An NFL Kickoff Like No Other: A Titan(ic) Retrospective
As we gear up for another NFL season, it is no doubt going to be unlike anything we’ve ever seen. As players are practicing and getting physically ready, teams are working diligently to prepare for the realities of a season played in the shadow of COVID-19. That includes players, staff and of course, fans.
Some teams have already announced that they won’t be having fans in the stands at all, while others are trying to figure out an ideal capacity for their particular stadium.
While we aren’t managing an NFL squad, we’re paying close attention to these kinds of decisions here at 5by5. That’s because we have a strong relationship with our hometown boys in blue, the Tennessee Titans. More specifically, we’ve conducted an ongoing research project for the Titans for the past five years on their fan experience.
Our Research Team Helps Perfect the Pre-game
We helped the Titans iterate on their fan experience, creating a better overall gameday by sending out targeted surveys and talking to fans face-to-face through focus groups.
In that first year back in 2015, we created a Process Improvement Matrix that was used to target year-over-year improvements and growth. By pinpointing areas of high importance and low performance, the Titans leadership team was able to target resources and efforts where they would have the most impact.
Each year beginning with 2015, we compiled specific recommendations in many areas arising directly from our research findings. The importance/performance gaps we observed from fan ratings were the backbone of every single one. That’s the cool thing about research. Sometimes we get to be the voice of the customer. Or, in this case, the fan. Since our first year doing this project, we have helped the Titans measurably:
- Improve the overall game-day experience
- Address customer service challenges
- Demonstrate and communicate the future of the team to Nashville
- Rightly position team leadership and personnel
- Establish more effective strategies and standards for fan engagement and appreciation
And, in addition to our annual fan experience work, we also conducted a major brand study in 2019 to help the Titans understand the way fans perceive them and where they engage with the team.
“It is critically important to us to understand the dynamics of the relationship between ourselves and our customer. And 5by5 does a fantastic job of helping us see that clearly and understand where we need to go with our customers.”
Stuart Spears – Senior Vice President and chief revenue officer, Tennessee Titans
Well, now what?
Honestly, we don’t know. It’s hard to research and improve a fan experience when it is going to look so different from previous years. Here’s what we do know — our friends at the Titans are going to do everything they can to make sure that fans get to feel safe and can be there to yell themselves hoarse when Derrick Henry breaks the single-season rushing record (we can dream, right?).
And next year, we’ll be ready to take a look back with them and figure out how we can help them make it even better. Because now, more than ever, football fans deserve something to cheer about.
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