Sporting Kansas City: FanThreeSixty Improving Fan Experiences

Mar 4, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Sporting Kansas City players are escorted onto the field by young fans before the game against the D.C. United at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 4, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Sporting Kansas City players are escorted onto the field by young fans before the game against the D.C. United at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

FanThreeSixty, a technology company founded by executives and owners of Sporting Kansas City, is partnering with major college and professional sports organizations to make experiences for teams and fans more streamlined.

Shortly after building Children’s Mercy Park, the home of Sporting KC opened, the team had a need to centralize all of the information it was collecting on its fan base and make that data useful.

"“After creating Children’s Mercy Park, we wanted to understand all the interactions that fans are going to have with the venue,” explained Ryan Baumgartner, Director of Client Success at FanThreeSixty.“We also wanted to understand all the interactions that teams have with fans. There seemed to be a need to bring all this information to one system that then allows the organization to interact with the fan in a more relevant way. There are so many data pieces out there for sport organizations. With a lot of organizations, it’s all over the place so you don’t really get to utilize it.”"

Thus FanThreeSixty was born, and it’s matured quickly. In addition to Sporting Kansas City, it has landed other clients like tennis’ US Open, Oklahoma State University athletics, and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

"“The initial piece was just really to help out Sporting and enhance their offerings to fans,” Baumgartner added.“Once we got going, we started to see, I bet everybody has a very similar problem with all the data. There are a lot of interactions that aren’t even getting captured with other organizations. It’s all about sharing those best practices, making the fan experience much better and being more relevant to the fan in real time. It’s very critical to your interactions with fans. Bringing all of that into one environment and being able to very quickly segment on it was a very big need in the industry. That’s where we came in with Sporting KC and now we have expanded it into other leagues.”"

The growing number of sports organizations is using FanThreeSixty tech to improve fan experiences in a couple of ways.

"“We create a data warehouse that in which we bring in many different things like point-of-sale data, wifi registrations, application downloads, ticket scans at the turnstiles, buying tickets online, any and all of these interactions that fans are having gets recorded somewhere,” Baumgartner stated.“All of that data goes into one centralized environment and creates profiles of fans. We then have an application that allows our clients to send out notifications to them in real-time. It’s a live engagement tool that allows teams to be more relevant.”"

What FanThreeSixty tech essentially enables for teams, and fans to be the benefactors of, is the creation of a real-life, sports-themed, Michael Scott rolodex.

For example, suppose that a fan purchases a Dom Dwyer kit off MLSStore.com and completes a customer registration in that process. Shortly thereafter, Dwyer will be making a public appearance at which that fan could get that kit autographed. That fan will get an email from Sporting Kansas City informing her/him of the Dwyer appearance. That’s just one example of how customizable and powerful the platform is.

"“It’s all about giving the fans what they want,” Baumgartner stated.“What this has evolved into is, why don’t we let the fans choose how they interact with teams? Do you want to renew your season tickets online? Do you want someone to call you? If you do, what time do you want to be called? Do you want to work through email only? If we know that you like a certain brand of beer and the size that you prefer, or that you like a certain type of nachos, we can make you an offer. All the automation makes the human interaction more efficient.”"

As the success that clients have with FanThreeSixty spreads, FanThree Sixty is capitalizing on that by building the brand further.

"“We are expanding aggressively not only in North America but in Australia as well,” Baumgartner elaborated.“There are lots of leagues in the Australian market that we are interacting with right now. We’re really at the stadium level there but the teams and leagues who use those facilities are starting to see the need. In North America, we are in discussions with a lot of different teams and venues.”"

That means new opportunities for people in the Kansas City area.

More from KC Kingdom

"“There’s a huge technology scene in Kansas City,” Baumgartner commented. “We are broadening that even more. We’re opening up opportunities as we grow for jobs and bringing excitement to the sports world. Kansas City fans are great already and we’re influencing that even more. We are trying to expand, grow and open up even more jobs for the great talent here in Kansas City.”"

While economic growth and improved processes of fan engagement for teams are the business of FanThreeSixty, the real benefactors are fans. Their experiences are enhanced and simplified to an extent previously unseen.

"“There are so many competing forces for fans,” said Baumgartner. “The average consumer gets 5,000 marketing messages in some form a day. It’s extremely important for sports organizations to be immediately relevant with fans. You have to know where these fans are sitting, what they purchase, which players they love. With FanThreeSixty, all of that data is captured and in one spot.”"

Next: Sporting KC: Match Grades For Game Against DC United

Because of FanThreeSixty technology, the experience for fans of teams who utilize the platform is getting better because it’s smarter. Those fans get fewer sales pitches which aren’t relevant for them, and don’t have to worry about missing out on events that they are interested in.

As FanThreeSixty’s client base continues expanding, the perks for fans all over the world and especially here in Kansas City are obvious.