2021 was a big year for KORE – not only for our team, but for you and the hundreds of global sports organizations, brands, and properties that trust our intelligence platform to enhance fan engagement, manage sponsorships, and drive performance across their entire event activation landscape. Thank you for being on this journey with us and for being part of this incredible community of industry leaders.
As we close out this year, we wanted to celebrate with a recap of our favorite products and features, and a glass of champagne. Cheers to a prosperous and a data-rich new year!
Best wishes & warmest regards,
The KORE Team
That New New
We did our best to understand the assignment in 2021 and launched new products and features to support you throughout the entire engagement marketing lifecycle. Building off our prior KONNECT platform, we created a comprehensive three-product suite—Intake, Activate, and Evaluate— to help find the right partners for your business, deliver proof of performance, and easily compare partnerships across your entire portfolio. Now, with our unique intelligence platform and global benchmark data, you can replace “gut feel” decisions with truly informed engagements.
Intake is all about helping you find the right partners for your business, faster. With an endless number of sponsorship opportunities to choose from, it’s often challenging to find the right ones. So, how do you filter the “good” vs. “bad” opportunities? With a streamlined application management system like Intake, it’s easy to filter, score, and approve partnership requests based on your unique business needs.
The secret sauce of this product is its ability to score and weigh sponsorship requests (minute 16:55). In the first version of this feature that we launched this year, you assign a weight to questions and answers received via your organizations’ customized application form. If the total score of a submission is lower than your defined threshold, it is automatically declined. Score thresholds and automated responses, like a decline email, are configurable per form. Seamlessly filtering out requests that do not align with your business’ objectives reduces the noise and manual process of reviewing each individual opportunity. Stay tuned for optimizations to scoring and weighting coming in Q1 2022, as well as potential other interesting use cases for request & approval management within the platform
Activate, formerly KONNECT, is a best-in-class partnership management system. Need a way to manage all your partnership details like assets, deliverables, objectives, and performance – all in one place? Activate modernizes the way you track deals and collaborate with partners, so you know what is performing well, have more time to focus on strategy, and drive better results overall.
Check out the cool new features we added to Activate this year:
- The two new Advanced Delivery features – flexible quantities and channels- make it easier to capture the true delivery of each asset. By tracking deals as they are delivered instead of how they were contracted, you save time and effort pulling proof-of-performance reports, create alignment between internal teams and partners, and leave more time for strategic planning & execution. In addition to new features, we don’t forget about the existing ones, such as reporting. There was an average 80% decrease in report load times, saving teams time and effort!
- To complement our Evaluate product, the Deal Tableau Connection allows you to connect your Tableau workbooks to your individual sponsorships. This allows you to surface visually pleasing partner scorecards and performance insights directly within KORE deal sheets. By leveraging Tableau, we can improve partner engagement and communicate a data-driven story in a more streamlined fashion without the typical overhead of periodic partner recaps. Inviting partners into the platform also provides live access to their own impressions, media value, and performance metrics throughout the season.
- A simple, yet effective, piece of functionality we significantly improved in 2021 is our Objectives and Key Results (OKR) functionality in Activate (minute 9:35). OKRs are how you track progress, create alignment, and drive engagement around measurable goals. In a “post-pandemic” world, there is a growing trend of cost justification from partners and greater scrutiny of money spent on deals. OKRs create measurable goals which you and your partners can look back on to better understand how effective the deal was, justify spend, and leverage during renewal conversations.
Evaluate provides in-depth partnership analysis. It’s a sophisticated evaluation system that uses a unique measurement framework to weigh and compare sponsorship performance against measurable goals and benchmarks. When you know what’s working well, it’s easy to maximize value and make performance-based sponsorship decisions. This includes the ability to easily centralize disparate data sets and map them against a trusted and consistent measurement framework built to inform the health of your partnership ecosystem.
In the second half of this year, we added the Data Submission Portal to Evaluate. The portal makes it seamless to gather performance data from every partner and source. Your data providers submit files through a customized web-based portal, feeding instantaneously into your Tableau dashboards, giving a near-time perspective on how your objectives are tracking.
All the New Integrations
In 2021, we added 19 new data integrations to the KORE data ecosystem:
Some of our favorites were Shopify, Square, Alchemer, and a variety of sports league feeds.
- Shopify – Shopify is an e-commerce point of sales solution used by many organizations in the sports and entertainment industry. KORE’s Shopify integration provides the ability for KORE clients to ingest sales transactions, items sold, and customer information into their data warehouse. What makes this integration one of our favorites in 2021 is that it’s our first point-of-sale (POS) integration which includes abandoned basket details so you can track customers who are interested in purchasing but have not yet pulled the trigger.
- Square – Square is a point-of-sales, non-e-commerce solution. KORE’s new Square integration includes rich data sets around retail transactions, items sold, and personal identification information. What puts Square on our favorite’s list is the robust customer-level details it provides. This allows for data to be connected to your golden record for more comprehensive fan profiling.
