How NFL Teams Personalize the Fan Engagement, Enhance Partnership Inventory, and Increase Ticketing Revenue on Mobile with Judo

January 24, 2023

In 2022, no league saw stronger mobile app engagement than the National Football League. Teams turned to mobile to customize their fan engagement, enhance their partnership inventory, and increase ticket sales.

Specifically, 24 NFL teams turned to Judo to accomplish these feats.

Judo gives teams the autonomy to design and launch a variety of mobile activations, through the medium of owned social channels, which benefit partners, and reduces noise. Here are 5 of the best use cases we’ve seen across the NFL this season.

1. API-Powered Dynamic Gameday Content

A team’s mobile app was once a difficult place to design and launch content, but with Judo, creating mobile game day content has never been easier.

Teams have created incredible game day campaigns using APIs to automate their weekly content, and thanks to Judo, were able to create experiences with stunning UI/UX, without the need for developer resources or code.

As a great example, the Atlanta Falcons have done a tremendous job week-over-week incorporating APIs and user data into their rich mobile experiences. They have integrated NFL League APIs as well as specialized content from their headless CMS, Contentful.

Judo allows my team to go from ideation to real product in half the time. It allows us to quickly iterate and refine our mobile experiences as the season evolves and as we digest data from usage.

I’m no longer limited to what I can or can’t do, I can think about the problem and what’s the best way to solve it and bring it to life with Judo.

– Austin Klubenspies, the Falcons’ Director of Digital Platforms

In their Gameday Recap, the Falcons’ used APIs to dynamically include information fans with or without a ticket might need about the game, such as the live score (by quarter) and the current weather. These inclusions facilitated app use, while maximizing the experience’s pertinence for fans attending the game live or fans tuning in from home.

2. Personalized Ticketing Experiences

One of the most popular mobile app campaigns in 2022 were focused on ticketing campaigns. Specifically, teams turned to Judo to create a variety of personal and customizable mobile experiences, the most common of which was Season Ticket Member portals.

Utilizing Judo’s Ticketmaster integration, the Carolina Panthers created one of the most stunning season ticket member hubs in the league. Their campaign features pertinent information for the season ticket holder, as well as a variety of personal touches, such as the account holder’s name and account number, specific ticket information, and a chat button to get in touch with their specific account representative.

Speaking on the campaign, Will Bryan, the Panthers’ Senior Digital Experiences Manager, indicated, Each season, we work to enhance and improve the mobile experience for our fans within our app and mobile web. The Judo product has become a foundational piece of that.”

As Judo is part of Ticketmaster’s Nexus Program, teams are able to make full use of Ticketmaster’s API, and are then able to personalize the content in their app on a variety of factors. For instance, if fans are logged into Ticketmaster, but do not have tickets, Judo can dynamically create a section in their campaign that contains a prompt to purchase tickets. However, If they are logged in and DO have tickets, Judo can include the details of their tickets in the campaign, much like you see above in the Panthers’ experience.

This past season, we wanted to add more features for our season ticket holders within our app,” added Bryan. “We did that through the PSL Member hub, built out through Judo. It uses the Ticketmaster API to present custom user information and we surface exclusive offers and information for our biggest fans with Judo’s sleek user interface.

– Will Bryan, the Panthers’ Senior Digital Experiences Manager

3. Sponsored Content & Partnership Campaigns

Partners are constantly requesting teams to find new and innovative ways to integrate their brand into a team’s digital channels. With social media and other platforms becoming increasingly noisy, no channel has the opportunity for commercial inventory like a team’s mobile app. As an owned entity, a mobile app provides a team with a powerful advantage of controlling the message and having a consistent strategy.

Judo provides teams and leagues with additional partnership inventory, providing a channel to create engaging campaigns that are perfectly on brand for both the team AND their biggest partners.

The Philadelphia Eagles do a tremendous job engaging their fans and partners on mobile. Their gameday guide is an amazing use case of how well partners can be amalgamated into Judo experiences. From their Dietz & Watson Homegating Recipe, to their Ricoh Game Notes Trivia experiences, the Eagles have successfully launched their creative vision while generating sponsored experiences using Judo. They’ve also done a great job targeting a variety of fans, including a thorough Partner Zone with many promotions as well as a Kids Club, complete with fun games.

