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Miami Heat delivers real-time personalized digital experiences with a headless CMS

The Heat needed a modern CMS that could scale quickly to meet the needs of their growing user base.

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decrease in development time and costs
increase in in-app traffic and active users
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Before moving to Contentstack headless CMS, the Miami Heat was using SDL Tridion as their primary content management system (CMS).

The challenge

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 not able to scale to satisfy the needs of a growing user base.

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 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 | Executive Vice President, Business Strategy, Miami Heat

The solution

Jafarian recalled that moving to Contentstack was a very welcome transition for the Miami Heat’s content team.

“The best part was that the new platform is customizable to meet all our content team’s needs, without requiring highly complex development,” he said, adding that with Contentstack, internal adoption shot up by over 30%, while 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 with 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.

“We launched a targeted messaging campaign that informed our season ticket members about an exclusive retail offer once they scanned into the arena,” Jafarian said. “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 and Strategy at Miami Heat, said, “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.”

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 | Vice President, Business Intelligence and Strategy, Miami Heat

The results

  • Internal adoption increased by 30%
  • 100% increase in app open rate and sales growth for Retail Group
  • Increased visibility into individual fans' preferences


The Miami Heat is a professional basketball team. As one of the most successful sports franchises in all of professional sports, the Heat have won three NBA championships, five Eastern Conference titles and thirteen division titles.


SportsRetail & e-commerce

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