True North Sports + Entertainment (TNSE) is a sports and entertainment company based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba. TNSE owns and operates the Winnipeg Jets (NHL) and Manitoba Moose (AHL), in addition, hosts concerts and other events at Bell MTS Place, Burton Cummings Theatre and Bell MTS Iceplex.
To better understand and serve their fanbase, TNSE wanted to construct a more robust picture of the fans who attend Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose games. To do this, TNSE needed to identify actionable target segments that could be used to drive local fan acquisition and engagement efforts for the 2019/2020 season. TNSE also aimed to develop a data-driven portrait of their fanbase to assist in acquiring new corporate partnerships.
A profile analysis was conducted by leveraging TNSE’s existing data to understand fans’ demographics and purchase behaviours relative to the Canadian market. This work revealed that fans tend to have large young families, are more likely to be part of a visible minority group and often earn above-average household incomes. They were identified as early adopters of electronic products, frequent travellers by air and prefer domestic automotive brands of SUVs and pickup trucks.
Leveraging the PRIZM segmentation system, four target groups were developed that captured 60% of the Winnipeg metropolitan area population, 77% of Jets fans and 75% of Moose fans. Key demographic differences defined these target groups—including lifestage, average household income and visible minority groups—that allowed for a deeper understanding of market penetration for both hockey teams within the region and assessment of untapped opportunity.
In order to grow TNSE’s fanbase amongst prospective market segments, an analysis was conducted by splitting ticket buyers into different groups; Casual Fans—those households who had attended 1-2 games—and Multi Fans—those who attended 3 or more games. This method created distinct target groups focused on ticket purchase behaviour and helped to further define these fan segments for acquisition-focused marketing initiatives.
The segmentation analysis helped provide TNSE with a more complete view of their fans who attended games and what the market potential was for TNSE’s brand at large. In a recent direct mail campaign, they leveraged these data to target 30,000 households within the Winnipeg metropolitan area, generating greater ROI for their campaign.
By focusing their marketing spend on high potential households, TNSE’s campaigns demonstrated improved response rates and fan conversions. For example, the analysis showed one Manitoba Moose target group as more likely than others to attend multiple games. With these results, TNSE was able to focus their messaging to these fans and other potential fans, which resulted in stronger conversion rates for future ticket buying and fan attendance to Moose games. Lastly, TNSE was able to use these insights on fans' purchasing behaviours from their profile analysis when negotiating partnerships with potential corporate sponsors.
Overall, the results from this project are successfully being used to drive TNSE’s business forward on multiple fronts.