fan events
- How Blue Jackets produce customised offers based on data collected for higher success
Resources from the episode
- Find Jeff Eldersveld from Columbus Blue Jackets via Twitter (@jeldersveld) on Linkedin
- Check out Columbus Blue Jackets and on Facebook and @BlueJacketsNHL
- Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy by Robert Scoble (@scobleizer)and Shel Israel (@shelisrael)
- Example of Blue Jackets Huntington Bank activation using Ticketnet – 20,000 page views in 30 minutes!
- Contact us to chat about Ticketnet and check out TicketNetSports.com for more info
- Sounds of the game thanks to Ted Johnson from Minnesota Timberwolves.
- Like Francis Leach on Facebook and follow @SaintFrankly on Twitter
- Like Harf Time on Facebook and follow @HarfSerious on Twitter
- Thanks for iTunes reviews in Australian iTunes and USA iTunes.
- Check out BeersBlokesBusiness.com and on iTunes
- Have you signed up for weekly Sports Geek News?
Social Media Post of the Week
Richard spoke about Arsenal Twitter Takeovers last week’s episode, here they recap #AskArsene with a video post on Facebook. Please tweet in your nominations for social media post of the week to @SportsGeek or @seancallanan.
Closing 2 Cents
Listening via iTunes?
Subscribe to the Sports Geek Podcast in iTunes, if you liked the episode please leave a comment or rating.
Welcome to episode twenty five of the Sports Geek podcast. On today’s episode we’ll look at Twitter, now it’s public. What does that mean for sports? And we’ll find out how the Columbus Bluejackets get 25% new data from digital promotions. Welcome to the Sports Geek podcast. The podcast built for sports digital and sports business professionals. And now, here’s your host. With two podcasts ranked in iTunes, Sean Callanan.
Sean: Thank you very much DJ Joel. That’s right my name is Sean Callanan from Sports Geek and you are listening to Sports Geek podcast, the other podcast DJ Joel is referring to is my side project; Beers Blokes and Business podcast. Where I get a few of my mates together, we have a few beers and we discuss business topics. And it’s going very well. It’s currently ranked in the top five in the business podcasts in the Australian iTunes store. So please give it a listen. The two podcasts combined. We’ve got over fifteen thousand downloads. So very much thankful for the support and this being a little bit of a milestone reaching twenty five episodes. And I’ll go into a little more thanks later in the episode. But big thanks for everyone who’s listening and who’s shared it. And definitely big thanks to the people who’ve been on the show. On today’s episode we chat with Francis: on IBC Grandstand about the Twitter IPO and what it means for the sports fan and what it means for the sports teams. How it does change the focus of Twitter? And then looking into a little bit about digital strategy and some of the focus the teams have around digital and how that can leverage their social platforms and what their goals are trying to achieve and what you’re trying to do in a digital space. Later on in the episode I chat with Jeff Eldersveld from the Columbus Bluejackets about his work as in CRM and data analytics and how he’s using a product called TicketNet to attract, as I said there in the opener, twenty five percent new data from digital promotions. So we talk through how he uses TicketNet as a product and why he loves it so much. Later on in the episode we look at our new segment, social media post of the week. And also, like I said, looking back on twenty five episodes. But here’s our chat with Francis on ABC Grandstand.
Francis: Sean Callanan, the digital sports geek is with us on a Saturday morning talking sport in a digital age, and Twitter. I wonder if he got his Twitter shares at a good price yesterday. As they floated over the New York Stock Exchange for the first time.
Sean: No, unfortunately. Not too many people outside those inside Twitter HQ and all the initial investors. It was all a bit of a lockout from a public point of view.
Francis: They hit a fairly high price. It doubled in value pretty quick and then the market moderated soon after that.
Sean: Yeah. They opened at I think it was $26 and they peaked at just over $50 and I think they stopped just under $45 in the end; which seems to be the usual for the real hot takers.
Francis: Tech shot?
