Speaker  

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage Josh Walker president and co founder sports Innovation Lab. All right,

 

Josh Walker  

Whoo. Last day, welcome to CES sports stage, if you've been following along or you've been in this room with us over the last few days, we started out with looking at how traditional sports is handling innovation, technology that's changing the business of sports. So that first day we heard from the NFL, we heard from other luminaries on how immersive media is changing the fan experience, how the NFL handles tradition and innovation and balances that and now we're moving into the later stages of our programming right after having a great day of Esports and gaming content yesterday. So I think the saying goes that you save the best for last, we have a very strong program for you today. It's gonna kick off this morning with an issue that's really taking hold across the industry. And you've probably heard about Moneyball, the idea that data and analytics is something that the sports industry is getting religion on isn't just about onfield performance anymore. It's making its way straight into the operations of the industry. There now. Looking at New metrics of how they run their businesses, how they engage fans, and how they grow moving into the next decade. So I can't think of anybody better than Jill stell. Fox to really talk to Matt from ag Matt from Formula One, to uncover some of the statistics and some of the business operation issues that these businesses have to address and the way that they're looking at data in new ways. Please welcome Gil not in that to the stage.


Jill Stelfox  

Good morning, everyone. Great to see you. You're the brave crowd that rose early. So that's awesome. Okay, I'm here with two amazing people. Matt from AG, by the way, everybody's Matt so it'll be pretty easy today. Matt from ag. He's the director of Let me see if I've got this right Director of Digital Media and global partnerships. And then I've got the other map. We're gonna call him Matthew, from Formula One. And he's the director of r&d there. So why don't you tell us a little bit about you and your role?


Matt Lawler  

Yeah. Well, thanks to you for allowing me to be here and thanks to the good people see? Yes. Um, so I am part of a group within a GE that is called global partnerships and ag is the world leader in live events. We own and operate more facilities, sports teams, and we also have a very large music business that promotes tours, festivals, etc. I sit on a research team within our global partnerships group. And a global partnerships team is really responsible for bringing brands and advertising partners to our our facilities, our arenas, our clubs, and also our sports teams. And so we look at the data around how fans engage and leverage that information. And partners, how they might partner with one of our properties.


Matt Roberts  

Good morning. My name is Matt Roberts. I head up the research and analytics team at Formula One. So Formula One is a motor racing series in 22 countries, 22 races, 10 teams, 20 drivers. And essentially my role is to manage all research and data across the business, whether that be TV viewing data, digital data, market research projects, digital usability projects, essentially everything we do is with a view to using data to help inform decisions about how we can improve commercial revenue in the sport, how we can grow fans, how we can improve fan experience across all our different touchpoints.


Jill Stelfox  

So the last few years, I think a lot of organizations have been spending time collecting, collecting collecting data. Not sure maybe what to do with it all. Matthew, where's your Oregon On the data frontier,


Matt Roberts  

We're in quite a unique position f1 in that we had new owners in 2017, when Liberty took over, and I came in in 2017, under that new regime, and I entered the business, and I kind of thought there'd be lots of data and lots of innovation there. But actually, there wasn't anything at all. So I had to sort of start from scratch, which was a great opportunity, because, you know, I had a clean slate, we could do what we wanted to do. So we kind of we embarked on sort of brand trackers, brand studies, fan experience, work and races. We launched a CRM database, which we've now got millions of names on our fans and they're being marketed to we have a fan segmentation, you know, you name it. We've done it now in the last few years. So it's, it's kind of gone from nothing to a lot. And it's because if one wants to invest in they feel that it's really important data helps inform decisions across the business.


Jill Stelfox  

That's awesome. How am I ag? Where are you at?


Matt Lawler  

Yeah, we're in a similar space and in the way that ag is structured, you know, we are not like some of our, like companies, where we take the ag brand out. So the sports entities, the LA kings, the LA Galaxy, operate very independently, and we want those brands to do well. Every part of the business is at a different stage in the journey, which is a challenge, but also an opportunity to bring Brest best practices across the company. But in most places, we are in a similar space where we've built a CRM system, we understand, you know, our, our sponsor clients, our clients or sponsors, our Brand Partners, what works for them, what doesn't work for them based on the back of trackers, studies, will also piping in new streams of data and I think the real sort of next step is managing that and centralizing it and starting to pull more insights out of it.


