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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
Tackling customer concerns in real-time to elevate game-day fan satisfaction

At home in Levi's Stadium, where over 70K fans gather on game day in the heart of Silicon Valley, innovation is a natural fit for the San Francisco 49ers. However, the 49ers' Business Intelligence and CRM teams wanted to go the extra mile to ensure a superior experience for their loyal fans. The 49ers looked to SAP to help translate the game-day customer data into real-time, actionable insights.

This episode of the Better Together series features the San Francisco 49ers, who leveraged the Executive Huddle—an advanced platform enabled by the SAP Business Technology Platform—to transform how the 49ers approach the fan experience at Levi's Stadium.

We spoke to Noele Crooks, Director, Business Intelligence & CRM, San Francisco 49ers.

  • Thought Leadership Podcast: Noele Crooks sits with Tamara McCleary, CEO of Thulium, to talk about why it was necessary to optimize the fan experience and how the 49ers are now leveraging the platform to meet their sustainability goals.

  • Practitioners' Video: Dan Lahl, Global Vice President of SAP Marketing and Solutions, sits down with Noele to explore the technology behind the Executive Huddle and consider other applications for this powerful tool.

Here are some key insights from these conversations:

Set Clear Goals

Digital transformation can be overwhelming, especially when organizations try to overhaul every aspect of operations in one fell swoop. The San Francisco 49ers found success by focusing first on one clearly defined goal. "We knew we wanted to improve the fan experience," Noele Crooks told us, "That helped us start ideating." The results speak for themselves. "Since we've launched the Huddle," Crooks explained, "our fan satisfaction has gone up 30 index points… we're solving issues in real-time, and our fans are happier."

Put Data to Work with Real-Time Visualizations

The 49ers' Business Intelligence team had plenty of game day data to work with—from parking lots to concession stands to HappyOrNot fan feedback stations. But with only ten home games a year, the team needed to use that data in real time. "Just imagine looking through a spreadsheet or a data dump," Noele said. "It's impossible to decide quickly or even understand what you're looking at."

That's where SAP BTP comes in. The solution has ten different data integrations feeding into SAP HANA Cloud. SAP Analytics Cloud enables the visualization of that data in the Executive Huddle dashboards, which update every one to five minutes on game day, allowing Crooks and her team to respond in real time. For instance, the ticket scanning API integration will quickly notify them of VIP arrivals and ensures these special guests receive additional personalized services throughout their game day experience."It's great to have all the data," Crooks told us, "but being able to visualize it in real-time is what the true impact and innovation are."

Keep Innovating

Now that Noele Crooks and her team have accomplished their original goal of optimizing fan experience on game day, they are looking for new digital frontiers to explore. In the near term, the 49ers are tackling sustainability—using the dashboards to monitor water and gas consumption in real-time—and social media—thinking about how fans' social media posts can become another data point to help improve the fan experience.

"You can always do more once you have all your use cases," Crooks said. And that ongoing process of innovation, Crooks reminds us, is "the fun part."

Check out these other stories involving data insights for improved experiences:

Visit to find the whole Better Together: Customer Conversations series and sign up to receive upcoming episodes and a year-end series recap delivered to your e-mail.

Let us know if there are topics you'd like to learn more about or any questions you would like us to explore. Please contact us if you would like to be a guest on a future episode.