Sean: Yeah, yeah. Web 2.0. You throw out all of those web-savvy tech start-ups. There was a stack of hype and Twitter was doing everything they could to be really appealing to investors. Facebook did very similar twelve months ago where they opened and had a really big boom on the first day and then “tanked” is probably not the right word, but they course-corrected and came back. So there’s probably, I’m not a stock analyst by any means, but there’s probably a case that they will come back a little bit to the market and see where it goes from there.
Francis: And it’ll be interesting, the dynamic, what it means for the short messaging service itself, because now it is driven to make a profit because it has shareholders. And it will mean some modification to what’s been offered on Twitter so far.
Sean: And we’ve already seen some of that in the lead up to the IPO. So they’ve obviously got to have a means to make money. That’s part of being a public company and that’s what shareholders want. They haven’t done that as yet; still losing a lot of money because there’s a lot of investment in R&D and methods to advertise. They’ve recently, just in the last couple of weeks, changed the Twitter app. I don’t know if you’ve updated the Twitter app. It’s had a real change in it. New photos automatically in your feed. So if you’re sharing a photo-
Francis: So you get a preview of it, don’t you?
Sean: You get a preview of it, or if you shape your photo the right way you can see the whole photo. It’s sort of in that wide-screen strip type format. And it’s a little bit strange like we had Twitter out here last year sort of introducing themselves to the Australian market and I think one of the things that Mike said when talking about Twitter is Twitter’s not about sharing photos. That’s what you go to Facebook for, Twitter is about conversation.
Francis: And here we are.
Sean: And here we are. It has changed a little bit in what they do- it is becoming Facebook-like in that it’s showing a lot of pictures. Part of me likes it to see the- a bit of color in my feed. But then there’s also the- it does take it away from- it’s a conversation, people are using it differently. Some people are broadcasting and consuming a lot of content. But yeah, they’ve made some changes and obviously they’re putting those pictures in is better from an ad point of view. So if you’re producing a tweet that you want to promote and you want it to be highly visual and attract the eye, it sort of hits better with an image. So they’ve made some changes in that space. So you’ll see now that if you re-tweet an athlete or a news journalist or someone, and other people see it, I go “ah”. Francis; re-tweets that, there’s a little button there, follow that person. And you can do it with one click. You don’t have to click the link to look at a person, look at a profile. They’ve removed three clicks to do that. I think that’s a really good move, because that promotes growth. Because I think there was a little bit of stagnant growth there where once you found the people you want to find and you’re happy with your feed, there wasn’t much to go and “oh I’m going to go get more people in.” And I think Twitter’s main thing as well as advertising is to really become mass market. Actually grow the amount of people using Twitter and on Twitter. I think that’s one of the key things you’re going to have to look at in the next twelve months. So I expect a lot of promotion outside of Twitter.
Francis: And for fans and sports organizations, they have to adapt and change as well.
Sean: Yeah. I mean it does, one of the things that we’ve been doing for the last couple of weeks is sort of been in review mode a little bit of the season, from the winter season’s point of view. But also in looking forward in what they’re trying to do. Over the past 18 months to two years, speaking to people like Richard Clark from Arsenal last week. A lot of the sports clubs, an issue with all these platforms coming out were building awareness of the platforms; building awareness of their teams, reaching and engaging their fans. And really being in that pure engagement play and building up their audiences. And they’re doing that on all different networks because it drives traffic back to their site. And now there’s- as that develops then the next part of it is converting those fans. And converting means different things to different people. It can be converting them into email subscribers. And again, Arsenal do that really well with their digital membership. You sign up and you get access to a lot of content. So they’ve got now a way to communicate with you. But then there’s other conversions of ticket sales, memberships, merchandise sales, those kind of things. We start putting a bottom line figure on what you’re doing from a digital point of view.
Francis: And the challenges for sports organizations in particular is that the bar has been raised so significantly for sports fans as to what they expect from their clubs or organizations because of the technology. They want that personal touch now. It’s assumed that it’s provided. So therefore you have to meet the standard requirement or else you’re not going to get a slice of the action.
