“We’ve changed the game.” That’s the consensus from our recent webinar, which covered fan engagement, data, and business operations in the complex world of college athletics. The webinar featured conversations with Jonathan Eaton from Mississippi State University and Andrew Schoepfer from Providence College. They shared their insights, experiences, and the benefits their teams have received from tech solutions.
These details might inspire new strategies for your own team. But what does all of it look like in practical terms, and how can you bring that advantage to your team? Here’s a quick look at some of the ideas discussed.
Distinct Challenges: Urban vs Rural Athletics
Providence and Mississippi State are shaped by their distinctive geographic contexts. Providence College, located in Rhode Island, operates in a market saturated with professional sports. Their smaller department competes for fan engagement and ticket sales with iconic franchises like the New England Patriots and the Boston Red Sox. For Providence, differentiating their college athletic program and keeping it attractive to fans amid these “big dogs” is a key challenge.
On the other hand, Mississippi State University is nestled in the rural town of Starkville, MS. A significant portion of their fan base travels long distances to attend games, creating a unique set of logistical challenges to ensure a smooth fan experience. For Mississippi State’s larger department, maintaining fan loyalty and ensuring game attendance can involve addressing travel-related questions and concerns.
Shared Strategies: Modern Solutions for Fan Experience
Despite their contrasting contexts, both Providence and Mississippi State found common ground in leveraging modern tools to address their unique challenges. Schoepfer from Providence spoke about the value AI Chat has added to their operations, especially with staffing: “AI Chat became that reliable employee with all the knowledge needed to answer fans’ questions.”
Likewise, Eaton from Mississippi State praised Live Chat’s contribution to their fan engagement strategy, saying, “Being able to advance a person from talking with the chat to now talking directly with a live person within the same chat is golden.”
Mississippi State’s implementation of AI Chat data led to:
- The unexpected discovery of fan interest in softball tickets, sparking internal consideration of turning softball into a ticketed sport.
- The realization that their mobile app’s benefits were not fully grasped by fans, prompting a goal adjustment for 2023 to include initiatives focused on the mobile app.
Providence College’s use of AI provided beneficial outcomes:
- AI Chat effectively increased ticket sales and collected important data on fan behavior.
- Additional AI solutions helped them assess the market pricing for specific seats in their arena. This allowed for price adjustments, which further boosted their overall revenue.
By strategically integrating AI and other tech solutions into their business practices, both colleges have seen significant improvements in fan experiences and operational efficiency.
These insights are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a wealth of knowledge waiting for you in the full webinar.
See firsthand how these pioneers in college athletics are fearlessly navigating the challenges of their industry. Leveraging technology and data, they’ve both found effective strategies to enhance fan engagement, streamline operations, and make data-driven decisions.