Their Gameday Guide also included a trivia campaign, sponsored by Ricoh, that polled their fans with fun questions pertaining to the game matchup. This activation was perfectly executed with both the Ricoh and Eagles brands, and concluded with additional Ricoh engagement, as the call-to-action at the campaign’s completion sent fans to the Eagles’ Notes of the Week, which were also sponsored by Ricoh.

The Eagles also created standalone sponsored campaigns to highlight their partners. In their Gillette Gameday Fit campaign, Eagles fans were invited to vote for their favorite player looks. Each screen featured two Eagles players dressed to the 9’s and invited fans to vote for the look they preferred. After making their selections, fans were invited to opt-into-notifications. The ability for fans to opt-in to push notifications benefits both parties greatly, with Gillette having the opportunity for greater exposure with more clicks, and the Eagles being able to segment and target their fans with personalized push notifications.

In preparation for the 2022 NFL season, our team worked exceptionally hard to enhance our mobile user experience and create activations that perfectly align with our partners, enabling us to generate additional revenue, easily and efficiently.

As we onboarded to Judo, it personally felt as if the floodgates were finally lifted. Each year, we make it a priority to focus on user segmentation in hopes of discovering ways to automate our content and workflow. Judo’s ability to tap into various APIs not only increases our team’s efficiency, but decreases the margin of error with everything pulling from one source – a similar concept to a ‘Headless CMS,’ if you’re familiar.

All in all, we have seen an exceptional increase in both user engagement and time spent since onboarding to Judo. As we kick off the new year and head into the 2023 season, we’ll be working alongside the Judo team to continue the push on mobile innovation, with the expectation to set an example and continue to be a leading contributor in sports.

– Chris Rutledge, UI/UX Developer at the Eagles

4. Creating Tentpole Events Packers London

The NFL, much like other leagues, have a variety of tentpole events requiring team’s digital teams to create engaging experiences for their fans. From My Cleats, My Cause and Breast Cancer awareness, to unique sporting events such as outdoor games, alumni celebrations, and international events, teams turned to Judo to create stunning evergreen experiences natively in their apps.

This season, the Green Bay Packers created unique gameday campaigns focused on their international game against the New York Giants in London. In their gameday preview, the team did a tremendous job highlighting the history of the rivalry between the two teams, including an extensive section detailing how, where, and when to watch or listen, graphics displaying the importance of the matchup, and the distance traveled.

This experience was extremely effective for informing fans of the matchup, generating excitement for the event, and providing many opportunities to engage despite the matchup being overseas. Their ability to quickly alter their gameday guide for this tentpole event by including an altered UI, tons of informative content, all while using minimal resources and no code.

5. Segmented and Targeted Push Notifications

Effective push notifications are crucial to mobile app retention. Push notifications provide a team with the ability to reach an entire fanbase with the click of a button. Judo’s affiliated push platform, Rover, uses segmentation to personalize the push notifications that are sent out, to guarantee that the outreach to the fanbase is pertinent to each individual fan.

The Baltimore Ravens are one of the most tactical users of the push platform, sending push notifications to their fans based on a variety of factors, including geographic location, device type, seat section and even specialized pushes based on categories that fans have signed up for, such as contests & promotions, live streaming events, and many more.

Judo’s push platform has greatly expanded our mobile app messaging capabilities while also notably increasing our team’s efficiency. The easy-to-use features allow us to quickly create, edit, duplicate, preview and schedule our notifications, saving us immense amounts of time throughout the course of a season.

We’ve also taken advantage of Judo’s segmentation tools to better target our fans with relevant messaging — particularly on and around game days. In my mind, Judo’s strong capabilities are ideal for effectively communicating with our fans and driving traffic to our app.

– Dave Lang, Director of Digital Strategy & Innovation at the Baltimore Ravens.

Conclusion

It’s apparent that these native mobile experiences can play a major role in immersing each team’s fans into their community, all which being incredibly easy to design and launch without additional developer resources or code required.

The Judo platform creates an opportunity for teams to creatively design amazing experiences and we are so excited to see how NFL teams and other organizations will continue to innovate, create, and launch.

Contact us today to learn more about your organization can ameliorate the fan experience through powerful mobile activations!


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