Sean: Yeah, definitely. And that sort of also gets in the point of; “Do teams move into this space of digital memberships that they get paid for?”. The pay for content, the concept of pay walls, and we’re seeing many companies move down that path of “we’re going to make you pay for this content.” Can sports move into that realm? Or are we already in that space where it’s an expected delivery of sports fans?
Francis: Well some of the bigger clubs like Arsenal and Manchester, you know, you do pay for it. You pay to get behind the pay wall but I think the quality and content of material deliver justifies that. But the AFL and the NRL haven’t gone down that path yet, have they? Though you can subscribe for live streaming if you’re a fan of the club you don’t have to pay to read the latest news, necessarily or watch a video of a coach being interviewed.
Sean: Yeah so they’re starting to, from a local point of view, AFL, NRL, they’re starting to push into those digital memberships. But it’s more likely an add-on to a current membership and maybe it’s some more member exclusive type of content. And so there will be a low form but there’s nothing quite like the, you know, if we’re looking at the EPL and that kind of thing, which is really tied in to the match content. But then also the extra content that they produce.
Francis: Because you are going to ask people to pay you, sure as hell better deliver a higher-end product. And that’s going to cost a lot more to produce.
Sean: Yeah. And that’s the conundrum I guess that all teams are looking at. It’s like how many resources do we put in to put a program like this that we need to. And the bar is set very high so the cost comes with that of producing their content, to how much revenue can come in. So that’s a balancing act but that’s part of what they’re trying to do from a conversion point of view. And then the other part of the equation is to retain the people you have got.
Francis: And after you can get it out there to people, too.
Sean: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Timeliness, social media definitely is this breaking news space. So you need to be out of work at a way to make sure that you’re it out there in a timely manner so people can consume it. Especially around big events and big opportunities.
Francis: Where can people find you?
Sean: SportsGeekHQ.com or Sports Geek on most platforms. If I’m not there, tell me!
Francis: You’ll be there soon enough. Sean Callanan with us here, the digital sports guru here on Grandstand Breakfast.
Announcer: -Sign up for SportsGeek news and SportsGeekHQ.com/signupnow-
Sean: Yes, and if you haven’t signed up for the Sports Geek news, it’s had a recent re-launch. We’ve done, I think it’s five, emails in a row; keeping to the commitment of doing it every single week. So if you missed a Tweet or a link that I might share on Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn, you get a good wrap up of all the key articles that I think you should be reading. So just go to those links and sign up and thank you for the feedback for the people who have been reading it. As long as it’s providing use, I will keep doing it. One thing sort of going on from the discussion with Francis: there about strategy and where it’s all heading. I was lucky enough to go to an event; a strategic digital summit this week where they had a couple of guest speakers. And two of those guest speakers were Robert Scoble and Shel Israel. And they were talking about their new book “Age of Context”. I found I’ve given it a quick read, but I’ll definitely be giving it a full read and give it a bit of a review in a future podcast. But if you can grab a copy, I highly suggest- one of the key take-aways for in this new age of context with the five forces that they explained and they were mobile, social, data, senses, and location. And I think it’s something to really be mindful of, of how the world is changing and how things like we are becoming more mobile. We are using mobiles far more often. Senses is now becoming part of our life in that they are tracking what we’re doing. Whether it be a fuel band or even the fact that we’ve had the ibeacon and the iphone it can track where you are and there’s some sports teams looking to leverage that. I know the Major League Baseball, the guys are looking at that. So, you know, where does that fit in sports? And how can you do it? There’s a lot of that personalization that Francis was talking about. Both from a customer service point of view, but also we want to get information into our context. So how can you be presenting your content to your fans in a manner that they are in a spot where they are ready to consume it? So that’s one of the takeaways that I took from Robert and Shels book and what they were speaking about. But yeah, I think that’s where the next evolution of- especially from a mobile app point of view. We know that more traffic is going to the mobile. We know fans are highly social and looking to share. So yeah, those five forces really reinforced my point of view of where the sports digital space is headed. You know, and it is very mobile focused. And