If you’re not owning the fan data of your sports team, you can be sure that someone else is profiting from your oversight. Social media sites and ticket sales platforms use every piece of your sports team data to drive profit- and so should you! Studying the digital footprint of your fans provides a world of insight into their behavior.

Social media can only take you so far, though. The data shared by platforms is generally limited to bare demographics. Teams get around this to an extent by purchasing reports from third party research companies, but that’s an imperfect solution.

For the most precise information on each and every fan, you need the reliability and insight offered by a custom sports team app.

What kinds of data do third parties collect on sports fans?

custom-app-sports-teamTicket sales: While the exact type of data collected varies by the site, ticket sales platforms like Ticketmaster generally track:

  • Shows looked at and bought: What else might the fan want to attend?
  • Address: Which events are in the fan’s home area?
  • Number of tickets bought: Who normally attends events with the fan?
  • Purchase path: Where does the fan fall out of the buying cycle?

Sales platforms can also access any data shared by linked social media sites. The amount of data they collect is growing all the time, possibly past what fans are willing to tolerate.

For example, Ticketmaster has a new Verified Fan program that requires an extra level of personally identifiable information. The intent is that the system can evaluate whether the fan fits a scalper profile, but as a side effect it provides those sales platforms with a curated list of sales leads.

Social Media: 87% of young fans interact with sports teams on social media, and half do so through apps. All of that data flows to the platforms.

What data are they looking for? Facebook collects 63 types of data, both demographic (like age and location) and psychographic (like hobbies and political leanings). Users who don’t trim their security settings are also sharing some of their browser history.

Twitter is the second biggest platform for individual athletes, though teams as a whole are less followed. It can track mentions and hashtags to determine which players are most popular and why.

Right now social media platforms are gathering all this data on fans for themselves. They aren’t sharing that data with teams - in fact, some of it finds its way into those third party reports teams wind up buying!

What are the benefits of owning your team’s data?


Owning the data of your sports team puts you in the best position to make maximum use of your available resources. Armed with the right information, you can target superfans for special “thank you” offers and even reinvigorate casual fans to increase their potential value.

Security is a major concern for fans. With a custom app you can ensure the security of their datainstead of relying on others. This is why fans are often more willing to share their own information through a team app, meaning the data is more dependable.

On the financial side of the house, data helps assess ROI on advertising campaigns. Sponsors will appreciate the detailed feedback, and you could uncover unexpected opportunities for new partners among your fans’ shared interests.

What is the best way to take ownership of your fan data?

There are a couple of options for getting access to the data generated by fan engagement.

  • Bargain for data collected by third parties. Teams can make sharing deals with ticket sales platforms or social media sites. The problem is that data provides a competitive advantage. Third parties won’t give up all their data (especially if it has negative implications for their involvement). Also, there’s no practical way to back up data hosted by third party.
  • Collect your own data with campaigns on a platform you control. This often takes the form of a marketing campaign or a custom mobile app.
    • Email/text marketing campaign: 4% of targeted emails are opened, which is much higher than mass general emails. However, because younger fans don’t use email as much this method may be fading out of usefulness.
    • Custom mobile app: Besides generating data, apps also increase fan engagement. 70% of fans who follow a team are willing to engage by sharing content, buying merchandise, or downloading apps.

Are you ready to take control of your sports team’s data? FanHero can help! Reach out to start your today!