Industry News

Analytics driving revenue revolution in US sport, says MLB exec

Joe Januszewski, executive vice president and chief revenue and marketing officer of Major League Baseball franchise Texas Rangers, said data gathered from ticket sales is revolutionising the sport in North America.

The executive spoke at the annual Korea Baseball Organisation’s (KBO) Winter Meeting in Seoul, giving a presentation titled: ‘Working in Major League Baseball: Building a Winner on and Off the Field’.

During the presentation, Januszewski highlighted primary revenue streams for clubs, including tickets, sponsorships, and media rights fees. He went on to explain to the audience different ways in which teams are implementing creative methods to boost revenue.

He also discussed the growing importance that booking events, such as weddings, festivals, races and music concerts, at ballparks throughout the year have had on the business growth for MLB teams.

Januszewski added that MLB clubs have needed to reach out to data analysis, something that has already led to revolutionary changes to on-field product in MLB.

“Utilising more quantitative data in search of better business outcomes is an area that is growing rapidly while taking on more importance across MLB and all American sports,” Januszewski said, according to the Yonhap news agency. “This is one area where we have seen teams growing their head counts as they look for new ways to analyse data in search of revenue optimisation and better cost controls.

“Most of the work to date has focused on ticket sales, utilising buyer data, past sales information, pricing, and survey work to ultimately help us more effectively market and sell tickets.

“We are looking to expand analytics into its own department, with multiple employees dedicated strictly to the pursuit of securing, analysing, and modelling data with the goal of making recommendations to all leaders of our various business units.”

Januszewski said the Rangers applied analytics to set their ticket price for the 2018 season.

“We took a hard look at our individual ticket pricing and re-calibrated our pricing throughout each scale of the ballpark based on historical sell-through and anticipated demand based on opponent, day of the week, promotional giveaways, start time, time of year and several other variables,” he said.

“Moving forward, we will apply this approach to our season ticket pricing as well.”