I do think that having the location side of things being location aware did see it’s seat. A couple of the people demonstrating their apps, the guys in the Brooklyn Nets, how their app is location aware and the functionality changes. Same with the guys at sporting innovations with their fan 360 app. And the fact that it knew where you were in the stadium. I think that is where we’re heading. And making sports information, particularly a utility for our fans so they just see that it’s needed. It’s a part of what they do, they look it up to find out where the game is, how to get tickets, what the traffic’s like. I think that’s where we’re headed. Up next, I was lucky enough to get an interview will Jeff Eldersveld from the Columbus Bluejackets via Dave Sjolin from Desert-Logic. I know Dave from SEAT. And he’s got a product called “TicketNet.” And rather than talk to Dave, I thought I’d talk to one of his clients. I really like TicketNet as a product, it’s a- I call it- social Amway but I’ll get into that with the interview with Jeff. He’s in Serum and data analytics and he looks at how they use TicketNet to one, increase their database and increase their sales leads. Two, to sell tickets. One of the classic things we need to do get bums on seats. So here’s my interview with Jeff Eldersveld from the Columbus Bluejackets in the NHL.cx
Sean: I want to welcome to the Sports Geek podcast Jeff Eldersveld from the Columbus Bluejackets. He’s a director of CRM and analytics at the Columbus Blue Jackets in the NHL. Welcome to the podcast, Jeff.
Jeff: Thanks Sean, appreciate you having me.
Sean: First of all, tell us a little bit about your role and what you do at the Bluejackets?
Jeff: Well I’m the director of CRM and analytics, like you said. And I think the main duties that I do on a regular basis would be, we have a Microsoft CRM database. So it’s managing the content, customers, prospects any sets of data. Managing that on a regular basis and positioning it in a way to reports and things like that, to our management, and our sales reps so that we can be in a better position to sell tickets.
Sean: And you’ve been at the BlueJackets for nearly four years now?
Jeff: Yes. Actually it’ll be three years in December. Before that I was with the LA Clippers for roughly four years.
Sean: And so as part of data and analytics being obviously a major part of your role, that is your title, one of the challenges that most teams face is getting new data. Like there’s a lot of opportunity to connect with your current fan base of social media and things like that. But, you know, one of the challenges is trying to get that fresh start and new sales leads. Is that something that you’re always focused on?
Jeff: Yes, definitely. I think that there’s the Columbus DMA, is about 1.9 million people. And we’ve only got a subset of that within our database. So one of our number one goals that we have every year is to expand our reach and really identify new customers. Identify those folks on how we can get them into our database; so one of the things that I do along with the data and analytics is really analyze sources of data that we have and then the percentage of new customers that we get from those sets of data. And then consequently did we sell to those new customers, as well.
Sean: One thing I did want to talk to you about, and I was introduced to you by Dave Sjolin, and that you use their product TicketNet to attract new leads in a few different ways. Do you want to tell us how you guys use TicketNet?
Jeff: Sure! Yeah that’s a huge catalyst for us as far as really identifying new customers and expanding our database. We might average, if we do enter to win, there’s certain contests within our own elements with people that are on our website or email and enter-to-win’s and things like that. We’ll average maybe five to ten percent new. But with Dave’s product, what we’ve really liked from it is when we do a contest with his, it’s typically upwards of 25-30% new people in our database. So I feel like we can’t use this product enough. Just for that reason, because it really allows quick, accurate and timely data capture. And then we can take that data and essentially do a little bit of manipulation just so that it can fit into our database. But, you know, it goes from submitting one day, and then really analyzing it the next; and then hopefully giving it to our sales reps within a matter of days. From contest to a phone call, it’s a pretty quick turnaround to our reps.
Sean: So just for the people on the podcast to give a bit of a, I guess a 140 recap of what TicketNet is, I like to call it a little bit like a social Amway. In that you would do a contest and you would reward fans who refer more of their friends. And they can obviously their contest entry on Facebook and Twitter. So those fresh leads are effectively coming from the Facebook friends or the Twitter followers of your most avid fans. So it sort of has a dual reward of you’re rewarding your most avid fans, the ones that really love the Blue Jackets, but you’re introducing new data and new fans into your database. Is that pretty much how it is?
