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Compelling social experiences can engage fans as they create invaluable memories. Those experiences also generate massive data sets, which can create invaluable opportunities for the sports and entertainment industry.

But these data sets supply only the raw material for social intelligence. The right design and implementation of technology enables brands to effectively analyze their data troves, kicking off a chain reaction.

Insight from the analysis drives conversion across everything from e-mail marketing and online advertising to Web site and in-store promotions. That can lead to increasing tickets sales, sponsorships and demand for merchandise—and a larger audience for content businesses.

Fan Appz has mastered the art of turning fans into loyal customers. The personalized marketing platform helps brands better market to their fans via experiences that build stronger fan connections—and deeper insights.

Fan Appz clients include divisions of FOX Broadcasting Company, NBC Universal, Sony Entertainment and Gannett. The company provided the mobile app, desktop and mobile Web platforms used in the London 2012 Summer Games and Sochi 2014 Winter Games.

In this installment of my series on Data Innovators in Sports & Entertainment, Fan Appz founder and CEO Jon Siegal spoke with me recently as the company prepares for the Rio 2016 Summer Games.

Kaan Turnali: How was the Fan Appz idea born?

Jon Siegal: I was part of the creation and growth of the customer relationship management software category at Siebel Systems starting in 1997. As a result, I saw an opportunity to apply the lessons learned through that experience to digital and social platforms and we launched it in 2010.

We found that too many businesses were focused on intermediate metrics, such as how many people liked their Facebook page or re-tweeted their posts. Instead, we thought it would be more valuable to figure out how to use new ways of engaging with fans to learn more about who they are, and then use that knowledge to create stronger relationships.

At Fan Appz, we believe that everyone is unique and wants to be treated that way. That’s why our mission is to help brands engage and understand their fans, and use that intelligence to personalize their approach across all media and environments.

KT: How does Fan Appz leverage data? And how does the technology work?

JS: We first help clients either build amazing consumer experiences or integrate our technology into their existing consumer experiences. Amazing consumer experiences are ones that are engaging, fun and authentic. Consumers eagerly participate and share their participation across their social networks. If our clients have already developed such experiences, we have software that easily integrates into their mobile and Web applications.

These software components enable them to capture valuable consumer insights in order to learn more about their consumers and use that information to build stronger relationships with them.

We then use those experiences as a means to get fans to share as much about themselves as they are comfortable sharing.  All this knowledge is maintained so we can enable better fan engagement through the various channels fans interact with our clients.

We store the information consumers share and make it easily available for use in building stronger customer relationships. You’d be surprised at how much consumer knowledge is lost by simply not knowing what to ask for and/or not having the means to store it for later use.

Our clients can create segments within their fan base driven by the insights we help them gather. Those segments can then be used for more effective marketing between our clients and their fans.  Our platform thus enables more personalized fan experiences through the Web, mobile applications, in-venue, e-mail and more.

We’ve built our technology on top of a real-time, high-performance database, SAP HANA, which allows us to manage large volumes of consumer data and respond in real time through various fan channels.

KT: What are some of the projects that you are working on?

JS: Most recently, we partnered with IMG’s licensing affiliate Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) to power the platforms for College Colors 2014. College Colors Day is a unique holiday dedicated to promoting the traditions and spirit that embodies the college experience. Organizations, classrooms and millions of fans are encouraged to celebrate by proudly wearing their team colors and share their school spirit with friends and colleagues.

This year, fans could support their favorite university through the Spirit Cup competition, which is a points-based rivalry that utilizes social media platforms to crown its champion. The winning school was Alabama Crimson Tide and received a $10,000 scholarship donation from CLC.

Fans had different ways to earn points for their favorite university or college by showcasing their school spirit on Twitter and Instagram using #collegecolors and their school-specific hashtag. Bonus points could be earned by sharing those posts via the newly created College Colors app. All contests were sponsored by CLC.

We built all of the Web and mobile applications supporting College Colors Day on the SAP HANA platform. The solution provided CLC with an opportunity to capture and analyze information shared on social platforms by existing and potential “fans” of their brand and use it to hone their marketing efforts throughout the year.

Stay tuned for the next installment of the Data Innovators in Sports and Entertainment series.

Connect with me on Twitter (@KaanTurnali), LinkedIn and

Data Innovators in Sports and Entertainment Series:

Overview | SyncStrength | TSG 1899 Hoffenheim | Postano | Sqor, Inc. | Fan Appz  | Phizzle | Uplause