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Miami Dolphins integrates data and eliminates waste

Client: The Miami Dolphins
Agency: ClickSquared
Objective: To integrate various marketing lists into one centralized database and to make e-mail
marketing more personal.

Last April, the Miami Dolphins faced the challenge of replacing its database marketing platform. The football organization’s database included a handful of different marketing lists from various sources including ticket sales, merchandise sales, season ticket programs and youth programs. The team’s marketing department wanted to integrate this various data into a central system that could also create more personalized e-mail and direct mail campaigns.

STRATEGY: The Miami Dolphins teamed up with digital marketing services firm ClickSquared to help organize its diverse databases and upgrade its e-mail program. While the football season doesn’t kick off until fall, ticket sales often occur in the summer, so the team began migrating all of its marketing lists to the ClickSquared platform last spring. The ongoing effort includes list scrubbing, robust data analysis and a more personalized e-mail marketing program.

“We needed to integrate all of our different lists and databases to make sure that the data we have is good and useful,” says George Torres, senior director of marketing and communications for the Miami Dolphins.

The Miami Dolphins now asks consumers to share more personal information in order to customize marketing messages. For example, fans can provide the name of their favorite player, which results in e-mail messages customized with statistics and merchandise for that player. Fans might also receive a birthday e-mail from their favorite player. 

This personalization rolled over into direct mail efforts as well. Over the summer, the Dolphins sent out a direct mail and e-mail offer selling tickets and jerseys, which included the prospect’s name embedded into the jersey artwork.

RESULTS: The Miami Dolphins eliminated about 10% of its e-mail list by scrubbing out old e-mail addresses, making the list more efficient. The personalized e-mails that the Miami Dolphins sent out over the last summer saw open rates average at 20% to 30%. It recorded 30% to 50% click-through rates with some click-throughs as high as 70% among season ticket holders.

“The real lesson is understanding who the engaged fans are and who the casual fans are and how to migrate people to different levels of participation,” adds Dan Smith, SVP of marketing at ClickSquared. “We are looking at how to move a customer from a single game purchase to a multi-game pack, and from a multi-game pack purchaser to a season ticket holder.”

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