AEG Sports uses advanced analytics to adapt to fan needs during COVID-19

“Times are unpredictable, but with SAS and Microsoft we have two key partners who we believe can help us adapt and thrive in any circumstance,” said Aaron LeValley, Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations and Strategy at AEG Sports. “We might not know what’s going to happen, but we do know that SAS and Microsoft have our goals in mind and will allow us to meet any challenges we may face.”

“Customers like AEG benefit from the strategic partnership between SAS and Microsoft because they can seamlessly move workloads to the cloud and discover new efficiencies and real-time responses,” said Rodrigo Rocha, Managing Director of Cloud Solutions and ISV Alliances at Microsoft. “Today more than ever, digital transformation is essential as organizations learn to adapt to new customer behaviors. SAS Viya on Azure helps make this transformation easier and faster, delivering immediately actionable and much-needed insights.

Analyze fan sentiment
Using analytics to understand fan sentiment has been crucial. Using SAS Viya, the AEG Sports analytics team created models to gauge fan perspectives on things like returning to the games in person. By continuously analyzing fan sentiment during the pandemic, AEG Sports was able to personalize messages based on interest and feelings about personal safety, and identify fans who needed targeted retention efforts. By using these tactics, AEG Sports kept the fans happy and increased the ROI of the marketing campaigns.

“Much of our communication with fans during the COVID-19 pandemic has been quite informal, often through surveys, which we use to gather and analyze their attitudes and feelings,” said John D’Onofrio. , business analyst at AEG Sports. “I’m going to take all of the survey data in SAS Viya and use text topics to analyze sentiment and identify key themes to see how fans are feeling and what the overall attitudes are. As a result, a lot of our fan engagement has less of a sales tone and more of a conversational tone. “

“I’m a big believer in customer focus – or in this case, fan focus – and it’s exciting to see AEG Sports use analytics to build stronger relationships with their fans,” said Jennifer chase, Senior Vice President and Head of Marketing at SAS. “Sports teams have a unique relationship with their ‘customers’, and AEG Sports’ passion for their fans has been evident during the pandemic as they use analytics to truly understand fan reaction to disruption and determine how best to deal with it. supporting them through it all. A fan experience with heart and humanity will inevitably lead to stronger bonds with fans, especially when fans recognize that their team understands their needs – in good times and in bad times. “

Use analytics to make optimal decisions
The company also uses the integrated capabilities of SAS Viya for contingency planning. The ability to quickly ingest and model data from multiple sources – including ticketing, partnerships, marketing, weather reports, and health experts – is helping AEG Sports reduce uncertainty related to the pandemic.

“SAS Viya helps us analyze different scenarios and choose the right option,” said Mike marsocci, Senior Director of Data and Analytics at AEG Sports. “Now, instead of being stuck in endless scenarios, we can tweak settings as they happen and quickly determine the best course for our teams to take.”

When fans can safely return to the arenas, AEG Sports will need a flexible way to price tickets based on changing factors such as ticket demand, venue capacity, public health restrictions and other variables. Machine learning – a subset of AI – will help AEG Sports determine the ideal price for tickets. “The range of machine learning enhanced models and visualizations offered by SAS Viya are extremely useful in helping us analyze millions of records to identify these optimal prices,” added Marsocci.

Data visualization is the key to rapid decision making
AI technology is at the heart of AEG Sports’ drive to continually increase the efficiency of its modeling efforts. The outputs from these models often become data visualizations, which AEG Sports uses to chart its daily operations.

“Data visualization is essential to our business,” D’Onofrio said. “Most people are visual learners, so being able to show a visual representation of the data has been extremely beneficial in gaining buy-in. Today, almost every department in our business uses data visualizations to make decisions and operate more efficiently. “

The ability to create these visual reports is especially useful during the hectic hockey season.

“We need to transform data for games quickly, so it’s critical to have daily reports with visualizations that sales managers can see and understand immediately, especially when there’s a new game every two days.” , explained D’Onofrio. “SAS Viya makes it easier for users to understand the results of data analysis in order to make reliable decisions. “

For more information on SAS Sports Analytics, please visit sas.com/en_us/industry/sports.html

Today’s announcement is in conjunction with SAS Global Forum 2021, the first global conference on AI and analytics. Due to the ongoing pandemic, this year’s conference is once again virtual and free.

About SAS
SAS is the leader in analytics. Through innovative software and services, SAS empowers and inspires customers around the world to turn data into intelligence. SAS gives you THE POWER TO KNOW®.

About AEG
Based at Los Angeles, California, AEG is the world leader in sports and live entertainment. The company operates in the following business segments: Facilities, which, through its affiliation with ASM Global, owns, operates or consults over 300 world-leading arenas, stadiums, convention centers and performance venues; Music through AEG Presents, which is dedicated to all aspects of contemporary live music performances, including the production and promotion of global and regional concert tours, music and special events and world renowned festivals such as the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival; Real Estate, which develops world-class venues, as well as major sports and entertainment districts like the STAPLES Center and LA LIVE, Mercedes-Benz Platz in Berlin and O2 in London; Sports, as the world’s largest operator of high-performance sporting events and sports franchises, including the LA Kings, LA Galaxy and Eisbären Berlin; and Global Partnerships, which oversees global sales and sponsorship servicing, including naming rights, premium seats, and other strategic partnerships. Through its global venue network, portfolio of powerful sports and music brands, and integrated entertainment districts, AEG entertains more than 160 million guests annually. You can find more information about AEG at www.aegworldwide.com.

SAS and all other SAS Institute Inc. product or service names are registered trademarks or trademarks of SAS Institute Inc. in the United States and other countries. ® indicates United States registration. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies. Copyright © 2021 SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved.

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