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NFL making use of the off-season to deliver personalized experience to fans

Just like NFL teams use the off-season to study their strengths and weaknesses, the NFL itself is similar to other brands in that its goal is to deliver in-the-moment and personalized experience to each customer. That can be difficult with 32 different franchises, 1000's of players and growing footprint around the world.

Just like NFL teams want to know their players, the NFL wants to get to know its fans!

Many brands are so focused on moving swiftly, that they fail to understand the benefits of obtaining a clear overview of exactly how they’re leveraging technology, what the right course of action is and any opportunities that may be missed. With the mantra ‘move fast and break things’ at the heart of innovation for many, the thought of taking a step back to slow down, and evaluate digital marketing strategies can seem foreign, albeit necessary.

Aaron Jones, Director Club & International Marketing, NFL spoke to me about how Adobe is helping the NFL reach their international audience.

The journey has really been a good one, but with challenges, says Jones.

"Digitally we weren't able to recognize what was the favorite team of the fan or user."

Jones says that with the help of Adobe they've been able to use certain factors and "predict" favorite teams.

With an overall goal to understand exactly what fans are looking for, from apparel to tickets to the next game, the league’s challenge has been the ability to advertise to individual fan bases. Fans tend to be incredibly loyal with their team, and have an affinity for fan-specific content delivered across multiple channels during live games. For the NFL, ensuring that context is provided around each fan’s journey is crucial to the league’s loyalty and growth.

Heading into the 2017-2018 season, in partnership with Adobe, the NFL did a full technical review of their Adobe Audience Manager implementation, helping to identify challenges, process redundancies and potential areas the league could tap to be even more successful. Just like teams evaluate strengths and weaknesses each year, the NFL is evaluating its relationship with its fans.

By taking a step back to evaluate, audit, and update their segments and models in Audience Manager, the NFL makes significant optimization updates that make a massive impact to their business. Firstly, the league audited and cleaned up all their data in Audience Manager, reviewing each and every trait, segment and removing all redundancies. By ultimately redefining how they viewed audience segments, the NFL was able to create net new versions of their key audiences.

Where does the NFL go from here?

This year, the NFL plans to leverage Adobe Sensei features such as Trait Recommendations and Segment Size estimator to make key decisions during their audit process.

Also, the NFL was able to test personalization strategies on NFL GamePass’ to determine if tailoring a conversion page to a fan’s favorite team, led to higher conversion rates. The result? Record-breaking performances with the help of Audience Manager and Adobe Target, and a personalized experience for more than 90 percent more visitors to the GamePass site.

Great news for both the NFL and it's fans as these two entities get to know each other better with the help of Adobe!

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