- Alchemer – Alchemer is a survey platform which formally went by the name Survey Gizmo. KORE is excited to provide new integrations to ingest detail rich survey response data into your warehouse. Customers are using survey data within DWA for fan sentiment analysis, event recaps, and corporate sponsorship analysis, and many other use cases.
- Sports League Feeds (NFL and MLB) – Expanding and improving the access to league provided data has been a big focus for the KORE integration team in 2021. Over the past year, we have added numerous data sets to the NFL & MLB league feeds which provide rich customer-level data for demographics, e-commerce transactions, and marketing engagements
For our Sports & Entertainment clients, we added two new ticketing integrations this year – Paciolan and Ticketek. These two additions sit alongside our existing catalog of best-in-class ticketing integrations with Ticketmaster, Tickets.com, SeatGeek, and AXS.
Not only have we added to our catalog of integrations, but we also focused on improving the existing integration sources. We began ingesting Ticketmaster ticket exchange data that flows back into DWA at 15-minute intervals. Prior to this enhancement, secondary market data was being ingested only once every hour. Now, with near real-time ticket exchange data, we can be more confident on who is truly entering the building during gamedays. This leads to more dynamic fan experiences through improved interactions, personalization, and provides a better pulse on gameday versus a retrospective approach.
Making Fan Engagement ‘Beta’ with Helix
Earlier in the year, we introduced a brand-new product that KORE has been deeply focused on over the past 12 months – Helix. Helix represents a significant step forward in KORE’s ability to drive increased fan retention and campaign conversion through enhanced personalization at each touchpoint within the fan journey. The new Helix features are:
- Identity Resolution: Configurable rules to identify & match fans across disparate platforms.
- Golden Records: A consolidated “best” representation of each fan.
- Fan DNA: Clear understanding of why a Golden Record was created & which source accounts it’s linked to.
- Tags, Attributes, Categories, Timeline: Auto-apply tags, calculate attributes, and better understand how your fans behave over time.
- Audience Builder: Segmentation tool for non-technical users.
So, what do all these features mean for you? They mean Helix improves fan de-duplication processes, so your teams cast a wider and more focused net on who to target for sales and marketing efforts. It introduces tooling to allow non-technical marketing users to work with fan data and powers true automation in CRM and marketing tools by supplying better and deeper data sets to those systems.
In the second half of this year, we launched our first Helix Beta program with a group of early adopters and we couldn’t be more excited about the early results we’re seeing from this program. Coming in the first half of 2022, we’re looking forward to the full Helix release. Stay tuned for more news, feature information, and customer success stories in the new year.
Curious how a Beta program participant is using Helix? Watch Chris Zeppenfeld of the Charlotte Hornets share how he’s using Helix to empower his team to drive targeted and personalized fan journeys (minute 42:40). For a demo of Helix, tune into our Q2 Customer Forum recording (minute 42:45).
Salesforce Independent Software Vendor (ISV)
Another highlight for KORE in 2021 was launching our KORE App on Salesforce AppExchange. Now, you can integrate your ticketing and sponsorship platform with Salesforce to ensure ticket purchases, deal management, and customer data are available for end-users without ever leaving the Salesforce environment. Read the full blog from earlier this year.
KORE Data Model for Retail & Merchandise
We shared our new KORE Retail and Merchandise data model in our Q1 Customer Forum (minute 34:37) earlier this year. We developed the data model to address three common challenges we realized data warehouse users were experiencing:
- High technical barrier of entry to capture, report, and analyze data to answer business questions.
- Vendor data is often not optimized for reporting and analytics.
- Data blending is challenging when changing vendors and/or using multiple vendors.
The new KORE data model normalizes and standardizes data across different retail and merchandise vendors, like Appetize, Fanatics, and Vend. It then augments that data with additional context, like game date, opponent, and result information from your organization. This enriched data and the ability to slice and dice it, helps answer important business questions, like do we sell more on weekend or weeknight game days, do we sell more against our rivals or conference opponents, and do we sell more during wins or loses? With the ability to conduct comprehensive, more efficient analysis and reporting, it’s easier to answer your key questions to help optimize your business.
New Sponsorship Reporting Suite
At the end of Q1, we rolled out 33 new Sponsorship reports accessible through the Tableau environment. The reports were rebuilt from the ground up to replace the standard reports previously in our Sponsorship product. The goals for rebuilding these reports were:
- Improve report performance by rebuilding and optimizing queries.
- Enhance user interface of reports by:
- Reorganized all the existing filters into the filter icon at the top right of the report. Previously, all the filters were listed which took up too much space in the report.
- Adding the information icon at the top right of the report to provide supporting information to understand report terms and the data you’re interacting with.
- Provide more meaningful insights by improving how data is presented.
Watch our Q1 Customer Forum recording (minute 7:12) to learn more about these 33 new reports.
For more information about any of these products or features, reach out to your Customer Success Manager. Not a KORE customer? Request a 1-hour product demo here.
KORE is the global leader in engagement marketing solutions, serving more than 200 professional teams and 850+ sports and entertainment properties worldwide, providing practical tools and services to harness customer data, facilitate sponsorship sales and activation, and create actionable insights.