Why CRO Is Vital To Sports And Entertainment

When people think of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), they think of retailers and e-commerce platforms. But retail isn’t the only industry that relies on high conversion rates to secure its income and growth trajectory. Nor is e-commerce exclusive to a particular industry. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the sports and entertainment landscape has changed completely. What was one of the most consistently profitable industries has now had to face a devastating series of losses due to arena attendance and fanless experiences. As the sports and media landscape prepares for a dramatic transition towards online platforms, team owners and broadcasters are going to have to leverage CRO techniques to avoid further losses.

The Challenges Facing the Sports & Entertainment Industry

Bloomberg recently estimated that the NFL, NBA, and MLB are forecasted to lose about $13 billion going into their 2021 seasons. The article noted that this hit was significant, relative to their expected revenues. For example, the Atlanta Braves, one of the only publicly traded sports franchises, reported a 95% plunge in second-quarter revenues relative to 2019. 

A significant portion of these losses is driven by the absence of fans.  Due to the pandemic, all indoor events and most outdoor events have occurred with few or no fans in attendance.  The NBA, for example, lost $1.2 billion.  Two thirds of that loss, or $800 million, came from ticket sales.  The percentage revenue drop is even greater for entertainment events such as concerts, where virtually all of the revenue comes from attendance through ticketing and merchandise.

But what does this mean for sports and entertainment moving forward? Eventually, stadium and arena attendance will increase. And in terms of speeding up that process, there isn’t much one can do besides predicting the dates. What these organizations can do however is focus on identifying the drivers of ticket and merchandise sales with pandemic fans.  One way is to use conversion rate optimization or CRO.  For example, we’ve found that displaying COVID safety protocol information prominently in the web purchasing flow can increase conversion rates – and therefore revenue – 15% to 25%.

The Opportunity of CRO in Sports

If TV rights, media fees, and fan attendance all return to normal, then the sports and entertainment industry should see a resurgence. But this pandemic-induced trough may take longer than expected. And if sports organizations aren’t efficient in their use of resources and decision-making, they may not be able to fully recover once restrictions are lifted. As difficult as quarantine has been for the sports and entertainment industry, it has highlighted the underutilization of certain opportunities. One of these is CRO.

The transition from empty arenas to full arenas will take time. This means sports organizations have to be as profitable as they can be with the consumer traffic that they have. This is exactly where CRO excels. Conversion rate optimization is all about increasing the percentage of visitors who are customers. Why this is important for the sports and entertainment industry is because many of their commodities can be purchased online. 

You may not be able to control fan restrictions but you can control the efficiency of your online stores and e-commerce platforms. This year the NFL has heavily promoted the NFL Shop, which allows users to purchase arena merchandise right from their homes. If the conversion rate of the NFL Shop increased by just 5%, the increase in revenue would be astounding. That is why conversion rate optimization is so valuable. And why it might be a lifesaver for many organizations within the sports and entertainment industry moving forward.

The Benefits of CRO in Sports and Entertainment

There are several ways sports leagues and team owners can improve their growth and revenues using CRO. Many of these leagues have introduced companion apps and fan experiences that are looking to improve their product and their retention rates. The question now is, how do they maximize their potential?

Retain Revenues

Conversion rate optimization works hand-in-hand with online retailers and e-commerce platforms. The reason being that landing page conversions directly translate into sales. Many of these sports leagues offer online products whose sales could be increased by improved CRO. The NBA, for example, offers a streaming program it calls League Pass. This program is designed to fill in the gaps of your local television channels, allowing the user to maximize their visibility of the sport. Being able to convert visitors into customers into more dedicated viewers can make a huge difference when it comes to profitability. Increasing your conversion rate means increasing the number of positive transactions per customer. And this directly translates into higher sales, especially when it comes to online purchases.

Maintain Audience Size

Maintaining your audience means preserving their attention and your product quality. The best way to do that is through a valuable consumer experience. Improving your customer experience means optimizing the accessibility of your website. CRO is excellent at using industry and consumer data to improve the quality of interactions your customers have with your landing pages as well as your product.

Certain sports organizations have optimized their websites to convert actions regarding fantasy leagues. This sort of product, when optimized, can create an interconnected customer experience. Suddenly, visitors are using your videos and articles to improve their standings on your fantasy league platform. This level of omnichannel integration can only be improved with the use of CRO strategy.

Ease Transition to an Online-Based Platform

With TV decreasing and streaming increasing, switching to an online platform makes tons of sense. But in order to develop a profitable website and digital service, you need to optimize your conversion rate. Leveraging your CRO to create a successful online presence that converts visitors into customers is very difficult. Fortunately, there may be organizations that can help.

How Enabled Concept Can Elevate your Business’s CRO

Enabled Concept is a data science firm that helps corporations achieve success through analytics and consultancy. One of the industries that Enabled Concept specializes in is sports and entertainment. While Enabled Concept bolsters an impressive suite of services, one of our most effective products is our Enabled CRO.

Enabled CRO is designed to circumvent the barriers of conversion rate optimization and provide a detailed implementation plan that is data-driven. The most common pitfall of CRO consultancy is the integration. Many organizations are aware of the CRO areas they need to improve in, but not how they are supposed to implement it. Enabled CRO’s main goal is to improve your e-commerce conversion rates and return on investment (ROI) within the first 12 weeks. Using a data-driven methodology, clients have been able to leverage their consumer data and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their business model. 

If you or your business is interested in upgrading your CRO strategy based on proven-analytics, contact Enabled Concept today.

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Ron Bisaccia