“Without a deep understanding of fans, we wouldn’t be the leader of sports entertainment and broadcasting. Our insight community provides quick yet deep customer insight to numerous ESPN divisions.”

—Dave Blumberg
Associate Manager, Advertiser Insights, ESPN

Getting acquainted with new media consumption habits

ESPN, to remain the go-to source for sports coverage and stay nimble in a world of fast-evolving media trends, needed a reliable and rich source of intelligence about its multi-platform audience. The company’s solution was to launch ESPN FANography, an insight community of dedicated sports fans who provide ongoing feedback on everything from marketing and ad campaigns to program content and media usage.

Checking market receptivity of marketing campaigns before investing

Dave Blumberg, the associate manager of advertiser insights at ESPN, oversees FANography. He taps into fan reactions to sponsorships and tests receptivity of marketing campaigns. For example, when the company’s marketing department wanted to know if fans still enjoyed NBA Christmas Day promotions, which featured Santa Claus at NBA press conferences, he reached out members of FANography. He discovered that the campaign’s target audience, NBA fans, loved the campaign—in fact, they wanted more of it.

How ESPN benefits from our software

Provides quick yet deep customer insight

Operates with confidence in times of uncertain consumer behavior

Establishes personal connections between the brand and fans

Helps evolve and improve marketing campaigns

Saves expense of third-party research vendors

Increases awareness for clients’ brands

Improves credibility for ESPN research and analytics teams

Testing marketing promotions using customer feedback

ESPN wanted to know whether the inconsistency of the jersey colors of NFL players depicted in Monday Night Football promotions confused viewers. The company invited NFL fans in FANography to participate in a rapid-fire response test to identify team jersey color associations. ESPN, discovering that fans preferred the home jersey colors for most teams, reworked future promotions. Members of the insight community saw their feedback having a direct influence on decision-making at ESPN—which reinforces their personal investment in the brand.

Making every fan experience unforgettable

The FANography insight community includes mobile users, TV viewers, print magazine readers and ESPN Radio listeners. It gathers actionable intelligence to guide the highly specific needs of various ESPN departments. The ESPN Audio Sales team, for example, needs to know where listening occurs, how terrestrial radio listening compares to streaming and podcast listening, when certain means of listening are preferred and how engaged listeners are with content and commercial breaks. Armed with user behavior insight, ESPN Radio can better serve its audience, advertisers and clients.

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