THE CHALLENGE

Before moving to Contentstack, the Miami HEAT was using SDL Tridion as their primary content management system (CMS). According to Matthew Jafarian, Vice President, Digital Strategy & Innovation, Tridion wasn't able to meet business expectations on several levels: Tridion’s licensing was costly, and customization and integration expenses were cost-prohibitive; Tridion was not able to scale to satisfy the needs of a growing population of users; in an attempt to build out much-needed functionality the HEAT development team started layering on third-party software, resulting in a complex system that was extremely difficult to operate. Ultimately, the HEAT reached an impasse where Tridion was just not delivering the desired results.

To add to the sense of urgency, mobile as a digital channel in sports had grown in importance to engage captive audiences during game time and beyond, with mobile device penetration among fans visiting the arena nearing 100%. It was time for a new content management system, so the HEAT began searching for a solution that could address their existing CMS issues and simultaneously unlock the potential of a compelling mobile content experience.

"This project is not just something that’s exciting to our IT organization. This is what our president (Eric Woolworth) is exulting about in front of his peers. What we’re powering with Contentstack today represents one of the most important initiatives for the Miami HEAT."

– Matthew Jafarian, Vice President, Digital Strategy & Innovation, Miami HEAT

THE SOLUTION

The HEAT decided to upgrade the digital experience for its fans with a mobile application that would deliver highly personalized, interactive, engaging content. The HEAT development team honed in on a modern “headless” CMS approach to deliver content via APIs, rather than a legacy integrated system. They quickly identified the most prominent vendors and began evaluating their offerings side-by-side. Contentstack beat the competition due to its advanced integration technology, the platform’s track record enabling innovative digital experiences and the team’s white glove customer service.

Matthew emphatically recalls that “[...] moving to Contentstack was a very welcome transition for our content team. The best part was that the new platform is customizable to meet all of our content team’s needs, without requiring highly complex development.” With Contentstack, Matthew says, “Internal adoption shot up by over 30%, while our developer costs and time were cut in half.”

Engaging Fans with Content

Using Contentstack to feed content to the app resulted in a 24/7 engagement tool with advanced personalization capabilities. The new solution provides the HEAT unique visibility into individual fans’ preferences and the means to delight them beyond expectations, by treating each individual like a VIP.

The HEAT’s investment didn’t just pay off for its fans but also delivered a strong ROI for the sports franchise itself. When the HEAT put playoff  tickets on sale, Matthew proudly recalls “we launched a targeted messaging campaign that informed our season ticket members about an exclusive retail offer once they scanned into the arena. That resulted in an almost 100% influenced app open rate and a spike in sales for our Retail group.”

Edson Crevecoeur, Vice President, Business Intelligence & Strategy at Miami HEAT, states “Being able to customize a message to just certain segments of the population is key.” Edson also points out that there is a “democratization of data. It is not just the fans engaging with content, but it is everyone in our organization tracking and further improving that engagement. This allows us to derive concrete value from the data we have about our fans. Right now, on any given day during the season, we have over 70 users actively monitoring 250 dashboards and reports and, with Contentstack, we are more efficient and can make better decisions as a result.”

"Moving to Contentstack was a very welcome transition for our content team. The best part was that the new platform is customizable to meet all of our content team’s needs, without requiring highly complex development."

– Matthew Jafarian, Vice President, Digital Strategy & Innovation, Miami HEAT

THE RESULTS

With personalized content management and efficient mobile delivery, the HEAT app has shattered industry records. During the playoffs of this past season, 85% of HEAT fans entered via mobile, and the HEAT set Ticketmaster arena records, with over 16,000 mobile scans per game. The capture of real-time information and clever use of rich profiles means that, in addition to knowing who is in the building, the HEAT marketing team can create highly curated offers that are tailored down to the individual, rather than based on broad, generic spectator segments. Bespoke information is managed using Contentstack and delivered into the palm of the fan where and when it is most useful.

As a result of working with Contentstack, Matthew states that “We've won a lot of honors together.” In 2018, the HEAT received a Clio Silver award for its mobile app, a Communicator Award of Excellence and claimed the prestigious Webby award.

The combination of Contentstack and the HEAT mobile app have transformed the HEAT business and fan engagement. After committing to mobile-only, the app’s active user base grew 220% and drove the second most retail sales of any digital channel. In conclusion, Matthew says, “This project is not just something that’s exciting to our IT organization. This is what our president (Eric Woolworth) is exulting about in front of his peers. What we’re powering with Contentstack today represents one of the most important initiatives for the Miami HEAT.”

"As a result of working with Contentstack, we've won a lot of honors together."

– Matthew Jafarian, Vice President, Digital Strategy & Innovation, Miami HEAT