Although she’s never caught a winning touchdown or stood in the defensive line, Casie St. Gelais ’18 MBA – Hospitality has been with the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium since 2013, shortly after graduating from Johnson & Wales University with a bachelor’s degree in Sports, Entertainment, and Event — Management. She is now a senior membership services representative and manages upwards of 1,600 accounts of season ticket holders. “I am their go-to contact with the team for anything regarding their accounts, ticketing, events, and more,” she said.
We recently asked Casie what she was seeing in the field of ticket sales in terms of new trends and what’s next. She said, “Many aspects of the sports industry are becoming more reliant on the world of digital. As tickets become 100-percent digital for season ticket members, the dynamic of my every day role and the overall mission of the organization will change. Teams are becoming more involved with their social media marketing and digital footprint. This is the new trend to keep fans engaged and generate new business.”
Patrick Leary, EdD, who teaches at the Johnson & Wales University Providence campus and the College of Online Education, echoes Casie’s predictions. Here are three ways that he says the digital experience is coming to sports:
- Sports organizations and venues alike are strategically integrating digital experience enhancers such as AI (artificial intelligence), AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) into the fan experience. For example, 50 hours of live virtual reality from the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang was available to view on various VR devices.
- Sports organizations are gathering more accurate information about each fan who attends a game through their mobile devices. As a result, digital marketers are creating richer, better targeted content to ping directly to their fans mobile devices. Many Major League Baseball (MLB) stadiums across the country use beacon technology to deliver push messages like in-stadium deals on game day—and even the shortest wait times for nearby restrooms.
- The rapid growth of the Esports movement has led to a wave of professional sports team owners and sport networks to ask, “How can we benefit from the growth and opportunity within Esports?” According to industry research group Newzoo, 1.3 billion people worldwide are aware of Esports and the coming year will see the Esports Economy grow to $696 million, a year-on-year growth of 41.3 percent. As a result, sports owners like Robert Kraft are buying in.
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