Jeff: Yes. Yeah, that’s a perfect description Sean. Just in a nutshell right there. I think it’s- Dave has taken that product and has done a tremendous job of really integrating with those social mediums and allowing people to- if you have a target audience you’re trying to attract with the initial offer, they may only be- they may be people that are already in your database. But if you’re giving them the incentive to share, every time that it’s shared you’re increasing your chance that the people that they’re sharing with are going to be new to your database. So it’s infinitely valuable because the more people that share, you’re essentially reaching out further into the social networks to get people that are essentially like your original customers. The original people that you extended the offer too. So that’s worked really well for us from a profiling standpoint. So we’re able to get very similar people that we may not have had before in our database and get them a chance to buy tickets.
Sean: One thing I think is really important, and I’ve been having a look at how, the Blue Jackets, how you’ve been using TicketNet. A lot of people have different tools for data capture. But it’s not so much about the tools as about leveraging the tool to it’s full potential. But also the use-cases and I guess the ways that you use the tool. And if you look at TicketNet as a product, you might go “oh, it’s a sweeps steaks product. That’s what we’re going to use it for” but it’s really around how you set up those campaigns to make them a little bit innovative. Do you want to tell us a few of the different ways and a few of the different styles of campaigns you’ve used with TicketNet? Because they’re not all public facing, broad reach every fan type of campaigns, are they?
Jeff: No, I think that’s the benefit of it. I think the initial part of it is if you want to collect as much data as possible you have to have a good incentive for people to sign up. So if you want it to be public facing, I think we’ve done puck giveaways and really just put it right on our homepage of our website. And that’s worked fairly well and people sign up and they get a puck and they have to come to our King store to redeem it. A couple of the ones that have been a little bit concealed and more to our, I guess, our sponsorship audiences is we would offer a specific sponsor customer, like let’s say Huntington Bank. And Huntington provides their customers with a chance to get tickets to every single one of our home games. So you have to enter the last four digits of your Huntington debit card number to get access to select the games. So that’s a contest that there’s a limited amount of inventory. I think that Huntington has about twenty five pairs of tickets for each game. And, you know, we get literally twenty thousand page views for that in a matter of thirty minutes and it closes. So it’s very well received. It’s promoted somewhat publicly. Both through Huntington sends an email and then it’s on our Facebook pages as well. But it’s a lot of traffic really quick and what TicketNet does is it allows us to control the inventory and shut it off once the inventory’s gone so we can manage that from a ticket standpoint.
Sean: Yeah, so it effectively, it’s giving a sponsor like Huntington an automatic, out of the box, turnkey, sponsorship activation for them to send out the inventory that they may have bought, whether it be tickets, or send out a specific offer to their favorite customers. And really, sort of leverage their partnership with the Blue Jackets.
Jeff: Correct. Yes. We’ve actually gone to Dave and, you know this isn’t anything that wouldn’t essentially come out of the box with TicketNet, we basically have to offer suggestions on hey this is what we’d like to do or this may have been what we’ve done before we started using TicketNet. And really, there’s no comparison to the way we might have done things before. To where it’s gone now, I think it’s much better TicketNet because it’s just the way that the process is received. How simple it is for both the user submitting their data, and then on the back end for us when we’re helping the people redeem their tickets and things like that. There’s a lot fewer issues so it’s more efficient and more effective on our side, definitely.
Sean: And from you, being a data guy, you’re now fishing in their customer pond and getting completely new prospects because you’re not pitching to a hockey audience or the hockey fans, you’re pitching to Huntington’s customer database.
Jeff: Yeah! I think that’s kind of the sly part of it from my perspective. Any time you can attach yourself to someone else’s database without being considered evil, that’s a good thing. So there’s always an incentive, both for the sponsor and us. And we’re delighted to have that opportunity. And they really enjoy it, too. So it’s definitely something that they look forward to every year as a part of their sponsorship deal.
Sean: Obviously a big focus of what you’re doing is selling tickets and getting people to the games and doing that broad reach campaign where if you want to get a puck you’ve got to come and claim it at the sore, sort of ties digital back to retail and getting people into the stadium. I also saw that you also did one from a retail point of view with the guys at Buffalo Wild Wings.
