Over the past year and a half, the NFL has added two million new names to its consumer ticketing database. Allison Katz-Mayfield, the senior director of strategy and analytics for club business development at the NFL, discussed how the league will share that data in a session at last week’s Horizon Summit at Levi’s Stadium.

Ahead of the 2018 season, the NFL loosened restrictions on the number of secondary ticketing partners each team is allowed to have. The updated policy allows teams to select any primary ticketing partner (30 chose Ticketmaster, two picked SeatGeek), and enables teams to deal with any number of secondary ticket marketplaces. Though teams took advantage of the policy last season, the upcoming 2019 season will be the first in which the teams will also have access to the NFL’s new ticketing analytics dashboards.

Sports business, tech, analytics

“The clubs as well as the league office get all of the ticketing data,” Katz-Mayfield said. “Transactions, listings, customer information from every transaction that occurs on Ticketmaster, StubHub, and SeatGeek. That’s a lot more data than we at the league level and the clubs themselves have had access to in the past.”

Through the NFL’s partnership with Kraft Analytics Group (part of a group of companies founded by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft), the league has built a new data warehouse where all ticketing information is stored, cleaned, and standardized. The NFL previously did not have a platform where both primary and secondary ticketing data were integrated together.

One analytics dashboard that all NFL clubs will now be able to access covers the behavior of season ticket holders, and includes a metric that identifies at-risk season ticket holders. A season ticket holder scores a 100 percent “realization rate” for attending a game, and a zero if they skip a game and don’t manage to resell or transfer their ticket. If they resell though, they will score a percentage corresponding to the new price of the ticket divided by its original value.

Another dashboard allows teams to compare their ticketing statistics to the other 31 clubs. Data can also help teams determine which fans are prime upsell targets, understand how fans are acquiring tickets, and calculate price points for tickets. According to Katz-Mayfield, the Chicago Bears have referenced the NFL’s ticketing data when negotiating sponsorships, while the Pittsburgh Steelers use the data to send targeted information about Heinz Field to fans to enhance their experiences.

Ticketmaster announced in May that its SafeTix encrypted ticketing program will be integrated across NFL stadiums for the 2019 season. SafeTix uses mobile tickets with digital barcodes that change every 15 seconds, rendering previous versions unusable, and immune to being captured with a screenshot and shared through improper channels.

The company announced at Horizon Summit that Major League Soccer’s LAFC will be the next sports organization adopting SafeTix to prevent ticket fraud. Inside the NFL, Katz-Mayfield predicts the league’s ticketing data will be utilized as both an additional fraud prevention tool and a customer service asset.

“Sales leads are super important but we see the value of this data going far beyond that. The first thing is improved customer service. Anything that happens within our ticketing network, we have a full chain of custody of those tickets. So from a box office perspective, they’re able to more efficiently and effectively address any issues that come up, knowing how that person got that ticket, who should have that ticket, and so forth,” Katz-Mayfield added.

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