Cleveland Indians Using Analytics…to sell seats

As AdAge.com points out, while baseball uses data and complex statistics to evaluate player performance, the use of data analytics for marketing is still rare.

Kate Kaye points out in her article that Cleveland Indians are in the process of changing that. The brains behind this effort is Alex King, VP-marketing and brand management for the Tribe, “What we found is, it’s most incremental for us to have more giveaway nights and fewer giveaways per night,” said Mr. King, a former P&G exec. As a result, rather than give a promo to every attendee, only the first 10,000 or 15,000 might get them.

Using a marketing-mix model, with their consultants, the Indians are looking at “40 variables that could affect attendance and how much fans are willing to pay for tickets are added to the system, including weather-forecast data; the win/loss record for recent games; star players from opposing teams; player injuries; and whether other entertainment options such as blockbuster-film releases might have more appeal.”

The article continues to explain that the “Indians did a segmentation study to determine who its most profitable fans are. The next step was to determine the best days of the week for particular giveaways, such as jerseys, and how to flight media buys. The organization compiled marketing and promotional information from the previous five years — things like PR impressions, TV and radio ad buys, digital spending, promotion dates, and how all those efforts translated into daily sales for each game day.”

A postseason appearance wouldn’t hurt attendance either.