Sean: And getting them, and effectively taking something that’s not a digital property and tying them back to an activation. Do you want to talk us through that one?
Jeff: Sure. Yeah that was another example of an idea that came up from the sponsor and then we took that idea and worked with Dave to create a similar mechanism that Hunting had where we deliver a piece of inventory at Buffalo Wild Wings during, I would say, our team viewing party, so we have viewing parties at Buffalo Wild Wings. And then they get a player card. And the player card has a special code on the bottom. And the code gets redeemed on a TicketNet site. From that point forward we’re able to tell if that code is a winner or a loser. If it’s a winner, we’ll send a winning email. If it’s a loser, they’ll get a loser email but it’ll say thanks for participating. You’re eligible for the grand prize so keep coming to more events at Buffalo Wild Wings. So it’s probably not on a huge scale as compared to maybe some of the other giveaways that we’ve done. But we’re expecting to have thousands of people to enter throughout the entire season and I think it’s a great way that we’ve kind of taken our traditional viewing party package and really pushed it online and more of a redemption and data capture initiative. So it’s worked well for us from that perspective.
Sean: I mean, yeah the thing is it works really well because a restaurant like them, they’re all about- they want people coming to their restaurant and they want to work out how to leverage it. And they might not have the digital presence to be able to say we want to do data capture and those kinds of things. But if you can say well we’re going to build this site that you can push out and have this relationship where we’re going to promote people coming to your venue. In return you’re getting the data and starting to engage those fans. It’s a win-win even though a partner like Buffalo Wild Wings might not be digitally active you can still bring them into that space.
Jeff: Yeah and that’s been a big focus for Buffalo Wild Wings. They want to be more active in
the digital space. So this just helps them do that, definitely.
Sean: And now, I think the other sort of use case that you’ve been using in that sort of concealed mode is employee engagement as a way to, hell, allow your sponsors to reward their staff and engage their own staff, again, by doing ticket giveaways or that and using TicketNet as a way to do that. Rather than sending a standard link and a standard code to everybody, which a little bit hit and miss, and you don’t know if you’re going to get the data and it sort of can get shared everywhere, by sort of putting it in that- using TicketNet almost as a pay wall to say “well, if you want to claim your ticket, go through TicketNet and we’ll disburse the tickets that way.” Again, it’s another way for you to get the data and start engaging the staff of your sponsors.
Jeff: Yes. I think that’s been a key component for us. Definitely, we have partners that are basically I would call them championship partners. As being a partner they get an opportunity, two or three times a year, to basically send an email out to their staff. And in that email there’s a link to redeem tickets. They can redeem up to four tickets to an upcoming game. And it’s very similar to the Huntington promotion that I mentioned earlier. TicketNet does a great job of managing that inventory and really letting us know when we get close to that threshold. But, again, the amount of action it receives immediately once that email is sent- I think Dave has said before, the page views and everything it has a chance to really crash the site. Sometimes he’s really done a good job of making sure that doesn’t happen and that the people that are submitting their data and getting their tickets- their experience is a positive one. Like I said before, the efficiency that takes place from the user side to get to the end-point of their tickets, and for us to get them their tickets has drastically improved from- I think the way we did it before was really just lists and things that were kind of out of our control. But this really puts the control on us and we can manage it a lot better.
Sean: I guess the other thing and part of your job is, in the CRM and data analytics, is leaning on guys like Mark Gregory is the VP of digital marketing and JD Kershall in the Blue Jackets and working on campaigns that they’re running in engaging the fans to make sure you’re getting new data. How has that relationship developed and how’s the response from the average digital fans for the Blue Jackets on running these activations?
