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Phizzle to Work with SAP on Real-Time Sports Fan Engagement

March 06, 2015

Phizzle announced recently that it teamed up with SAP to develop a fan engagement solution leveraging the latter’s HANA database. The solution will collect data from each fan, making it possible for a sports team to provide an individualized customer experience to its fans.

San Francisco-based Phizzle, Inc. develops data aggregation solutions for the food industry, media networks, and sports teams from the collegiate and professional ranks.

The solution uses data, which can be collected from POS terminals, e-commerce, ticketing, CRM apps and just about any other digital interaction between a fan and a team. This data is then consolidated in a way that makes it possible to identify trends in consumer behavior and offer things like rewards incentives and custom promotions. Results from the aggregation can be collected and processed in real-time.

The company has an impressive list of customers including the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks and New York Rangers; the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and Brooklyn Nets; and major college athletic programs like Kansas, Kansas State, Louisville, Alabama and Illinois. Major food companies include Chick-fil-A, Quiznos and Taco Bell. Comcast, Fox Sports, HBO and YES Network are among the media customers.

The reality of major collegiate and professional sports is that they are in the business of entertainment. While there is certainly no shortage of outlets like fantasy sports leagues, which deal more with the technical aspects of a sport, big sports is big business because of entertainment, not because of the small percentage of fans interested in Xs and Os.

Watch any major sporting event in person and you can see this phenomenon in play. Whenever there is a break in the action of a game and the TV viewers watch pizza and beer commercials, those attending in person get some form of entertainment to fill the time.

Image via Shutterstock

It could be cheerleaders performing a dance routine; a lucky fan shooting from half-court to win money or a dog catching Frisbees. It does not matter as long as no void in game action is left unfilled and whatever is done to fill the void keeps fans interested.

Long before Phizzle and Sap joined forces, sports teams supported social media in some manner, providing another way to improve fan engagement and experience. Many teams display tweets on digital signage at the game. It is also common for teams to display fan photos tweeted with a hashtag of the team’s nickname.

Phizzle and SAP are simply taking advantage of the fan’s need and to feel important, and applying it to the collection of marketing data. Some fans like to buy memorabilia; others like to get refreshments, while another group might like to go through a team museum. Sports teams will be able to identify these people and push targeted programs to them. Some may view it as intrusive; the rest will enjoy a unique customer experience and spend more money. 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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