Jill Stelfox  

I think one of the interesting things about your organism Is that you are central while you have all of these different components of the business facilities, teams, fan events, you also have central digital collection information.


Matt Lawler  

Yeah. And I think that's one of the things that makes us great and it's an active strategy for us is we want to leverage what we know about facility operation to help make our teams a more attractive prospect for a brand partner. We want to take what we've learned about how Coachella operates, and then apply that to what the LA kings are doing for fan experience. Right. So that centralization gives us a lot of strategic advantage in terms of going to market to attract our partners and we have really great global partners that work with us, I think, because we work in that in that regard.


Jill Stelfox  

Yeah, I think it's awesome. And mathy one of the things I found interesting about Formula One is that we When there was the ownership change you were employing number two, which sort of says something about the importance of data and analytics?


Matt Roberts  

Yeah, I mean, it was, yeah, I was the second person and after the sponsorship director, and vashi made it a really unique place to be in that I didn't have to win over existing stakeholders who have been there for, you know, 2030 years, like sometimes you can some organizations, it's really hard to they, they have a set way, they've always done things and data isn't gonna help them because they know best. And yet, we have now 150 commercial people f1 I think, was number two. But they're all coming in. They're all hungry. They all want to do stuff, and they will need data and ask them for more and more data, more more insight to help them do their business.


Jill Stelfox  

That's awesome. share with us some insight or data analytics that worked out well that you put together and it was actually really helpful to making a decision changing the sport or change A function within the business.


Matt Lawler  

I'll use a social example. So we, you know, obviously, there's a lot of open data and social and you can learn how people are engaging and what is their favorite part of the event, right? So we regularly within social work with our partners in Nielsen to understand what doesn't doesn't work for partners, but we're constantly trying new social series, right? And so, as you're innovating content you're trying to create effectively a product, right because the series is a product. So if it's a video series, or just a static like, putting this on Instagram, we're gonna do it once a week. It's going to be the starting announcements. So we have a video series for the Kings that was just like, our fans loved it, and it's just the hockey it's hockey Ops, right. And for a long time, we were trying to pick By itself. And so we were looking at the deals that we were doing and looking at what partners were interested in. And the video by itself just wasn't compelling the way that we were putting it out. And so the conversation can't turn to Well, what's the value from the fan that we're getting? And so we had one partner in particular, that ended up building that series, another deal that was looking for highly engaged video viewers, because that was something they were trying to take to market with their product. And so that series happens to have a very high number of video complaints. And so we're like, cool, we can plus up the overall deal by including this one inventory item effectively. And that is how we approach the business. Right. So how can we achieve the partner objective based on what we know about the inventory that is or isn't working well, for the fan, but also for the market? That's awesome.


Matt Roberts  

Yeah, I think I think one really good example was around the fan experience work that we've done. As a week before 2017 performs very much, you would come to a race, you would watch the race from the grandstands, you would go home there wouldn't be much in terms of our fan engagement and stuff of races. So since Liberty came in we, you know, we have fans zones, merchandise mega stores, we've created a different experience for fans where they can do activations they can do their own pitstop, they can, you know, try to take a photo of an f1 helmet, all these kind of things. So what we did was as well as doing surveys, at races, so we now interview about 50,000 fans every year at our 22 races. We actually invested in some sensor technology with a company called mesh and they have we bought 60 of the sensors that we placed around the race circuit. And I think that's probably been our most insightful piece of work because it not only told us that people kind of lie and over exaggerated surveys because, you know, you're saving 80 percents of people claiming that they bought merchandise and yet we know from the senses that only you know 40% of people were seen anywhere near a merchandise stand, because we put our sensors on merchandise stamps. So the sensors are really powerful they had, they pick up your Wi Fi signal from your mobile phone, and they can pinpoint exactly where you are around the circuit. So basically, we have the back of that work, we had so many findings, and we're able to see, well, where are the areas around the circuit where there's lots and lots of people, it's the fan zone in the right place, or the merchandise stands in the right places that FMB in the right place. And we're working with our race promoters to move things around the following year. And actually, we've seen really big success. I mean, now our attendance has been up the last two years. If you look at our fan satisfaction of races, that's increasing year on year. And we know that the more people go to the fan zone and try stuff, the better value monitor experience and the more likely they are to come back the following year. So by doing this piece of insight, we've already helped make sure that these fan activations are in the right place and more people using them and more people are happier, more people coming back. So it's been probably our most successful piece of work.


