Minnesota Vikings has linked up with omnichannel cloud technology company Selligent as it bids to expand engagement with fans while they are barred from attending games at U.S Bank Stadium.

Selligent will deliver content-led experiences for the Vikings fanbase, leveraging data to uncover fan insights, create new ways to interact with players, and use relevant content to ensure memorable and purposeful touchpoints with the team.

The partnership is the latest step taken by the Vikings’ marketing division as they seek to retain and extend their link with fans despite spectators being barred from the 66,000-capacity stadium for at least the first two home games of the 2020-21 season.

Steve LaCroix, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, outlined the steps the Vikings have taken over recent months to ensure they could retain their relationship with fans at a time when the majority of the team’s season-ticket holders had opted to skip the coming season.

“The Vikings invested in primary research and created six fan profiles by using a rigorous methodology that included personal interviews, a quantitative study, unsupervised machine learning (clustering), and fan journaling,” LaCroix told TheStadiumBusiness.

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“Each profile is a description of motivations and behaviours for a group of fans, summarised as a ‘person’.

“While it is impossible to replace 10 live games for 660,000 fans for the season, we were able to unlock insights on what each Vikings fan values. The Vikings are committed to leverage Selligent and its sophisticated tech stack to deliver unique personalised content to all Viking fans based on their respective profile.”

With 700 global clients in retail, travel, automotive, publishing, and financial services, Vikings identified Selligent as a partner that could deliver an innovative marketing automation service.

“Selligent fits our values because of their sophisticated data platform and their first-class personalised integration across all channels. We value highly personalised content that activates and engages them across all platforms,” LaCroix added.

“Furthermore, we can tailor experiences to fans outside of our database. Selligent allows us to market to fans based on their activity and leverage insights to personalise acquisition campaigns and create an omni-channel experience.”

Looking ahead, the Vikings have ambitious plans for the coming months despite the issues created by fans not being present at the stadium.

The team is digitising and creating virtual experiences for fans and has seen early successes from the NFL Draft and Training Camp coverage where around 10 times more impressions were generated than previous event-based initiatives.

“We understand fans will miss attending games and want them to return as soon as it’s safe, but we’ve invested in content creators, digital platforms, media coverage and free-to-play games to drive engagement for both fans and corporate partners alike,” LaCroix added.

“The Vikings’ vast digital and social ecosystem has prepared us for the “new normal” as we will continue to deliver meaningful impact for all aspects of the business.”

Commenting on the Vikings deal, Selligent CEO Karthik Kripapuri said: “We’ve seen time and time again how sporting activities can bring people together. During this extraordinary time, many are looking to the sports world to spark hope and joy where it can.

“We’re thrilled that the Minnesota Vikings have chosen Selligent to shepherd them into a new era of digitally-powered fan relationships. We’re excited to be a part of their team, and enable them to make the most of their own fan insights to deliver the content that their loyal followers look forward to the most.”

Images: Minnesota Vikings