Corporate Sponsorships Reimagined: New York Yankees

Yankee Stadium holds approximately 48,000 fans – each one is an important family member and we plan to revolutionize their experiences.

I’ve had two tours with the Yankees for a total of 15 years. I started out as CFO and after a brief hiatus I returned to the Yankees and am now entering my ninth year as SVP of Strategic Ventures. In this role, I oversee ticket sales and services and data analytics. More importantly, and similar to our on the field team, I work with other front-office departments as a team to offer a great Guest experience — from ticket purchase through the last pitch.

Corporate Sponsorships Reimagined is a series documenting the experiences of SAP sponsorship partners, in their own words.

Not All Ticket Holders Are the Same

Guests who come through the turnstiles into Yankee Stadium are more than just barcodes, they’re members of the Yankees experience. We want to learn from them, be it season ticket holders, individual game ticket buyers, or general fans that were given the tickets as a gift. We’re even interested in learning about rival fans that enjoy the game day experience at our stadium. Each Guest has a story to tell and an experience to share. It’s our job to help personalize their experience, both inside the stadium and out — without being intrusive. Baseball is a generational sport, where memories are created that last a lifetime. Our goal is to create those game experiences both on and off the field that help strengthen those memories for our Guests (and their Guests, be it colleagues, friends, or family members).

Opportunities in a Digital World

A few years ago, we were overwhelmed with consumer data. The Yankees needed a data warehouse and a forum for analytics. If we could utilize this data, we would be able to further customize and enhance the Guest experience, sell more tickets, attract new fans, develop renewal strategies for season ticketholders, and better manage ticket inventory and develop unique ticket offerings.

That’s Where SAP Stepped In

SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud is the ultimate unifier. Prior to going live, we never had a consolidated data warehouse. We had a CRM system and a ticketing system, but no efficient way to connect the two. Every ticket sold was an isolated purchase. The team lacked a simple way to identify new customers versus repeat customers, and we had no way to track repeat customers’ preferences. We saw ticketing as “transactional,” rather than a way to create a two-way interaction with our fans.

Now, we have access to live information that we use to make decisions in real-time. SAP HANA processes our information faster than we could have imagined. This efficiency allows us to pull reports that used to take several hours in just a few minutes, which means our ticket representatives can spend more time focused on their customers’ needs.

Giving the Fans What They Want, When They Want It

We established several ways to interact with Guests like never before. A great example is our digital newsletter. Each time a Yankees fan interacts with the newsletter, we’re able to create personalized offers for unique event opportunities, custom ticket offers and specials, stadium experiences, merchandise and food specials, and more. In addition, the SAP HANA integration with simplified tools for social media posts and responses allows us to optimize our work force, and funnel those savings to other areas of the organization.

On the back end, we saw an opportunity to transform the way our sales team goes about selling tickets and packages and servicing our Guests. SAP HANA tracks how often each salesperson contacts prospects and current customers, helping them to manage their processes and touch points. Better data organization ensures that our team is efficiently reaching out to both their current customers, as well as, new potential customers to bring the largest and most excited fan base into Yankee Stadium.

Our baseball ops team has emphasized progressive initiatives, and by doing so, we have built one of the strongest analytics systems in all of sports alongside our partner, SAP.

We’ll continue to make innovation and analytics a priority, and are already looking at ways we can continue improving the Guest experience by applying SAP HANA technology to merchandise and concessions. By creating a unified and custom game day for our Guests, we can give them the freedom and opportunity to focus on what matters most: the home team!

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Marty Greenspun is Yankees senior vice president of Strategic Ventures