Predict Whether Season Ticket Holders Will Renew Their Package

Sports Operations Churn/Retention Improve Customer Experience Increase Revenue Churn / Retention Executive Summary
Reduce churn by predicting in advance which season ticket holders are likely to cancel their renewals.
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Business Problem

Sports teams are driven by their viewership—more viewers translates to lucrative television deals, greater numbers of ticket sales, and boosts in merchandise sales. In 2015, Statista estimated that of the $12 billion in revenue made by the NFL, up to 50% came from television deals. Viewership is a driver not only of core revenue streams but also of ancillary revenue streams that collectively create multibillion dollar franchises. However, viewership and acquisition are incredibly difficult in a competitive environment where what occurs on the field (or court, etc.) is outside the control of a sports team’s management. While success on the field is a critical component of growth, management teams still have to identify core operational advantages they can establish to increase profitability. Thankfully, that is something that they can control.

One operational challenge that team front offices struggle with is season ticket holder churn. While regular ticket sales are highly driven by the variability of a team’s performance, the season ticket holders have proven themselves to be loyal supporters who are willing to stay for the long haul— until they don’t. Losing these loyal supporters hurts any sports team’s profitability as they not only lose a reliable source of revenue but also have to make sizeable investments to replace that lost revenue with expensive acquisitions efforts. And as previously mentioned, acquisition of new, paying supporters is tied heavily to performance. In the case where a team isn’t making the playoffs or is in the slump, there will be periods of time in between when a customer is lost and a new customer will be interested in joining.

Intelligent Solution

AI can help your organization predict which season ticket holders will cancel their renewals. Unlike industries such as retail where each customer has a marginal impact on revenue, sports teams have a limited number of season ticket holders where each holder makes up an important part of overall revenue. By analyzing patterns in historical data and correlating existing season ticket holders to those past holders who churned but have similarities characteristics, AI identifies which season ticket holders have a high risk of churn.

Renewal invoices may only go out once a year, but the job of retention can be worked on throughout the season. This enables your sales reps to proactively prevent churn for the highly valued season ticket holders who have the highest risk of churn. They can do so by offering them with renewal special discounts, unique fan engagements, or player-signed gifts—anything that will ultimately improve the relationship and harness even greater loyalty.

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