Jill Stelfox  

So I worked with the NFL and put in the player tracking system for them starting in 2013. And one of the things that we learned over time is that bringing together maybe disparate data into one place gives you better insights into things. Where are you in your ability to bring data together? And then deliver insights?


Matt Lawler  

Yeah, I'll start I think we there's a lot of opportunity for us in doing that. I think we're in early stage the the way that our company works, we're very fan first. So we think about the fan experience, making sure that it's the best for our guests that are coming to the company, sort of rallying cry as we're giving the world a reason to cheer, right. And it starts with fans. Where that flips is, excuse me, sort of understanding what our Brand Partners care about. And so when I'm thinking about an in venue experience, I can tell you This is how people move to the building, or these are the concession items they like. But that doesn't help me necessarily secure a retail partner, or a tax prep partner, or an insurance partner. And that's where I need to rely on external data to effectively build out the profile of my consumer. From a partnership standpoint, how do I learn more about their life journey as a customer rather than just in venue or at the event? So we've done some work the last couple of quarters to get a lot smarter about that. I think there's still a long road for everyone to go, right. Because we keep getting new streams of data, like I saw some stealth, stealth company this week that I'm like, I don't even know how the data is going to come into the product and they get delivered. But that's going to be a thing that I have to deal with in three to five years. So it's, we're doing it there's a lot more to do.


Matt Roberts  

Mean, likewise, we we only really started this journey back a few years ago. So we, we didn't have any data on any of our fans, but nothing we didn't know how many fans we had, where they were what they look like. And so we've started and we've been quite lucky actually in Europe, we have GDPR. I think you have an equivalent in the US and CC CCP here. Yeah. GDPR and, and many organizations in the UK had to tear up their entire database of customers. We were lucky, we didn't have any customers to tear up so we could start a new GDPR GDPR compliant from the outset. So yeah, we've got millions of fan data now out there. It's very difficult in f1. It's a complex business, we know the teams are separate. We have 22 race promoters, and they sell the tickets. So we have a complex situation where we can't get the data of people by now tickets, they won't give us that data. It's their data. It's the promoters data. And it's either their classmates go out and sell. It's valuable for them. But we're doing other means to get that data so you know eSports you will have seen that f1 launched in eSports series a couple years ago. We've got an OTC products, you can register them on our website for more sort of timing information. So we're doing ways to try and get more people to register and, and getting their information that way. But it's a long journey. We've created fan segments and we've got now like a golden questions that we can pull across everything we do to create more. This guy isn't excitable, he spends a lot of money with us. So we must keep this guy happy. This guy's a purist. He loves the TV, but we can get him to spend more. And that's that's the way we're kind of looking at it at the moment.


Jill Stelfox  

We're Have you this. Yeah. Now I'm curious about where have you collected data and maybe done some analytics and it led you down a bad path. It either wasn't brought enough or wasn't complete enough or, or somewhere where if you only rely on that data to make a decision?


Matt Roberts  

Not good? Yeah, I mean, it's probably less around data, but we did. We did a round The sport, the sport scenario of the business, we did lots of surveys this year around what the fans want to see in the future any changes and fans of if one of your fans for a long, long time, they hate changed. So they just say we don't any change, we will love it as it is. But we as a business, we think there needs to be changes we need to make it more exciting. And we did lots of work around like new ideas and one of the new ideas was the fastest point. Sorry, fastest lap points or 1.4 fastest lap. And actually the research was it was positive in the favor of the fastest lap. There was still quite a lot of the tracks are saying we don't want it we don't want it it's gonna it's a gimmick. It's gonna it's not NASCAR, it's gonna ruin the sport. Sorry if anyone's NASCAR. But that's what we the feedback we had and but actually we went on we went with it, and the teams bought into the idea and then now it's actually helped the excitement of the sports if you watch the sport now when when there's a bit of a dead race at the end where, you know, Lewis Hamilton has From and he's gonna win. You've got all the other teams now vying for that point, and it makes the race more exciting. Whereas before they would have just kind of cruised in to home. And the fans now in all our surveys is getting like 80 90% satisfaction rates. So was fans might say they don't want something if you just believe the data, you wouldn't do it. So you have to kind of sometimes add data has to be part of a bigger situation.