Jeff: I think it’s been tremendous. We’re a pretty close-net group. So a lot of the initiatives that we talk about with Mark and JD and even Marcus Stevenson, our director of digital media, we incorporate all of our campaigns through traditional means, social means, and digital means. And really try to have focus across them all. But the key point being we intersperse it with a sales message but also try to engage the customer and potentially collect data. I mean, I think, if you can collect data sometimes I can make a case based on our statistics and research, that it’s more effective than that initial sale up front. So if you can collect a thousand pieces of data and only get ten people to buy, then that thousand pieces of data is going to be worth more than what those ten people bought for over the long run. So it’s starting to change the way we think a little bit. And I think it’s been very well received and I think honestly like TicketNet really helps prove that, because you have to offer that incentive up front. It just makes it much easier to track and much easier to analyze once you get that list of people that are interested in your product.
Sean: Yeah, it is very important. Especially on that initial impression that you’re making on a prospect- is that you don’t sell them straight away. You want to be showing them value, delivering- building on that relationship. And then once they are sort of getting emotionally tied into the team, and that gets built upon by the work that gets done in social and the communication you’re doing. Then you can make the sale because they’re starting to buy into the story of the Blue Jackets.
Jeff: Correct. Yeah. That’s exactly right, Sean great point.
Sean: So, things like TicketNet. TicketNet does a great job of getting the data in. What kind of, and you would load it into micro-CRM. What kind of streams do you have coming out of that from a- new prospect comes in, what kind of process do you put them in to say now they’re in our system what are they going to start getting from it? Take it off a point of view or telling the message, newsletter, what’s the sort of normal scenario do you have several different scenarios depending on where the data comes from?
Jeff: Yeah, I think the TicketNet data is essentially, it’s proven its worth over time. So we’ll really take that, do a little bit of analyzation. And we actually collect some data up front, too as the people are registering within the promotion. We’ll ask them if they’ve been to a game before, we’ll ask them their favorite player, sometimes their favorite opponent. So then we can either put them in a campaign if we’ve got that opponent coming up, or if there’s a player appearance coming up. We identify that in our database. But more importantly, these people are- if they’ve signed up for the contest to receive a free tickets, you know they’re interested in the brand so we want to just use TicketNet to kind of help open up the conversation that one of our sales reps will have. So we just tell the rep this person signed up for a ticket promotion and if they submitted within the last six months you can circumvent the “do not call” so we just- we let them call them within that time frame. It’s probably closer within a couple of weeks of the contest. And then campaign from there. A couple of the other sources where we get data we may not throw right into campaigns but you know- it just kind of depends where it comes from. But the TicketNet data is- that’s pretty much some of the best leads that we have. So we make sure we take care of those leads right away.
Sean: Okay. And one last question is around Microsoft CRM, there was a lot of discussion at seat in Kansas City this year of how much you can leverage Microsoft CRM. How much do you have your guys still trying to extract different types of lists? Still using a little bit of excel to try to find the right thing? How much do you feel like you’re leveraging all that data that you’ve got in there, as much as you can at the moment?
Jeff: We probably, we could always do better. I think that’s what I would say. We’ve novices, probably when it comes to SQL and getting really technical on the backside of the Microsoft CRM database. But we’re pretty dangerous with Microsoft Excel and kind of exporting fields and analyzing data that we already have in there. We use a lot of axiom data. So we’re always analyzing what does our ticket buyer look like? And what does this new lead look like? And how closely does it profile against our current customer? We use turn-key prospector and develop star ratings as well. So we’re really kind of analyzing from that front. But more surface level things, I mean, there’s just not enough hours in the day for us to get into all of the data that we have. But I think we’re dangerous with what we have with Excel and turn-key and some of the axiom data. But there’s just so much out there that’s kind of the hard thing sometimes is really trying to quantify what you want to look for and how you’re going to go about doing it.
Sean: Yeah. I think the main thing is diving into data, getting enough that you can run campaigns off and following what is succeeding. So if you’re getting success, you can get a bit of analysis paralysis if you’re diving into the data too much. You’ve got to start- you’ve got to extract it and actually go do. And run those campaigns. But yeah, there’s definitely opportunities to slice the data any which way but you’ve still got to run those campaigns and sell tickets. In the end, that’s your bottom line.
Jeff: Yeah, exactly. And then you try to figure out, you know, why did this person buy and how can we find more people like him?
