Analytics and engagement: What can your brand learn from sports?

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Digital Marketing Lead, Public Services Sector, IBM Analytics

#CXO chat—February 10, 2014—12 p.m. EST & 5 p.m. GMT

Sporting organisations like England Rugby and Wimbledon are constantly looking for new ways to uncover hidden insights from big data to up their game, grow participation in their sport and expand their fan base. More and more of these organisations are turning to social media and data analytics techniques like #IBMTryTracker to help them achieve these goals.

Backed by real data, fans can make instant, informed decisions about who's gaining the edge and most likely to win—well before the scores tell the story. Off the pitch, big businesses, governments and healthcare providers are using these same data-driven, interactive experiences to improve customer service, monitor babies in prenatal wards and help the police prevent crime.

You might think your organization is nothing like a rugby team or a tennis tournament, but when you think of growing your customer base and improving their buying experience, you can see that there are many parallels.

In our next #CXO Twitter chat guests Angus McNab (@gusmcnab), head of Pro-Rugby at Opta, and Ben Alamar, professor of Sport Management at Menlo College join us as we learn how to deliver the best fan and customer experience through sport and business analytics. Natasha Bishop (@Natasha_D_Gwill be leading the chat using Twitter handle @IBMBigData and you can join easily using Twubs, where the hashtag #CXO is automatically appended to each tweet you send during the chat, streamlining the chat process. 

The following are the questions we’ll be discussing as well as reference articles to help inspire the February 10th discussion at 12 PM EST. Join us!

#CXO Chat Discussion Questions:

  1. How can sporting organisations leverage data and social media to better understand the preferences and needs of fans?
  2. Should teams consider the at-home fan? How can sports teams leverage data to attract new fans and convert at-home to live fans?
  3. Could sporting organizations and businesses do more with data to enhance the game and the fan/customer experience?
  4. What techniques could businesses learn from sporting organizations in order to engage customers like fans?
  5. More sports teams are hiring tech and analytic professionals; should businesses be changing their hiring patterns? Why or why not?
  6. What can business learn from the real-time engagement sports organizations create with data and analytics?
  7. What steps should businesses take to build a big data and analytics strategy?

#CXO Chat Reference Articles:

#CXO Chat Guests:

angus mcnab.jpeg Angus McNab (@gusmcnab) is Opta’s Head of Pro Rugby and also heads their work with sponsors and brands across all sports. He works with media clients in print, digital and broadcast, governing bodies, agencies and brands to develop meaningful partnerships and opportunities to engage fans. Angus has worked on sponsorship activation propositions for a number of Opta’s clients including AIG, Adidas, Investec, IBM, Gatorade and Amlin. He also supports a number of broadcasters in their use of performance data in their programming. Opta’s work in pro rugby is highly impressive and they can count the All Blacks, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, all professional clubs in the Aviva Premiership, RaboDirect Pro 12 and Rugby League’s First Utility Super League as clients with a number of notable others globally.
Ben Alamar.jpg Benjamin Alamar (@benalamar) is a Professor of Sport Management at Menlo College, sports analytics consultant/researcher and author of Sports Analytics: A Guide for Coaches, Managers, and Other Decision Makers. He has consulted with a variety of teams in the NFL and NBA (including five seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder) and with a variety of companies in sports analytics. He has published numerous research studies in sports analytics and has written on sports analytics for outlets such as ESPN, Analytics Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. Additionally, Professor Alamar is the founding editor of the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, the first peer-reviewed academic journal for research in sports analytics.
sam seddon.jpeg Sam Seddon (@Sam_Seddonis the IBM Wimbledon Client and Programme Executive. He has responsibility for managing the end to end delivery of the technical solutions that IBM provides to The Championships as part of their role as the official IT provider to the AELTC. He is also responsible for managing the IBM relationship with the RFU where IBM are the Official Analytic Partner.
james kobielus.jpg As IBM's big data evangelist, James Kobielus (@jameskobielusis IBM Senior Program Director, Product Marketing, Big Data Analytics solutions. He is an industry veteran, a popular speaker and social media participant and a thought leader in big data, Hadoop, enterprise data warehousing, advanced analytics, business intelligence, data management and next best action technologies.

What is #CXO chat?

#CXO chat is a weekly conversation every Monday at 12 Noon EST, on Twitter. Each week we discuss a different customer experience optimization topic.

How do you join in?

If you use a Twitter client like Tweetdeck, HootSuite or Seesmic Desktop, create a search column for the term/hashtag "#CXO" and then, as we tweet with the #CXO hashtag, all tweets tagged with "#CXO" will show up in your column. You can also follow with Twubs ( and it automatically adds the #CXO hashtag.

How do you participate?

Just jump right in! Review the discussion questions posted to prepare your thoughts and answers. When the question is posed, begin your response with A1: for question 1, A2: for question 2, and so on. No answer is wrong! We look forward to seeing you at the #CXO water cooler hosted by @IBMBigData.

Follow the hashtag #CXO throughout the week for articles, facts and nuggets on customer experience optimization. You can also continue the discussion on LinkedIn in the Customer eXperience Optimization group on LinkedIn.