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MLB partners with Adobe to digitise fan experience in the ballpark and beyond

North American baseball league wants to deepen fan engagement and make back office more efficient.

24 November 2021 Steve McCaskill
MLB partners with Adobe to digitise fan experience in the ballpark and beyond

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  • MLB uses cloud to deliver personalised offers and information
  • E-signature and marketing cloud will accelerate digitisation
  • Adobe and MLB already work together on creative tools

Major League Baseball (MLB) will use Adobe’s suite of cloud-based software to enhance the digital experience for fans and to make its backend operations more efficient.

The baseball league already uses Adobe Creative Cloud to deliver content across its television and digital platforms but will now use a much wider range of products to power digital fan engagement initiatives both in stadium and at home.

Specifically, Adobe’s technology will allow the league to tailor promotions, ballpark information, and notifications to individual fans. For example, the application will personalise offers for parking, merchandise and catering depending on the user profile, or it will highlight which entrances offer the fastest journey to a specific seat.

The league will be able to tailor offers such as VIP parking and discounts to individual fans. Out-of-market fans will also be contacted when their favourite player or team is playing in their city so they can watch in-person. Other fans will receive free trials or offers for MLB.TV so they can watch at home.

All of these capabilities are intended to deepen engagement and drive revenues both in the stadium and beyond.

Behind the scenes, Adobe will accelerate MLB’s digital transformation. The league and clubs will have access to Adobe Document Cloud so more workflows can be digitised, and Adobe Sign e-signature technology means player agreements and vendor contracts can be signed off and processed without using paper. On top of this, MLB and MLB.TV will expand their use of Adobe’s creative tools and adopt Adobe Workfront as the new marketing system of record.

“We’ve gone out of our way to create digital tools to improve the fan experience,” said Chris Marinak, chief operations and strategy officer at MLB.  “We’re bringing personalised experiences and information to fans so that they feel like we know who they are, who their favourite team is and who their favourite players are. Adobe’s breadth of enterprise applications allows us to deliver what fans want, where they want it – across dozens of channels.”

For a league that bills itself as ‘America’s national pastime’, MLB has paradoxically been quite forward thinking when it comes to technology for fan engagement purposes, eager to maintain its prominent position in the US sporting landscape amid fierce competition from other leagues and forms of entertainment.

MLB At Bat and MLB.TV offer a combination of live streaming, video highlights, audio commentary and statistics to fans around the world, with the latter’s underlying infrastructure also used by other streaming services.

Meanwhile, the Ballpark mobile application is billed as a digital companion for fans when they visit one of the league’s 32 stadiums, offering access to digital tickets, parking information, arena maps and food and drink menus. The platform makes it easier for MLB to enable new digital features to every team in the National and American leagues.

The expanded deal is the latest sports partnership to be reached by Adobe, which recently teamed up with Spanish soccer team Real Madrid.

“MLB has long been a global leader in digital experiences among sports leagues, with a fan-first orientation across the web, mobile apps, and social media,” said Anil Chakravarthy, general manager of Adobe’s digital experience business and worldwide field operations.

“The expansion of the partnership will allow MLB to bring some truly personalised experiences to fans, made possible by millions of fan profiles built in real time.”

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