Matt Lawler  

Yeah. Yeah, I mean, it from a broad standpoint, we've, I think, working with partners that are new to sport sponsorship, or new to venue sponsorship, or even new to digital partnerships. Objectives are like really critical, right? Yeah, understanding sort of what the goal is, and a lot of times even to lead the client in that. And then we've had times where we've collected data towards one goal. While saying, look, this, you're actually a mobile app that was mobile viewing basically subscription based and you could watch sports Anytime at a subscription rate was coming in to sport sponsorship looking to grow their presence, because people didn't know about the app. And so awareness was the objective, right? And so we're like, cool, we're gonna run this whole partnership based on growing the brand and reach and awareness. And at the end of the day, their mobile app, they need downloads, you know, I'm saying so like, we wouldn't we're not collecting the download data, the the connection points on the back end for pixeling. And tracking the conversion of it just not, didn't happen. So when somebody at that company sat up and said, How many downloads? How many subscriptions? No one could answer the question, right? Yeah. And so I think the conversation about what is good data also starts at a collection point where you have to say, good data supports your objective, if the data we're tracking is not tied to your actual objective, the things you care about, we really shouldn't be collecting that data.


Jill Stelfox  

Yeah. It just adds to the things you have to sort through so makes it tough. So that makes me think about sponsorship and sponsorship, folks, how much are they looking at your data? Or what kind of data are they even looking at? And where are they headed on the whole ROI using your data?


Matt Lawler  

Yeah, I mean, you know, we so the reach example that that example is a really great sort of case for a lot of partners because sport sponsorships, and large are really about awareness first, right just reaching a mass audience because of how we consume sports globally. But every brand is different. Every partner is different. And they all have sales objectives, too. And I think at the end of the day, somebody is sitting the C suite saying okay, cool, is best to drive my business as well. And we have the tools now to track that. So a lot of our partners are looking for additional points of accountability. engagement, you know, qualified traffic, even down to conversions or key actions. And so, you know, we're partners in that process, but it is it's, it's different by each partner. There are partners like Anheuser Busch that have a very well thought out sophisticated and clear plan for what they want to see from their sponsor orgs and their and their partner orgs. When it comes to sports sponsorships, there are other brands that are large and are still working on how to get that clarity and it's fine. Just like within our company, we have different people on different places in the journey. I think partners should not feel bad about being in that place. But you know, it does. Everyone is looking for additional accountability.


Matt Roberts  

Yeah, I mean with us. Sponsors actually traditionally only really ever looks at exposure data. So the number of seconds on screen that your brand was seen And whilst exposure is important, it's only one small part of the story and, and over the last few years, we've tried to really move on from just exposure. So you know, we look at now quality of exposure, if before, if you just look at seconds you could have, you could be on the pit lane in your in your on camera view all the time, and it's you're on the start line, or you could be just on the back straight. And those two had the same weight whereas actually the start line has a much bigger weight than than being this on it on a random bender across the circuit. So we were now looking much more quality of exposure and where are those quality sites? And, and you know, going back to our patents and saying, you know, you're on you were on screen for this many times, but look at the quality of your exposure as well. And on top of that as well, I think really interesting area that we're really looking at is IP. And yeah, how much what value can sponsors get just by being associated with Formula One because, you know, we've got 500 million fans around the world. So that's worth something and, and I think I think a lot of sports organizations haven't really looks at IP, and they've given away stuff probably a little bit too cheaply, because they've never factored that IP into their evaluation. So we're we're much more going down that route as well. And also, over looking at all the direct benefits that a sponsor get, so hospitality, digital advertising or whatever they get on top of it. So when we were putting together a framework to understand much more around how much do all these facets of the sponsorship, how much are they worth? And how much value do they give partners and then we're trying to feed that back to partners to educate them to say, it's not just about how many seconds your logos on screen and look what value we can get you in terms of quantity, exposure, number of fans, and you're getting all this extra stuff like great hospitality, and, and so on and so forth. So it's interesting, and I think those partners are also investing lots of money and research and data to do their own piece of work behind the scenes as well. And sometimes we can go to them and say, Look, we can prove prove value, but if they've done their own piece work where it hasn't, they're gonna always believe their own piece of work so that there is a challenge in that respect as well.