Sean: Well, thank you very much for the chat on the podcast, Jeff; very interesting, look forward to seeing a few more of the campaigns that you run. And hopefully I’ll see you at seat in Miami next year.
Jeff: Yeah, what location? Thanks Sean, I appreciate your time, and if there’s anything I can ever do for you let me know.
Announcer: Want to maximize returns from your digital team? Contact Sports Geek about content and commercialization workshop.
Sean: Thanks again to Jeff Eldersveld from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Talked a little bit about how they’re using TicketNet. And as I said, I know Dave Sjolin who built TicketNet and he was good enough to provide me that introduction to Jeff. If you want a demo or want me to take you through and walk you through TicketNet works, I’m more than happy to do so. I’m helping Dave pitch it out there into the Australian international market. So if anyone is actually listening and wants some more information go to SportsGeekHQ.com/TicketNet. I’m happy to set up a demo and walk you through some of the different options.
That wraps up another episode. Episode 25 of the SportsGeek podcast. So again thank you very much for helping me to get to episode 25; absolutely thrilled with the response so far. This week’s social media post of the week, make sure you look back at last week. We had Richard Clark from Arsenal talking about his Twitter takeovers and in the last week they actually had Arsene Winger [SP] the manager of Arsenal on their Twitter takeover. So the post of the week is the short little video that they posted on Facebook. So that’s a really good example of re-purposing content, putting it on different platforms. There was some, obviously when you do something on Twitter you will get a few comedians come out of the woodwork and ask some questions. But obviously Arsenal fans loved being able to get that closer access to their manager. So well done Rich and you guys win. I don’t think you win anything. But, yes. The social media post of the week. Same goes, if you see an Instagram, Facebook post, Tweet, a Vine from one of your, either one that you’ve done yourself or from a team or a college. Please send them in. Either via email the old fashioned way; Sean@SportsGeekHQ.com, or just send me a Tweet @SeanCallanan. And I’d be happy to profile a new and different social media post of the week each week. So that countdown clock tells me that it’s nearly the end of the show and I have to remember to dedicate this episode. Episode 25, went to the Google machine to find athletes that wore the number 25. Came up with two prime candidates, both have a little bit of stink about them, a bit of controversy about them and that would be Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds; who sort of went through the, like I said, a very poor period in baseball. So I’m going to award this episode to Barry Bonds just for his achievements alone. Whether they were assisted or not, I’m not going to start a debate here. This week’s sounds of the game clip- very thankful for my good friend at the Minnesota Timberwolves CMO Ted Johnson. I asked him to grab a clip from the Target center. Congratulations, Ted for getting the renovations approved. It’ll be good to see the Target center get a bit of a refresh. But it has been great to see Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio on the floor at the same time. So I asked Ted to grab a clip. He didn’t actually grab a clip. In stadium with his phone, and if you are out there and you’re at a game over the weekend or whenever. Please take your phone out and grab a clip, grab a sounds of the game. I’m more than happy to share it on the podcast. But in this instance Ted just called to the guys in the TV department and sent a clip and this is the Minnesota Timberwolves and Kevin Love starring.
Game announcer: Wolves are down 103-100, the inbound of Love, oh! My! Goodness! Kevin drains the three from the left angle to tie the game! With ten point one left! Love exhorts the crowd! He comes back to the bench! The Wolves have tied it up, right off the inbound! How about that?
Sean: How about that, indeed. And that wraps up episode 25. Go to SportsGeekHQ.com for all the show notes and links. And as always if you want to get in touch, Sean@SportsGeekHQ.com. Now, closing two cents. A big thanks to Francis Leach and Daniel Hartford without their involvement, inviting me to be on their radio shows, this podcast would not be around. So big thanks guys!
Announcer: Find all Sports Geek podcasts at SportsGeekHQ.com/SGP. Please leave a review on iTunes. Go to SportsGeekHQ.com/iTunes. Like this Sports Geek podcast? Find us on Facebook.com/SportsGeek. Thanks for listening to the Sports Geek podcast