January 30, 2013, 12:55 PM — The Green Bay Packers organization knows that a winning football team and the iconic Lambeau Field are enormous fan draws. But even a storied team with 100,000 people on a waiting list for season tickets feels the effects of competing with TV and the Internet. "Whether we like it or not, we're in competition with all the things that give people a choice to stay home when it's 15 degrees in December," says Tim Connolly, vice president of sales and marketing for the Packers.
CIOs can learn much about customer experience from sports organizations that use mobile and analytics technologies to keep fans happy and understand them better, says Bill Thomas, founder of Centric Performance, a management consultancy.
For example, International Speedway, the $630 million company that owns the Daytona International Speedway and 12 other auto race tracks, recently launched a mobile application to guide fans through the dozens of activities offered during a typical race weekend, in addition to the 250-lap main attraction. "You can't force a customer to experience your business the way you want. You have to be flexible," says CIO Craig Neeb.