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IDENTITY
REVOLUTION
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Episode 4 –
Kendall Peters of the Minnesota Vikings Discusses Teamwork in the Analytics Space

RESOURCE CENTER   ❯   Identity Revolution Podcast 1-11-21

Episode Summary

How come a basketball player became a part of a football team? If players compete on the field, does that mean they are competing off the field too? Kendall Peters answers these questions.

Once a basketball player, and today the manager of sales, analytics, and engagement at the Minnesota Vikings, Kendall explains the importance of getting to know the fans and finding channels to communicate. The coronavirus outbreak has changed how we play games, but fans are still looking for ways to stay connected with their favorite teams.

In this episode of Identity Revolution, Kendall talks about the changes within the data analysis space and how customers today are being more cautious when it comes to giving their information. He also emphasizes the significance of unity between teams, especially in a crisis, such as the COVID- 19 pandemic.


Guest-at-a-Glance

Dennis Hecht
  • Name: Kendall Peters
  • What he does: Kendall is the manager of sales, analytics, and engagement
  • Company: The Minnesota Vikings
  • Key Quote: “I played college basketball growing up. So I think people probably find it interesting that I wound up in football, but yeah, I played college basketball, and I got a lot of interest in team sports and understanding what’s happening behind the scenes.”
  • Where to find Kendall: LinkedIn

Key Insights

  • Quantitative and qualitative analysis is a guideline for a better connection with fans. Kendall talks about the research they did to find out how the fans engage with the team. They managed to develop several different personas according to the types of their fans. The analysis helped them to implement the best communication methods and present their content.
  • Does the NFL allow teams to create new revenue streams? If a team implements an initiative with a positive impact, the league will not interfere. In case some lines are being crossed, the NFL will “put the foot down.” However, Kendall emphasizes the following: “We compete on the field, but off the field, if one team is doing better than another, we want to share those best practices and make sure that the revenue share is going on there too.”
  • There are a lot of opportunities for NFL players to build their brands in the future. Asked if football players are interested in building their brands, Kendall says Yes. Many players are thinking about it. Peters predicts we’ll soon see “a lot more unison and unity between players, their brands, teams, their brands, and putting that all in a crucible together and getting a solid outcome.”

Episode Highlights

To be reliant on others and know how to work together is such a critical skill that’s needed

“Teamwork is incredibly important. I’m kind of one of those individuals where I feel like I can do a lot of things myself, relatively introverted. I know I can get it done right. If you do the Myers-Briggs tests, usually I come out as mastermind for those familiar.

But I know that’s not the case, and I think having that exposure to a lot of different teams that I’ve played with, and knowing like you’re not as much as everyone wants to be LeBron James like even he can not do it by himself. So to be reliant on others and know how to work together is such a critical skill that’s needed. I see it more and more in the work we’re doing, especially since March, when we had to transition to work from home. That requires so much more leverage and leaning on other individuals to make sure your set up was right and to make sure things were done since the meetings were not happening in person.”

Sponsorship is probably the next largest stream of income outside of tickets

“We were able to maintain the season due to a lot of the communication and conversation we had with the different brands we work with. And that was an organizational effort but, our sponsorship sales and service team did a great job of starting those conversations and then working with us to use a little bit of data to back up themselves when they had those conversations.”

The unity of Minnesota sports teams during the COVID-19 pandemic

“The collaboration is amazing, at least from my standpoint. So on our data and strategy teams we’re connected with other data and strategy teams for all the other major sports and even the university, the University of Minnesota locally. So we’ve had conversations about best practices, what’s working well for us, what isn’t working well for us, in order for us to all thrive together.

I don’t really see it as competition at all. There was a user group that was created for all of us. A lot of senior-level leadership was involved and talking about how we want to bring fans back. So at the time, this is April, May, June, and the NBA was not happening. Baseball was still working on getting their season back, and the show’s finished too. So we wanted to have a good strategy for the first team that gets back to the market.”

Are the Minnesota Vikings a national brand?

“We view ourselves nationally and internationally, I would say. And obviously, we have a rich history of players and tradition. We haven’t quite got that Super Bowl ring yet, but fingers crossed for next year. But I think we have a strong presence around the country. When you look on TV, you see a lot of purple, right. And a lot of the stadiums that we traveled to, we saw a lot of that. So that gives you a data point. Our presence is bigger than some of these other teams.”

The changes within the data analytics space

“Consumers are getting more savvy. And I think it’s a good thing because it forces organizations to be more transparent. We don’t want to be in the business of collecting data to leverage it for anything negative or anything malicious. We want to be transparent about this, and it is going to help us increase your relationship and increase your engagement with us, which we mutually want. So, it’s a positive thing, but certainly, a challenge for an organization to move, to consistently move that way and make sure we’re transparent with what we’re collecting and what we’re doing, making sure it always has the fan first in terms of the output.”

Kendall’s list of go-to online resources

“LinkedIn, the people I follow, the forms I follow on there. I’ll check in daily to see what’s going on. I have some Google alerts based on topics I’m interested in, like AI, data and analytics, digital marketing. So that’ll hit my inbox once a week, and I’ll read up on some of the most pressing articles. I want to make sure my mind is in the right place. And then, various newsletters, even things outside of sports. There’s a newsletter called Lenny’s newsletter that I follow, which is digital marketing-centric, which is pretty cool to see what’s going on there.”


Top quotes:

[9:53] “We compete on the field, but off the field, if one team is doing better than another, we want to share those best practices and make sure that the revenue share is going on there too.”

[11:55] “If we want to have fans, we want to make sure that the strategy that we implement works well for our fan base, but also is something that the other teams in our area agree within, can implement the same thing.”

[20:10] “Consumers are more savvy than ever, and they’re not going to just give out their information for nothing, or for no perceived value.”

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