"From our CRM data to our email marketing data to web traffic data, Fivetran pulls all that information together and puts it into Snowflake. That gives us a full 360-degree view of the fan, so our executive team can make decisions on what's best for the fans and for the business." – Clark Wray, Senior Director of Ticket Strategy and Analytics, Denver Broncos
- The Denver Broncos ticket strategy and analytics team saves 20+ hours a week on data pipeline maintenance by automating the ELT process with Fivetran.
- Faster, real-time access to data leads to a better, more personalized fan experience and a 360-degree view of the fan, fueling the Denver Broncos ticket sellout streak.
- Leadership and stakeholders have the data they need, when they need it, to make better decisions.
- Every pipeline connected saves the Broncos weeks of lost engineering time.
- ELT: Fivetran
- Warehouse: Snowflake
- Connectors: Dynamics 365, Eloqua, Qualtrics, Google Analytics, YouTube Analytics, Fivetran Log
- BI: Tableau
A sellout ticket strategy fueled by data insights
With eight AFC and three Super Bowl championships under their belts, the Denver Broncos are one of the most successful pro football teams. The team's 52-year track record of selling out every home game is equally impressive.
While winning football championships may rely on a talented roster of players, when it comes to continuing to sell out games, Clark Wray, Senior Director of Ticket Strategy and Analytics, says "data is critical to continuing that streak."
"We're able to get to know our fans a lot better than we've ever been able to before, which coincides with the fact that people want a more personalized experience," says Wray. “Fans want shorter lines and colder drinks. To make that happen, we needed a comprehensive data strategy. We needed a modern data stack.”
However, keeping the data flowing was becoming a real challenge for Wray and his team of four.
Data timeouts deliver big penalties
Operating with a lean team, Wray found he was spending far too much time maintaining home-brewed data integrations. When an original data source or API would change, it would break what he'd built. It was hard to stop everything to fix those broken data connections because it often halted the flow of information for hours. At the same time, if they didn't fix the issues, the business would be operating on inaccurate data.
"Whether it's in Python or in our connecting to APIs and pulling data into Snowflake, I finally got to the point where I decided I was spending far too much time maintaining these connections," says Wray. "If we've got a game on Sunday and it's Thursday, we can't really deal with the downtime that much," says Wray. "It impacts our leadership team because they're unable to make decisions, and we've got a game coming up that we've got to be ready for."
Another struggle was that Wray's team needed to continue to find new ways to communicate and reach the next generation of fans. This meant that his team was constantly adding new data sources.
It was critical that the team could connect and centralize its email data in Dynamics 365, its marketing automation data in Eloqua, and its fan feedback in Qualtrics.
“It's important to understand what content we have that we're putting out resonates with people. We are now tracking our website traffic, we're tracking all of our social interactions. What are people connecting with? And again, it goes back to understanding who our fans are and how we can continue to make that connection with them for generations to come.”
ELT automation scores multiple touchdowns
Wray needed technology that would allow him to stop worrying about data source connections breaking, save his team time and allow them to get more comprehensive and accurate data insights out faster to stakeholders. Wray felt Fivetran scored big points on all those fronts.
"What drew me to Fivetran was the idea that it would help the efficiency of what we're doing," says Wray. "We run lean; we've got a lot of things we're trying to do. We've got a lot of information we're trying to get out, so having Fivetran help get the information in is a big help in terms of allowing us to focus on output as opposed to worrying about the inputs."
Fivetran has also allowed the Broncos to eliminate many of their data silos and get a 360-degree view of their fans, which is essential to delivering a frictionless experience.
Fivetran empowers Clark and his team to:
- Create a unified and personalized cross-platform customer experience.
- See the entire marketing mix. With access to over 50+ marketing connectors, the Broncos can leverage prebuilt data reports that provide insights on ad campaign performance, website/app engagement, demographics and more.
- Combine the insights from these platforms across inter-department tools across finance, sales and HR to build a holistic view.
"Fivetran helps in the data ingestion and the blending process by getting everything in that one centralized database for us, and then from there, it really unlocks the ability to see everything about our fan," says Wray. "Marrying all of the data together helps us understand that fan journey and pinpoint things in that fan journey that we can improve, and that helps us reach the fan better," says Wray.
Finally, Fivetran has delivered enormous time savings and eliminated a lot of worry.
"Fivetran is a critical tool for us because it gets the data source into our warehouse immediately. I can set it [the data connector] and not have to worry, whereas, it could take me days, weeks to be able to get that into our warehouse," says Wray. "[With Fivetran], people start getting instant access to the data as opposed to looking at me and asking, 'When are we going to start seeing data from it?'"
Fivetran puts the focus where it should be — on fans and football
At the end of the day, everyone at the Denver Broncos wants two things: a winning football team and happy fans. While data can't guarantee a game day win, it can help the Broncos create a winning experience for fans by making every aspect of game day—from pulling into the parking lot to going to the gate to purchasing food or merchandise—as frictionless as possible.
"There's a lot of ways we can use data," says Wray. "For us, being on the front lines of getting data in, it's really great to see and measure how we're doing with that fan experience."
Fivetran makes this possible by making it quick and easy to ingest data into the Broncos Snowflake cloud, ensuring that they have accurate, reliable real-time data when needed.
"We know we're not going to win all our games, but we don't want anyone leaving disappointed because they had a bad experience," says Wray. "We're trying to make all these things as frictionless as possible, so you're not worrying about all the other things that go with coming to the stadium. It's just about seeing a great football game."