Jill Stelfox  

How much do they how much As your team's included in those sponsorship discussions, do you go to the meeting? Do you help set pricing?


Matt Roberts  

We don't do pricing, that's all by the sponsorship team. But we, in terms of the decks and that get presented, you know, will will feature an in terms of trying to give collateral to help themselves. Yeah, how many fans we've got what our fans look like, why we're valuable for that particular brand. Depending on on the partner, we'll we'll get invited along if it's a big potential deal. If it's a smaller deal, probably not. We our slides are just there for the guys to present but we do get pricing on a Sean brachos who's our who's our CIO, MD of commercial. He's always trying to encourage take your data research guy along because that's value and adds value to those meetings.


Jill Stelfox  

Get the nerd out of the closet.


Matt Lawler  

Yeah. It's uh, yeah, I mean, we were really involved. We're really involved we last year was a big exercise in building an internal valuation model to all the points that you just discussed that includes IP hospitality all the time. different elements to partnership. But we also, you know, one of the things that is comforting for partners is having outside parties involved in that conversation. So, we've done work with folks like Wasserman Nielsen, the the folks that are sort of neutral in some regard and can look at lots of different sports and different kinds of venues objectively as objectively as they can, yeah. to standardize that. And then we will regularly help set pricing. We have a pricing model. And I'm in a lot of meetings. I know my my boss and leadership is always bringing our team to meetings to talk about those elements. That's what our bosses,


Jill Stelfox  

How many shout,


Matt Lawler  

shout out my boss that


Jill Stelfox  

How many data analysts are on your team is an in house, do outsource Is it a combination,


Matt Roberts  

we've got the six of us and the team, of which it's kind of pretty evenly split between data people and research people. So we do have that market research speciality as well. But we use multiple agencies. I mean, our team is probably 100. When you add together all the people across all the agencies that we're using, will use analytics agencies as well as market research agencies and, and so on and so forth. So it's Yeah, there's a lot of people working across f1 research and data, not just six people, like identical, in fact, we have six people on our team.


Matt Lawler  

That's, that's wild. I don't think that's the number like if you're building a team, don't get stuck with six, two analysts, and they're really responsible for some of the pricing and like the ingestion of data and then to researchers that look at the marketplace and then targeting. The thing I will say is I'm not omitting them. But when we talk about data and research and analytics, there's six. But then there are two people on our team that are also responsible for the creative. And so they sit within our research group, but all of the decks that go out, we have a designer that is very comfortable and oftentimes gets asked about the data points and the validity of them. Because when the materials go out, he and she, they're usually the last people to see them before they go to the sales team. So they need to feel comfortable with the data too. So I like that about our group as well. It's a nice integration and allows us to tell stories really well.


Jill Stelfox  

I had a designer on my team.


Matt Lawler  

It's great.


Jill Stelfox  

Yeah, that's awesome. Okay, what is the let's let's transition to fans. What is the coolest fan activation that you did using data?


Matt Lawler  

The coolest one? Yeah, you know, I don't think we I don't think we actually people what they thought was coolest. Let's see in my, this is this is the one where I get stuck. So um, I think we we had spacing out. So for our LA Galaxy, we had this space at the now the Dignity Health Sports Park, that was a closet. And so it's actually not digital data but it's still data. Now what we knew was the through traffic. They're the people that were coming by they were our on field guests, they were VIPs players as well. And we were looking to create an additional opportunity for partners always trying to grow. And so the team at the stadium, saw the through traffic and looked at how little usage was happening in the facility at that space, blew it out, built a bar and now it is a VIP bar that you can be at and watch the players come out as they go on to the field. And, you know, that immediately turned into an opportunity for our spirits partners. And you know, we talked to some other partners about being present, because that's the high net worth individual inside of that building. So I think that's been a that's a really great example of how we leverage data and act on it. We've had a digital example of a digital guy.


