Pacers, Salesforce team up to engage fans with customized data, marketing

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Say you’re a big fan of Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner. You’ve bought his jersey online. You tweet about him a few times a week. You’ve done some deep web searching on his college and pro career. You look up his stats on the Pacer app.

Now, get ready to receive information from the team tailored to that interest, perhaps in the form of push alerts, digital advertising and sales offers. The same goes for any other player or coach in the Pacers organization you want to know about.

Pacers Sports & Entertainment, the team’s parent company, is joining forces with digital marketing giant Salesforce to “personalize every digital interaction with fans,” the two organizations announced Thursday.

Salesforce will use its huge arsenal of digital analytics to track what fans are saying, buying and doing online in an effort to roll out more ways to connect, and in the process, sell you more things.

The two companies are calling it the “Ultimate Pacers Fan Experience.”

Salesforce, a San Francisco-based cloud computing pioneer with major operations in Indianapolis, bills itself as a global leader in “customer relationship management,” which uses data analysis about customers' history with a company to improve business relationships with customers.

 “There’s an endless amount of data that exists out there where people have said, ‘Hey, I’m a fan, I’m interested in this. They want somebody to have a conversation with them,” said Bob Stutz, CEO of Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Pacers Sports & Entertainment said it is deploying Salesforce’s analytics to learn more about fans, make recommendations and predict trends. It is also expanding the use of Salesforce’s marketing cloud to personalize interactions with fans “across every digital touchpoint.”

Pacers officials declined to say how much they are paying Salesforce for the service.

“What we’re going to be able to do is to use these technologies, such as artificial intelligence, to make sure the fans get the information they want about what we’re doing, when they want it and how they want it,” said Rick Fuson, president and chief operating officer of Pacers Sports & Entertainment.

The Pacers organization said the arrangement will allow it to analyze data and automatically see customer trends.

“As a result, PS&E will be able to engage new fans on social media, email personalized content leading up to games and push real-time offers during games through the Pacers mobile app,” the two organizations said in a written announcement.

The Indianapolis sports organization said it also has plans to extend the fan experience to its entire portfolio of teams and brands, which includes the Indiana Fever, Fort Wayne Mad Ants and Pacers Gaming.

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