2013 SABR Analytics Conference: Business of Baseball Analytics

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Baseball Executives from Sales, Marketing, Human Resources, Finance, Stadium Operations and other functions came together to discuss innovative ways to analyze the business of baseball and drive revenue.

The Business of Baseball Analytics session was held Saturday, March 9, 2013, at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown in Phoenix, Arizona.

As a separate track within the SABR Analytics Conference, it represents a great opportunity to share thinking and discuss innovative ways to grow revenues and develop deeper insights into the key revenue drivers. Thought leaders who have developed successful analytical templates used extensively in consumer products companies, financial services and other industries, have translated and adapted their products and services to add value to the business of baseball. They will share and discuss their work, including baseball case studies, all of which lead to innovative ways to drive revenues.

Here was the agenda for the Business of Baseball Analytics session:


Agent-based Modeling Approach to Marketing Optimization
10:00–10:45 a.m.
Damon Ragusa, CEO, ThinkVine; Alex King, Vice President, Marketing, Cleveland Indians

ThinkVine's marketing mix optimization software provides marketers with the forward-looking information they need to achieve the maximum return across all their marketing investments. The specialized version of ThinkVine's software for baseball helps teams to use predictive analytics to optimize their promotional and media spend across consumer groups, geographies and channels. With ThinkVine, sports marketers can forecast how varying marketing plans, along with variable factors such as team performance, influence targeted sports fans to purchase game tickets so that they can determine the most effective campaigns to drive revenue.


Using Research and Analytics to Impact Revenue
11:00–11:45 a.m.
Bill Nielsen, Vice President, Sales, Scarborough Sports Marketing

Understanding your customer is a basic building block in any industry. As the business of sports moves more and more into the world of analytics, the tools to hone those analyses are at your disposal. Scarborough Sports will share best practices on how to use consumer research to impact corporate partnership and ticket sales revenue and unlock the massive purchasing power of your fan base.

Scarborough measures American life. Media professionals and marketers use Scarborough insights to make smarter marketing/business decisions on things like ad placement, multicultural targeting, and sponsorship opportunities. The company’s core syndicated consumer insight studies in 77 Top-Tier Markets, its Multi-Market Study and its national USA+ Study are Media Rating Council (MRC) accredited. Scarborough measures 2,000 consumer categories and serves a broad client base that includes marketers, advertising agencies, print and electronic media (broadcast and cable television, radio stations), sports teams and leagues and out-of-home media companies. Surveying more than 210,000 adults annually, Scarborough is a joint venture between Arbitron Inc. and The Nielsen Company.


12:00-1:00 p.m.
SABR Analytics Conference registration includes lunch at the Sheraton Downtown Phoenix.


Strategic Fan Segmentation in MLB
1:15–2:00 p.m.
Eric Paquette, Senior Vice President, Copernicus

Copernicus is a leading marketing consulting and research firm will share their case study on fan segmentation and target marketing, including the development of customized marketing messages and mediums tailored to diverse fan segments within both avid and casual MLB team fans.


Executive Revenue Roundtable
2:15–3:15 p.m.

Dan Derian, Vice President, Research, Major League Baseball
Barry Kahn, Founder & CEO, QCue
Andrew Miller, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Analytics, Cleveland Indians
Zaheer Benjamin, Director of Financial Planning, Phoenix Suns
Moderator: Dan Migala, Founder, Property Consulting Group

In this final session of the Business of Analytics track, industry executives and practitioners will discuss the various approaches MLB teams take to bolster revenues, particularly those which have been fueled by advances in technology and information. Innovative ticket practices, including the latest applications of dynamic pricing will be a subject of discussion, as will the shift to measuring the return on investment of various revenue initiatives. Other topics include incentives to the all-important season ticket base, season ticket package offerings and ways to increase advance ticket sales to insulate teams against weather and team performance issues.


Supporters of the Business of Baseball Analytics session include:

YarcData, a Cray company, delivers business-focused, real-time graph analytics for enterprises to gain business insight by discovering unknown relationships in Big Data. Early adopters include the Canadian government, Institute for Systems Biology, Mayo Clinic, Noblis, Sandia National Laboratories, and the United States government. YarcData is based in the San Francisco bay area and more information is available at www.yarcdata.com.


For more information on the Business of Baseball Analytics session, contact SABR President Vince Gennaro. 

For full coverage of the 2013 SABR Analytics Conference, visit SABR.org/analytics/2013