Four sports teams revealed the ways they use data to improve customer, fan and team experience.
On Wednesday, the Utah Jazz, BYU football, Cleveland Cavaliers and Manchester United shared small presentations during the Qualtrics X4 Summit's breakout sessions in which they discussed how they use Qualtrics surveys to improve facets of their organization.
We’ve collected the information shared at the event and offered a glimpse into each team below.
Bryce Lake, who works with Brigham Young University marketing,
said the football team has a “unique” fan base because it is a religiously owned college. BYU fans often spend their Sundays busy with church, so their Saturdays are filled with buying groceries and running errands, he said.
He said BYU wanted to know more about its fans' habits, so it launched a survey at BYUgamedayfeedback.com, which used Qualtrics to gain customer feedback.
Through the survey, BYU discovered the team’s Net Promoter Score, which is a sports marketing term that measures the loyalty between a customer and a provider. The scale runs from minus-100 to 100.
Lake said any score in the positive is a good one. The average score (for a company like Amazon) sits at around 5 to 10 percent, he said.
BYU scored a 3.05 percent, according to Lake, meaning there’s a disconnect between what fans want from their BYU football experience and what they’re receiving.
BYU fans, he said, expect the team to win the title every year. Even though the team has had successful seasons since winning the national championship in 1984, fans said in the survey they have always felt the team should be doing better than it is.
Lake also said fans were disgruntled about the stadium’s Wi-Fi, the Cougar Club, ticket prices, ads in the stadium and even the PA announcer, especially when the team lost down on the field.
“Everything was falling down. And that was eye-opening to us,” he said.
Lake said BYU held leadership meetings to talk about the feedback. Staffers improved all those areas or at least came up with ideas on how to fix them.
For example, he said BYU installed Wi-Fi throughout Cougar Stadium to enhance the experience. He said it also worked to help fans understand what success means to the school and football team so that, hopefully, the NPS score will rise.
Lake said BYU plans to use the information it gained from football fans and apply it to other sports at the university as well.
Connor Higgins, research and analysis manager of Manchester United, said
his club wanted to know the emotional reasons fans watch the team’s games, so it used surveys to figure out how to connect with fans outside the U.K.
Higgins said the surveys allowed Manchester to see how its fans identify with certain brands. The team then used the data to pitch partnerships to sponsors and advertisers, as well as see where there might be untapped promotional opportunities.
For example, the team found out 5 percent of fans have a Manchester United tattoo, 11 percent named their pets after someone on the team and 5 percent named their child after the team.
Higgins said he hopes the team will conduct a lifestyle survey, which it can use to understand more about its target audiences.
Like BYU, the Utah Jazz used Qualtrics to see what issues their fans have with their venue so they could improve it.
Craig Sanders, the vice president of analytics and strategy at the Jazz, said he’s focused on the “driveway to driveway” experience, which is meant to make sure fans enjoy going to a Jazz game from when they leave their home to when they arrive back home.
“It’s about the event, watching the team or watching your team play in the arena. It’s about the atmosphere,” he said.
The Jazz saw a change of 11 percentage points (from 56 to 67) in the NPS score after they used Qualtrics in the 2016-17 season.
The Jazz found through the survey that fans believe food tastes better after a win, tickets and seats are better and the experience, in general, is better for fans when the team is winning, Sanders said.
The team learned Jazz fans constantly were irritated with Vivint Arena, especially with the available food options. In fact, Sanders said 66 percent of fans said they would eat food outside the arena and 70 percent would come back if there were more variety in food options.
So the Jazz went to work and invested $125 million to renovate the arena to appease the fans. They added a wealth of new restaurants and changed the dining experience, adding new seating areas and clubs where people could eat.
He said the Jazz are still struggling with app issues and functionality, as well as the price of tickets and food, however.
Three executives from the Cleveland Cavaliers spoke in a session as well.
Damion Chatmon, senior director of emerging tech, said, “Data is the new oil.”
“We like to understand how to make things better, and we think data is the way to do it,” he said.
He said surveys are a vital part of building an ecosystem where the team can act to help its fans.4 comments on this story
Valerie Mattson, a business consultant for the team, said after the team received data from a nationwide survey (the Cavaliers had a 72 percent response rate) the Cavs held a town hall meeting, a meeting with the leadership and an open forum discussion.
After those discussions, the team learned that employees wanted better child care options.
So, according to Mattson, the team rewrote its human resources policy and partnered with a child care agency to help all parents who work with the team.
“We’re listening. We got you. We understand, and this is what we’re doing,” she said.