Join WillowTree's marketing all-stars as they tackle the world of sports media and its interconnected revenue streams. Collaborating with valued tech partner Braze, the team devises personalization strategies to boost online streaming, live event ticket sales, merchandise spend, and customer lifetime value. Their vision for “WillowTree Sports Network” will score major points for fans, leagues, networks, and marketers everywhere.
Sports are the great connector. A shared passion for a team or player has the power to unite thousands of people — regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, geography, or any other demographic.
Unfortunately, modern sports can feel intensely disconnected, despite or even because of all the digital channels and devices at our disposal. Every sport operates differently, and it’s increasingly difficult to cut through the noise and keep track of the best ways to watch a game, track down player info, and connect with other fans.
Luckily, we can leverage a digital platform like Braze to personalize the sports experience and bring fans together again, so we developed the fictional “WillowTree Sports Network” app powered by the Braze platform to create a better experience.
Sports fans are not a monolith. In any given sport, we find a wide range of audience personas, including:
We identify differently with different sports at different times of life. Why not empower fans to tell us who they are and the information they find valuable?
Through some (really fun) field research, our team caught some games at Madison Square Garden, Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center, and Fenway Park, analyzing in the in-person experience with fresh eyes. We also convened focus groups with fans — who expressed varying engagement levels and reasons for engaging with each sport, team, or player — to identify underlying motivations and pain points.
Budgets are tight, so it’s crucial to examine the technical lift and the potential return on investment associated with engaging these complex audience segments. WillowTree’s Prioritization Workshop charts these varied combinations to help clients understand the lowest-hanging fruit and the higher-lift, higher-ROI concepts. Given the time constraints of our two-week sprint, we focused on the hardcore and casual fan segments with the highest potential ROI.
Generic, impersonal pop-ups. Privacy concerns. Unclear value exchange for user data. Average app adoption rates are abysmal, but proper in-app onboarding helps boost long-term user retention.
With WillowTree Sports Network, we capture critical fan information, leveraging a robust preference center and well-timed in-app messaging to optimize user experience and boost long-term retention. We employ sport-by-sport customization of push notifications and email subscriptions, plus a personalized understanding of whether a fan wants in-depth stats and analysis versus basic information to learn the ropes of a new sport.
Most importantly, we honor these preferences and provide opportunities to update as user preferences inevitably change.
Skip the impersonal content that ignores user interest and expertise. Customize and enrich content seamlessly using features like Braze’s Content Blocks, Liquid Logic, and Connected Content.
With a customer data platform (CDP) serving as a single source of truth across channels, we can serve users the content they crave, whether it’s a deep dive on sabermetrics or delightful insights into your favorite player's workout routine and walk-up song.
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