“It's not just the players being tracked throughout the season,” says Senior Lecturer Felix Tan from the UNSW Business School. “Every football team in Australia is tracking their fans too.”
“Sports analytics is not just about doing well on the park,” Tan says. “It’s about establishing a platform for people to engage. It’s about ensuring that constituents are able to find value networking with each other through the platform and that people can see this ecosystem – and not just in Sydney, but people around the world.”
He has researched how sports teams conduct business analytics into their fans using Big Data.
He says, firstly, they use business analytics. This deals with data analytics related to customers, which in this case are fans and club members. A huge club like Bayern Munich has created 80 different ‘roles’ for fans, based on the data it has gathered about them.
“On the communication and marketing side, content is then delivered to the fans in a specific form, depending on their defined roles. On the sales side, ‘dialogue steps’ are identified to pinpoint consumers’ decision journey to better inform communication and marketing,” he says.
His research shows that in some respects, the clubs have similar aims to most businesses, but they go beyond that as well. The research has been published in the paper “Beyond ‘Moneyball’ to Analytics Leadership in Sports: An Ecological Analysis of FC Bayern Munich’s Digital Transformation”, by Felix Tan, a senior lecturer in the school of Information Systems and Technology Management at UNSW Business School, and his colleagues Xiao Xiao and Jonas Hedman, both from the Copenhagen Business School.
“The revenue for sports is obviously to grow a fan base and get the fans engaged with you, buying your merchandise,” Tan says.
Secondly, he says, there is event management, using data analytics on match day to ensure the event runs smoothly.
For instance, says Tan, on game day by 7.30 pm, 80 per cent of the crowd should already be in the stadium. If that hasn’t happened, then the event organisers will receive an iPad or iPhone alert. The organisers can then change the traffic flow, perhaps opening a boom gate to allow quicker access or putting more staff on ticket sales.
Media contact: Julian Lorkin: 02 9385 9887