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9 Strategies D.C. United Use to Supercharge Marketing and Grow Revenue

During the COVID-19 pandemic, D.C. United took a step back and put every facet of their marketing strategy under a microscope. Then, they reimagined it all.

After implementing The Hub from SSB, Sports Alliance & Trak, they transformed their marketing approach to be more effective, efficient and personalized. Within 30 days, they saw the fruits of their labor through growing incremental revenue, deeper fan engagement, saved working hours and stronger marketing strategies guided by data insights.

Led by Drew Bentley, the Senior Director of Business Strategy and Analytics, and Gabby Wells, Manager of Business Strategy & Analytics, the D.C. United team shares the most vital components of their new marketing approach. These changes have had an immediate impact on the organization, and set them up for record-setting growth and long-term success:

1.  Double down on a data-driven approach.

By connecting diverse data systems from across the organization via SSB’s Central Intelligence, D.C. United gain access to a 360-degree view, or Golden Record, of every single fan. This opens the doors to highly effective and personalized marketing campaigns. 

2. Monitor the business in real-time.

With all organizational data in one location and 50+ automated data visualizations monitoring every business unit, D.C. United keep a vigilant eye on ticketing, food and beverage, merchandise, broadcast, social media, email and research. This is key to refining and modifying marketing strategies on the fly to be more nimble and successful.

3. Recreate the fan sales journey.

D.C. United created a personalized sales journey to accommodate every fan. Whether they are talking to a season ticket holder, single match buyer or someone in between, they send personalized outreach based on various qualifications and remaining ticket inventory. Initial outreach resulted in an online purchase of two (2) club seats on a multi-year contract and boosted web traffic and fans’ time on the website. 

4. Streamline operational inefficiencies.

Using SSB’s Central Intelligence, D.C. United quickly created segmented, personalized email lists. This saves the team a minimum of six hours per week that would have been spent aggregating, cleaning and filtering campaign lists. 

“The Hub has improved the way in which we segment our fanbase and streamlined our internal processes. What used to take hours now takes minutes all while maintaining data integrity. We can now focus that saved time on more personalized messaging and targeted campaigns that gain higher incremental revenue and keep our fans engaged,” said Gabby Wells.

5. Prioritize sales prospects.

With automated workflows and reports detailing sales and marketing campaign engagement, the sales team is able to prioritize and narrow down thousands of leads to hundreds. This allows the sales team to work more efficiently and focus on the top prospects, boosting ticket sales and the bottom line.

6. Utilize best practice marketing tools.

Through Sports Alliance’s Campaign Assistant, they gain access to a global marketing library of 34,000 campaigns, as well as their performance metrics. D.C. United then select which campaigns work best for their needs, knowing with confidence that the campaign will perform well.

7. Create fan-friendly emails.

The marketing team is now able to tailor and segment communications to resonate with each type of fan. To help fans quickly access the information they need, they also cut down on email images. After these changes, they saw email engagement increase.

8. Diversify communication channels.

They use an omnichannel approach with tailored communications for every fan touchpoint including phone, text, email, website, newsletter, mobile app, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. This ensures they get in front of fans in many different ways and allows fans to engage more with the team.

9. Identify new revenue opportunities.

Through segmentation and targeting, they identify new opportunities and generate incremental revenue from ticket and merchandise sales.

The Hub has completely transformed the way we view our business, and how we make strategic decisions to enhance our fan experience, improve efficiency and generate – and sustain – higher revenues. 


The SSB, Sports Alliance & Trak partnership, and their collective suite of products, have allowed us to automate the flow of data from our current tech stack into our data warehouse, to then be used to tell the story of how our business is evolving, fuel our predictive models and segment our fanbase to allow for personalized messaging,” said Drew Bentley.

About The Hub

SSB, Sports Alliance & Trak have partnered to integrate their respective offers into a global best practices hub that grows loyalty, engagement, and revenue through big data management, relationship development, and digital marketing strategies tailored to the sports industry.

Find out more on The Hub from SSB, Sports Alliance & Trak.

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