Fan Insights as an Economic Indicator for Venues

May 10, 2021

Economists use a variety of different types of data to understand how the economy is doing. Sources of economic data often include census data, consumer surveys, and GDP. Relying only these data sources doesn’t provide the full picture. When economic data is enhanced with other data sources like location intelligence, then the full economic story is revealed. It becomes a more consumer-centric story where consumer behavior equals market activity.

Location intelligence is a data source that provides businesses with insight into real-world consumer behavior trends. This real-world data can serve as an economic indicator. The post-COVID economy is going to look quite different. Companies in various industries had to become innovative to adapt to new customer expectations.

Fan Insights as an Economic Indicator for Venues

In this series, we’re taking a look at how different industries can use location intelligence to understand the most important aspect of the market: what consumers are looking for. 

First, let’s look at one industry that is making a comeback: Sports & Entertainment (specifically live events), and how they can use fan insights.

Beyond “Traditional” Event Data

Live entertainment is coming back, and many businesses within the entertainment and sports industries have welcomed returning fans at a limited capacity. As more live events return and venues can be at capacity again, it’s going to be important for sports and entertainment brands to have data to keep up with these changes. Sales, merch, and other online data might come to mind as the best ways to understand what fans are interested in, but this isn’t the only data marketers should rely on. 

Location intelligence goes a step further than these “traditional” forms of event data. At Gravy, we enhance our location data with contextual information, such event and venue information. Event analytics, powered by location intelligence, can help businesses gain further insight into what other events fans attend and their brand affinities, which can be a good indication of consumer interests and preferences.

There is no doubt that your fans’ interests have changed significantly within the last year. They might be shopping online, ordering more takeout, or even venturing to their favorite store for curbside pickup. Consumers are now big advocates for convenience (more so than previous years), so venues need to be aware of these changes in order to make sure that they are not falling behind the rest of the market. A data-driven approach is what is in order to build up consumer confidence related to live events.

Brand Affinities

The first step to this data-driven approach is to take a look at where your fans go in the real world. What retail stores do they frequently visit? Marketers should also pull historical data for comparison against current trends. These fan insights can then be used to enhance marketing strategy.

For example, a large arena is planning to reopen soon. The first live event is a fashion show, and the venue needs to determine what fashion stores should have pop-ups during the event. By looking at historic fan insights from location intelligence, the venue’s marketer knows that visitors to the last fashion show loved going to luxury fashion stores. 

However, when the marketing team pulls in new data for comparison, they discover that fans are going to small local boutiques and thrift stores rather than big brand luxury stores. This shift in consumer behavior allows the venue to understand that fashion show attendees are more than likely going to be interested in seeing sustainable and local fashion rather than luxury brands.

Customer Journey

The customer journey for events switched from live to virtual in 2020. While the “live event” customer journey might not have been as prominent in 2020, it is going to gain momentum again. How can event marketers understand the customer journey without a year of live event data? They can use the “non-event” customer journey: where fans go when they aren’t attending an event. Once live events are back, then they can shift focus by looking at both the “non-event” and “event” day customer journeys. 

Think of a sports stadium in a city. Typically on game day, fans will maybe go out to eat at a nearby restaurant or browse shops while they wait for the gates to open. If the fan isn’t going to a game, their customer journey is going to look quite different. They might mobile order lunch for pickup from their favorite restaurant, eat their lunch at a park with friends, and then curbside pickup their groceries. 

Let’s say that the sports stadium is preparing for a live event to celebrate the start of football season in the fall. By understanding where fans went within the past year, they can understand how fan behavior has changed. Fans who attended football games in the past may have used to go out to sports bars or brewpubs frequently, but now they may opt for shopping for bar supplies at a local ABC store or at a grocery store. Alternatively, they might be going to breweries to hang outside with friends rather than packing into their usual hangouts. By using location intelligence, the stadium can determine which breweries their fans enjoy going to and offer to partner with those breweries for the football kickoff event. As more live events get back into full swing and consumers start venturing back out to their favorite hangouts, the stadium can continue to use this real-world data to monitor trends for football fans.

This ultimately gives the venue a data-driven plan to continue to keep fans engaged throughout the season.

Fan Insights: The Ultimate Economic Indicator for Venues

Like other types of consumer data, fan intelligence can help venues adapt their live events as the market continues to change. At Gravy, we created FanVue, a customizable analytics board driven by fan intelligence, to provide stadiums with full access to both game day and full season data. With fan intelligence, sports organizations can not only understand fan behavior, but they can also prove sponsorship value.  Request a demo to learn more about how your organization can use fan intelligence for game day and beyond.

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