Tag Archives: sports

Who’s Watching Who?

It’s football season time! And you know what that means, right? Right! Data analytics!

What? Maybe you didn’t pick data analytics, but you should have. Since 2016, pro sports teams, including NFL and the Minnesota Vikings (among other teams) have been taking photos during games in order to better understand their customers – the fans at the games.

Using technology from CrowdIQ and photos taken at intervals at the game, computer analysis now helps teams determine not only how many fans there are, but demographic breakdowns, the times fans arrive, how many watch the halftime show, and whether marketing promotions during games are impactful.

For example, the data shows the percentage of people looking at phones, or looking at something else. (In general, fans miss most of the action on the field with only about 40% seeing an actual ball snap!)

While CrowdIQ does not use facial-recognition, photos are also taken on the streets, and stadiums are surrounded by security cameras. And don’t forget the fans themselves who are snapping hundreds of pictures, and posting many, at any time during the game.

Using data analytics from the games can lead to specific marketing actions. For example, the Vikings learned that it attracts a younger crowd with more women at games in the evening. That can influence the halftime show, music, and promotions.

What were you doing at the big game?

 Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Has anyone observed crowd behavior at football games?
  2. What types of behaviors might be most useful to marketers.
  3. View CrowdIQ website: https://crowdiq.ai/
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a plan for the type of data they might want to gather during a game. Consider demographic and psychographic elements.
  5. After each team has at least five or six data sets, have them decide on how to use the data in marketing – before, during, and after the game.
  6. NOTE: A possible assignment is to have students do some of this data gathering at a university sports event, along with analysis for a marketing plan.

Source: Lemire, J. (29 June 2021). CrowdIQ will make you rethink pretty much everything about fan behavior in the stands. Sports Business Journal; Ramstad, E. (11 September 2023). Vikings may now watch fans more than fans watch games. Minneapolis Star Tribune.

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2023: Super Bowl LVII

Winter may be cold, but the Super Bowl game always pumps up the heat! The Super Bowl has become one of the premier venues for marketers. The thrills, the chills, the excitement and surprises – and that’s just the advertisements!

At a cost of a $7 million (same as last year) for 30 seconds of air time, the Super Bowl is also the most expensive advertising placement of any event or show. Add to the air time the costs of designing and producing ads, plus the integration into other marketing tactics, and a company can easily spend upwards of $8 million on a single day.

Love them or hate them, Super Bowl advertisements have become a talking point before, during, and after the game. More than 50 brands took out ads designed to help them stand out to consumers, some with high-profile athletes and celebrities such as Serena Williams, Bradley Cooper, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Silverstone, Melissa McCarthy, and more.

This year an audience of 113 million adults in the U.S. tuned in to watch the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Philadelphia Eagles in a 38-35 win in the last few minutes. Even more viewers tuned in to Rihanna’s half-time performance which drew roughly 118.7 million viewers across TV and digital platforms, making Rihanna the second-most watched Super Bowl halftime performance  since Katy Perry in 2015.

This year’s game was also the most-streamed Super Bowl in history with 7 million streams (up 18% from last year). An additional 882,000 viewers watched the Spanish broadcast on FOX as well. On average, more than 77% of U.S. households tuned in for the big game.

Commercials were all over the place with top ads being The Farmer’s Dog, NFL Run with it (featuring Diana Flores), Amazon’s Saving Sawyer,  and Dunkin’ Drive Thru.

Which ad is your favorite this year?  

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show one of the Web sites that have all the Super Bowl ads: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/Ad-Meter/2023/02/13/best-2023-super-bowl-commercials-voted-usa-today-ad-meter/11247208002/
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a Super Bowl ad to analyze and present in class.
  3. What is the target market, key message, and offer from the ad?
  4. How does the ad integrate with a company’s other promotions?
  5. Are the messages integrated with a company’s Web site and social media?
  6. As a class, after each commercial have students assign one to five stars for the advertisements. Which advertisement won the class vote?

Source:  Ad Week; Fox Sports; New York Times; Nielsen Research; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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The Major Leagues get a new Sport – Pickleball  

By now we’re all familiar with pickleball. We’ve heard about it from friends, relatives, and neighbors. After all, it is the fastest-growing recreational sport with roughly five million players.

But somehow, it lacks the status of other sports. You know, the ones with big name players, top athletes, and big leagues. Like the NBA, MLB, MLS, NFL, and more. But now, there is a new entrant to the big leagues – MLP (also known as major league pickleball)!

Even basketball king LeBron James is in on the action, having recently purchased a MLP team. The MLP will expand to 24 teams next year. Each team has co-ed players, two men and two women, who play singles and doubles events.

In MLP play, there are no home teams. Similar to the three-on-three basketball league Big3, all teams arrive in the tournament city for play. This year there were three tournaments and next year will have six tournaments. Prize money in 2023 will be $2.4 million (compared to $1 million this year).

The popularity of pickleball has grown rapidly. Community organizations, tennis clubs, and athletic gear companies have all gotten in on the new sport. Pickleball-only clubs are also being developed. One such club is Lucky Shot in Minneapolis where players match up in a 40,000-square-foot space. Other entertainment locations such as breweries are also installing pickleball courts.

It may have a crazy name, but it’s caught on and entered the big leagues!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What are favorite sports? Which sports do the students play?
  2. Who has played pickleball? Describe their experiences.
  3. Show the MLP site: https://www.majorleaguepickleball.net/
  4. Show Lucky Shots site: https://luckyshotspickleball.com/
  5. Show Smash Park site: https://smashpark.com/
  6. Divide students into teams.
  7. Have each team put together a marketing campaign to gain followers for a pickleball team.
  8. What are the key elements?

Source:  Berkman, S. (14 June 2022). Developers embrace passion for pickleball. New York Times.; Mather, V. (3 October 2022). Move over… everything? Here comes major league pickleball. New York Times.

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