Matt Roberts  

Yeah. I think we've asked we, we asked last last questions about what do you want to see at future races and one thing that kept coming up was, we want to see all car exhibitions. And we were drumming that into the events team, you need to do more kind of exhibitions and so they pulled a really great exhibition out of the hat this year, which was James Bond cars. So that's probably the coolest one and actually in terms of the stats around the exhibition, which we have about most of our European races the summer the the engagement, enjoyment Saturday. fashional off the roof. People absolutely loved it. Because you had all the, you know, the same cars from the movies going back 50 years? I think so. Yeah, it was it was really successful.


Jill Stelfox  

Yeah, that's totally awesome. What about something that you wish you could do for fans? Either technology or data that's not there that would give you a better insight.


Matt Lawler  

You know, one of the things that we're constantly working on is how we get feedback from fans in a way that is appropriate for them. Like I'm also a consumer as well as a marketer. And so I get a survey and I take the survey because I did like surveys our job as well. But there are there are too many surveys, right? Like there's a lot of surveys and so figuring out how to get feedback without like aggressively saying, Hey, take the survey, I think is the thing that we're working on. I've seen companies that start to deliver An ad pods. And it's sort of opt in if you want to take this, here's, here's this banner ad and you can self select it and then answer one question. But we've also put real time data platforms into some of our key facilities to understand how people move to the building. And that serves as a point of feedback as well. So that we don't necessarily have to ask you what you want, you're telling us You don't realize you're telling us. And that's this sort of state of our digital data world right now. But what I wish I could do is get people comfortable with telling me more through their device without it seeming very deep state, right, because the mobile signals that do get sent can tell you a lot about behavior. But I opt out of a lot of that stuff. I know that a lot of people do that as well. So


Matt Roberts  

For us, and things score so highly, or in terms of desires for fans is actually getting closer to the action getting chance to go on the track go into the pit lanes going being close to their drivers. And unfortunately, because some races we have 300,000 fans, we just, we can't allow 300,000 fans in the pits or in the tracks. So I just wish we could allow more people to experience it because it's brilliant. And people who you know, we've gifted paddock parties to spend the day in the paddock in the pit lane. I mean, the amount of emails we get from them going, it was the best day of my life. And I was never a fan of f1 before but just to walk around where Lewis Hamilton is walking around or to see the cars in the pits and sort of stand on the start line. And I think that kind of activation is so powerful so we could switch. We could do more of that basically.


Jill Stelfox  

I know too. That's I think one of the toughest things about your sport is when you like watch it on television. It's nothing like being there just the feel and the roar. Unless Yeah, if we can duplicate that. Where's that technology?


Matt Lawler  

They're not. I feel like personalization is like a really important piece there. And that's, you know, for us, it's how do we, how do we deliver the upgrade? Right? How do you what is the value that's being added to that experience? through what we're learning about how you like to experience the experience. So the signals are important to that. But then it's like, what's the reward effectively for those loyal fans so that you can get them to come back?


Jill Stelfox  

That's one thing. I wonder, you know, if you talk about whether it's the kings or any of your teams, right, you've got VIPs that season tickets. They've got a mobile phone, like how do you greet them at the door?


Matt Lawler  

Yeah. So that yeah, that's part of the phased approach to how we want to understand what our VP of business intelligence calls the heartbeat of the arena. The first is just understanding venue Ops, right? How How do people move through concessions in and out of the door through concessions through March. And then as you understand that, you can start to identify who those people are because they Come back Are they season ticket holders have they only been twice in the last year, you start to get an understanding of who the excitable zz are. And then at that point, as people start to authenticate and feel more comfortable sharing themselves with you from a data standpoint, that's when you can greet them, right? Because now I, instead of one point of data, which is your email at a ticket transaction, I now know your favorite order at concession. I know when you like to arrive. I know the kind of merchant you like to buy. But also, I know that you take Ubers to the game. Yeah, I know that you prefer to park you like to drive but you prefer to park on the southwest side and not on the northeast side. And so all of those elements as we round out the profile the consumer helps us personalize again, and then when somebody comes into Staples Center and is going to the suite or going to the floor and it's they're going to be on the broadcast and the fourth quarter of the Laker game. We can support that and greet them there and make sure that even they have a vaulted experience.


