Proudly located in the Hoosier State, the Pacers Sports & Entertainment (PS&E) team – who supports a group of properties including the Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever, Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Pacers Gaming, and Bankers Life Fieldhouse – is a team of inspired and dedicated customer engagement fanatics who promise to deliver quality entertainment and unparalleled service.
In pursuit of their mission, the Pacers knew that evolving their technology was critical to the success of creating meaningful customer connections. Four years ago, they implemented Salesforce.com, and two years ago, added Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) to their tech stack.
Since adding SFMC, the Pacers team has enjoyed tremendous success – and now enjoys sharing their best practices to level-up the fan experience for attendees at Connections ‘19 (CNX19) in Chicago, as well as across the country.
The Dream Team
Since implementing SFMC, the Pacers knew that building the right team was key to driving continued success using the platform. One takeaway from the Pacers CNX19 session is how they structured their team for success.
Having personalized, relevant content is a key component of their fan experience strategy, and their content-focused team members work hard everyday to develop and ensure they have the content they need to create meaningful connections with all of their customers.
Their “Builder”-focused team members bring the knowledge and skills necessary to distribute and deliver the right content to the right people at the right times using the SFMC platform.
Along with partnering with Lev for ongoing support services, having specific team members dedicated to ensuring success using Marketing Cloud is a win-win for everyone.
Leveraging the right data for a slam dunk on the fan experience
As the Pacers build their internal dream team, they’re also looking towards the fans. How could they create personal connections with each and every one of their fans – from die-hard season ticket holders to local businesses considering suite packages to entertain employees and customers?
The Pacers started by including dynamic content in their emails – going as far as leveraging data to interchange images of a fan’s favorite player throughout their Insider Newsletter.
After testing dynamic content and measuring the impact of personalization, they ran their annual “Select a Seat” campaign, using dynamic content to show season ticket holders their personalized time slot to select new seats or keep last year’s. What used to be several different email creatives being sent to several different lists were all pulled into a single deployment – not only providing their fans a better experience through personalization, but also giving the Pacers team more time to focus on new initiatives by reducing time spent on campaign creation by 70%.
The Pacers also bring their A-game on game days, deploying segmented emails based on geographic location encouraging fans to find the best way to cheer on their team. Those within a specific amount of miles of Bankers Life Fieldhouse are invited to buy tickets, while those further than specified number miles are told what TV channels will be airing the game via personalized email content.
As the Pacers continue to rapidly mature their digital marketing efforts, they now use Einstein AI to create segmented journeys based on engagement levels within their fanbase.
After segmenting customers into four different groups based on the customer’s engagement in their email marketing content, they ran a campaign leveraging videos of one of their star players, TJ Leaf, to collect content preferences and re-engage dormant customers. The campaign resulted in a 20% increase in dormant subscribers becoming re-engaged.
With all of the success the Pacers have seen, they’re focused on showing even more value to their internal teams and fans with additional SFDC and SFMC functionality.
Next, they plan to mature their use of AI to refine their ability to get the right messages to the right audience at the right times – starting with converting super fans to season ticket holders during their next ticket sales campaign.
We look forward to continuing to partner with the Pacers team to help them level up their fan experience.