Miami HEAT Delivers Realtime Personalized Digital Experiences with a Headless CMS

The Miami HEAT needed a more flexible, scalable CMS. By moving to Contentstack headless CMS and focusing on mobile, the HEAT gained visibility into fans’ preferences and the means to treat each fan like a VIP. Powered by Contentstack, the HEAT app has won awards, shattered industry records, and increased revenue.

50%

Decrease in development
time and costs

200%

Increase in-app
traffic and active users

24/7

Realtime support
and content delivery

About

The Miami HEAT, commonly known as “The HEAT” is one of the most successful sports franchises. The HEAT holds 3 NBA championships, 5 Eastern Conference titles, and 13 division titles.

Company Profile

Website: http://heat.com

Industry: Sports, Entertainment

Company size: 201 - 500 employees

THE CHALLENGE

Before moving to Contentstack headless CMS, the Miami HEAT was using SDL Tridion as their primary content management system (CMS). According to Matthew Jafarian, Executive Vice President, Business Strategy, Tridion wasn’t able to meet business expectations on several levels: Tridion’s licensing was costly, customization and integration expenses were cost-prohibitive, and Tridion was unable to scale to satisfy the needs of a growing user base. In an attempt to build out much-needed functionality, the HEAT’s 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 compelling mobile content experiences.

"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, Executive Vice President, Business Strategy, 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.”

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.

"Being able to customize a message to just certain segments of the population is key. 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."

– Edson Crevecoeur, VP, Business Intelligence & Strategy, Miami HEAT

IN SUMMARY

The HEAT’s investment didn’t just pay off for its fans but also delivered a strong ROI for the sports franchise. 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 “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.”

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

– Matthew Jafarian, Executive Vice President, Business Strategy, Miami HEAT