Jill Stelfox  

Whereas f1 on being able to catch those VIP fans


Matt Roberts  

Yeah, I mean, it's a complex one because we don't own the ticket relationship again. So it's it's something that we're working with our promoters to try and get more of that information around those fans and understanding who are those VIP fans? We do have a we have some understanding because we pick up people who buy merchandise off our website, people are signing up to OTC products, so we know who those real superfans are. And and and like I say, we were trying to offer those guys something a bit extra to try and get them spend even more money to say well, I mean these guys, I noticed 18 year old student he was emails me is and and he can have some work experience and basically, you know, he spends all his money each month on merchandise, and he spent more you have more money. So he's an example of a superfan and if we can keep him happy, you know, and I gifted him have a chance to go to the paddock this year and, you know, I got he's most grateful kid ever met, he had the time of his life, the best year of his life last year because of that experience. So if we can get more of that, again, we're very much in the early stages of of, of trying to understand who our fans are. So will come hopefully.


Matt Lawler  

we have a I think that's awesome because I was watching the video of the kid that ran on the floor to hug Carmelo Anthony in the middle of a basketball games a years ago. He's on nuggets. But it made me think like trying to bring people closer to the game. There's also all the content experiences that allow that to so if you can't put the actual athletes or the actual like tangible product in front of people. How do you leverage digital as a bridge to that we have AR partner with the Kings pro XP, these guys basically build an AR fan day experience where fans can take pictures with the mascots and the players, but it's all on the concourse and on the outside, right and i think that that's I see a lot more of that. And I think it's really it's really cool that it's coming even for the VIPs that aren't high net worth, right? Like all of our fans are important. Yeah. But you know, the kids, right? The, you know, the people. It's their first game ever, right? How do we support them to?


Jill Stelfox  

That's cool. So we're at CES. What's the technology that you're looking at here? That looks cool. That could change your game in some way. What do you miss them?


Matt Lawler  

Yeah, so, for me, it's been a lot of conversations about data enrichment, and data management. But additionally, we're really thinking about how automation and machine learning take a lot of the heavy lifting off of our team's shoulders. We don't have massive analytics teams that kings team is fantastic. The Galaxy team is fantastic, but they're only a couple of individuals into process. That data on top of all the other things they have to do planning the event, if we can take that off of their plate, it adds a lot of value. And there's a lot of solutions being developed that leverage the automated intelligence to at least organize the data so that you can then action on it. So you can be making decisions rather than making tables.


Matt Roberts  

I think for us, we have 22 Ray circuits and a huge, huge areas and the connectivity is often really poor. So I think the sort of five D tech is really, really interesting. And we need to make that experience better for our fans to be able to go and be able to post pictures of their experience without going to Can I get a signal in there? I can't I can't get Wi Fi. I can't do anything. And I think that's a big thing. And obviously, it goes without saying being a car. Yeah, a car. Sport innovations in cars is really interesting on a personal level. When you go down to the expert and see the weather around the car space is amazing.


Matt Lawler  

Right? The self driving electric buses are dope. Yeah.


Jill Stelfox  

Cool. So is that electric Mustang? That's pretty awesome. Yes. So, um, last question. If you're looking for people, what's the skill set kind of people that would be the right person for your team?


Matt Lawler  

Yeah, we've been having a conversation about I think everybody is assessing like, do I need a data scientist? What do I need an analyst and I think, for us, what we want is we want people that have backgrounds and making business decisions with data. There's so much talent in the analyst world, and I think there's a lot of companies popping up that have aggregated that talent. And so what we can do is we can know our business, but also know how the data informs business. I think that's a very unique skill. We, you know, look, the whole team has been talking about how do we uplevel our coding knowledge Who doesn't no SQL that needs to know SQL? I think those things are good. But as we onboard talent, it's really about how do you work with the existing products and technologies that are being built that have aggregated all the developers and aggregated all the really smart data people in a way where you can understand what they're doing, but still be on the event and partnership and research side of the business.

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