Fan Experience

MLS Data Deal Adds Stadium Cameras for Player Tracking and Prop Bets

  • Ten cameras around MLS stadiums will transmit player, referee, and ball movement data.
  • Second Spectrum partnership will start at national TV level before expanding to local and international markets.

MLS has entered a multi-year agreement with Second Spectrum to provide the league with on-field tracking data that will improve game broadcasts and fan engagement through sports betting.  Beginning this season, 10 cameras mounted around each MLS stadium will transmit player, referee, and ball movement data that will be distributed to teams and TV media partners.  Highlight packages overlaid with the next-generation data will also be published by MLS on its website.  On the sports betting front, the new partnership […]

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Sail, Eagles, Sail: Philadelphia Fans Take to the Seas With Themed Cruise

  • More than 4,000 Eagles fans will set sail with 20 current and former players in March 2021 as the team looks to capitalize on the league’s number one traveling fanbase.
  • The team views the cruise as a marketing opportunity in lieu of revenue generator.

Next April, Philadelphia Eagles fans could be playing football on a beach in the Bahamas with their favorite players.  The Eagles contingent will set sail on March 21, 2021, for a seven-day cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas in an effort to bring fans closer to the team in the offseason. “We’re always observing and a large trend for the Eagles fans is they travel,” Catherine Carlson, Eagles senior vice president of revenue and strategy, said. “This whole […]

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Nashville’s Left Field Restaurant Aims to Draw Fans Year-Round

  • The 7,000-square-foot restaurant is part of a growing neighborhood next to First Horizon Park.
  • Entertainment districts now a crucial piece of stadium developments to keep venues attractive all year.

This season, baseball fans of the Nashville Sounds will be able to enjoy a meal overlooking left field at the team’s new restaurant, Third and Home.  The hope is they stay through the off-season too, as the restaurant is in a $50 million development next to the ballpark and will be open year-round. It’s one of the latest examples of baseball teams working to make their stadiums a destination whether the team is in action or not. “It’s been in […]

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Spring Training Now Generating Cash and Quaint Concerns

  • Once considered a sunk cost, Spring Training is now a profit center for teams.
  • Teams and communities pour money into facilities while hosting year-round events.

In the past 15 years, the business of MLB Spring Training has changed significantly. As developmental needs increase and fans find the allure of Spring Training more enticing, teams have pushed for upgrades, with almost all facilities new or majorly renovated in the past two decades.  Mark Hyman, assistant teaching professor of management at George Washington University, where he teaches a program on the business of Spring Training, said that while teams pony up some of the money on their […]

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NBA All Star merchandise

NBA All-Star Merch Record Tied to Local Flavor

  • NBA and Rank and Rally set eight unique retail spots across Chicago.
  • Weekend merchandise sales record is reaching “well into the seven figures.”

The 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago had record merchandise sales, including the best-ever in-arena sales for the event, breaking the record previously set in 2010 in Dallas.  While that success can be partially tied to the star players featured on the court, it also is a byproduct of the event turning into a showcase and an experience for the entire host city. For each All-Star weekend, the NBA works with the local teams and government organizations – in this […]

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Slow and Steady Is XFL Teams’ Approach to Growing Fanbase, Selling Tickets

  • Teams taking long view to growth while allowing fan input.
  • Lower bowl tickets for all games start at $30.

XFL teams are taking a multi-pronged approach to grow individual fan bases by relying on organized events, local media partnerships, and the delivery of team-related content. Across the league, XFL teams averaged 17,409 fans per game during week one. The Houston Roughnecks led the way, drawing 17,815 for its first game. The fledgling league has worked to involve fans as much as possible in brand decisions. In October, the XFL launched its Fan Advisory Network, which allows supporters to weigh […]

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XFL Launches With Lessons Learned and Goals for Long-Term Growth

  • League estimates 40 million NFL fans want to continue watching football in the spring.
  • Deals with Gatorade and AB InBev headline sponsorship portfolio.

On the eve of its kickoff weekend, the XFL says it expects to bring in revenue and grow fandom in year one. But the league is emphasizing patience as it looks to secure long-term stability. The XFL will televise its first regular season game between the Seattle Dragons and the DC Defenders on ABC less than one week after the conclusion of Super Bowl LIV. The short turnaround is considered an opportunity – one the XFL has been preparing for […]

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PGA Braces For Party Time With the Return Of The Phoenix Open

  • More than 750,000 revelers are expected to attend this week's festivities.
  • Waste Management Phoenix Open seeks a third consecutive title as tournament of the year.

Over its 85-year history, TPC Scottsdale’s Phoenix Open has evolved into one of the most unique golf tournaments, a raucous event with costumed fans, free-flowing bars, and plenty of music. “If you zoom out, this is just a phenomenal event,” said Tyler Dennis, PGA Tour senior vice president and chief of operations. “They’ve embraced the notion it’s a golf tournament, but it’s also a festival and a celebration.”  The Waste Management Phoenix Open has been voted by other golf tournament […]

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Hard Rock Stadium aluminum cups

Hard Rock Stadium Concessions Search for Sustainability with Super Bowl

  • Hard Rock Stadium will be the first U.S. professional sports venue to use aluminum cups.
  • Stadiums face long-term cost choices with lighting, restrooms and food packaging.

While fans at Super Bowl LIV in Miami will see a global menu representative of the city at concession stands, they may not notice concessionaires’ push towards sustainability. Centerplate, the official caterer for Hard Rock Stadium, plans to offer fans a menu of Cubano sausage, watermelon salads, paella and more, with many of the ingredients coming from local farms in South Florida. Centerplate – and its parent company, French-based Sodexo – has also teamed up with Ball Corporation to offer […]

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MLS expansion Minnesota united

As MLS Expansion Continues, New Teams Still Setting Roots

  • Minnesota United FC and FC Cincinnati are still establishing footholds in MLS as new teams join the fray.
  • New stadiums, better play helping show fanbases commitment to competitive markets.

As both Miami and Nashville are set to debut in MLS in 2020, two of the league’s other newer teams are aiming to use this season to further establish their roots. While Minnesota United FC is technically entering its fourth MLS season, CEO Chris Wright said the 2020 campaign is essentially the second season of a relaunch of the team following its move into Allianz Field last season. Minnesota launched in 2017 alongside Atlanta United FC, with LAFC debuting the […]

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