How Sports Brands Hit A Home Run With Data Science

Karla Guerra our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 4/17/2019 3:54 PM
Who’s your favorite team? It’s a question you’re likely to have heard greet you at an event, sports bar, or in general conversation at least once. But what is it the person really wants to know? They want to know who you are, understand where you’re coming from, and ultimately, if you will get along. When it comes to sports, though, these questions often go unasked because we’re drenched in head-to-toe gear such as hats, caps, bands, stickers, flags, cups, and other external signfiers of instant community.

But what happens when Data Science and Machine Learning enter the mix? Why, you up your game of course. Die hard fans know their stats and make it a part of conversation to discuss what they would do with a player in regard to their plays, drafts, and even endorsements. Knowing stats is a competition in and of itself. Throw in the billion viewers tuned in to watch the Summer Olympics, the Super Bowl, Wimbledon, and the World Cup, and the captive audience for endorsements and advertising is out of this world.

How Data Science and Machine Learning Enhance Fan Engagement


Bonding with one another over stats and with advances in Big Data technology, fans and advertisers alike can create epic, interactive experiences. From Data tracking of angles to perfect the game, to knowing the best-selling food in the stands, everything is tracked and optimized for the euphoric experiences we recount into old age. 

Add in the cutting-edge technologies of Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, and Predictive Analytics, and the Data gleaned becomes invaluable to strategists, sponsors, and fans. These analytics can help to leverage and deepen the experience while sharing insights on possible improvements. Both of these technological advances are set to change the viewers experience. Check out this article for a deeper dive as coaches explain the importance of analyzing Data. Stats and Data have been part of the sports experience since Billy Beane brought economics to baseball, but what does that have to do with sports marketing and branding?

Borrowing Ideas from the Pros… of Branding and Marketing


There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel. Use what the pros know to grow and scale your sports advertising.

  1. Get Local, and Get People Talking & Acting. Promote your brand locally around both national AND local events. Use the opportunity to get people talking. What do people want? What makes ‘em tick? What makes ‘em sick? What do they love about your brand and why would they tell their friends? You get the idea. Perfect for every endeavor from grass roots on up.
  2. Cross Channels. Get social. Invest in YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so on. Use sweepstakes and giveaways, contests and surveys, to get people talking about you. Drive people to your site via an app or campaign which you know resonates with your die-hard fans. Use streaming, live, and exclusivity to ratchet interest.
  3. Think Long-Term. To truly see your numbers and know if what you’re doing is working takes time. This is a long game to master as you build awareness, set your objectives, and determine what parameters to set to realize success. 

These are just a few brand marketing ideas to scale from sports advertising. Now, it’s time to get creative. Use your giveaways as an opportunity to interact with fans and find out what they want. Well, other than their favorite team to win, of course.

You Can Only Get Out What You Put In 


The value of Data & Analytics in modern sports is more than stats. Data Science and Machine Learning allow fans to forge deeper and more meaningful relationships with their favorite sports teams. These insights lead toward a stronger appreciation of what’s happening in the industry and with their fan favorites. 

Want to get in on the game? Degrees abound in the realm of sports analytics from Syracuse to Oregon University and nearly every state in between. Check this out to see where this industry can take you. For those in the Northwest, Oregon has become almost another Silicon Valley. But don’t let its rural areas fool you. They’ve got an ace in the hole from the East and is already under the moniker Oregon rural tech hub.

Check out our current vacancies for additional opportunities. Contact one of our recruitment consultants to learn more.

For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.

For our Mid-West and East Coast Teams, call (212) 796 - 6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com

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