Texas Rangers’ data strategy hits a home run with fans

Maximizes revenue with recommended ticket prices based on various price data points in Tableau

92% of employees empowered with Tableau to make data-driven decisions

Ensures great fan experience during giveaway nights with real-time view into gate entry data

The Texas Rangers are an American baseball team, located in Arlington, Texas. They have been a prominent part of Major League Baseball’s American League since their establishment in 1972, and were the winners of the 2023 professional baseball championship. In a regular season they play 81 home games annually in a state-of-the-art stadium that holds 40,000 fans.

“Fans are the lifeblood of our whole organization,” explains Jake Radelet, Manager, CRM & Analytics. “We want our fans to feel like they're part of the organization. Not that they're just coming to watch the game, but that they're truly part of the team. It’s all about the full experience.”

Delivering unique experiences at scale can be a daunting task. Since 2016, the Texas Rangers have sought competitive advantage by giving fans a seamless stadium experience from parking to concessions with their industry-leading data strategy, spearheaded by Tableau.

Before investing in Tableau, the Texas Rangers used spreadsheets to store data. This included competitive data to assist with pre-, mid- and post-game performance, as well as back-office data such as ticket sales, inventory and confectionery sales. The Texas Ranger’s business analytics team, consisting of just four people, spent hours manually entering and cross- referencing data from various spreadsheets across the organization to try to draw out insights. With all of this disparate data, making informative and impactful business decisions in real time, across the organization, was almost impossible.

Today, the Texas Rangers use Tableau Server to give their fans an incredible experience, on and off the field, by extending the value of their data across the entire organization. This allows business users to access critical data in a single platform, whilst ensuring data remains governed and secure.

The Rangers’ business analytics team combines and shapes data from various spreadsheets and external sources faster before publishing new dashboards to Tableau Desktop, allowing users across the organization to access, visualize and analyze data—pre- and mid-game, putting fans at the center of everything they do.

Fans are the lifeblood of our whole organization. We want our fans to feel like they're part of the organization. Not that they're just coming to watch the game, but that they're truly part of the team. It’s all about the full experience.

Using real-time data to aid gameday operations

During the season fans flock to Globe Life Field, often arriving by car. As they make their way into one of the facility’s 16 parking lots, vehicle entry data is recorded and visualized in a dashboard shown in the Rangers’ gameday operations room. Parking information, and all other gameday data, is updated every 3 to 5 minutes, allowing the Texas Rangers’ Executive VP of Gameday Operations and Guest Experience to pivot their gameday logistics. For example, he is quickly able to tell the ground staff which parking lots have greater capacity, which enables fans to park and enter the stadium as quickly as possible.

As fans file into the stadium, the operations team uses Tableau to track how many people are entering through each of the five gates in real time. This is particularly important when Bobbleheads or T-shirts are being given away. Using Tableau, the team is able to reallocate giveaways to busier gates to help maximize the fan experience.

Addressing fan questions and concerns faster with data

Baseball fans who visit Globe Life Field often stop by the service desk to ask questions. To better equip staff with answers, Tableau is integrated into Salesforce Service Cloud, which enables the visualization of the most frequently asked questions and improves communication. This includes updating signage around the stadium and informing gameday briefings with staff around the ballpark, so they can answer fans’ questions quickly and accurately.

A key concern that many baseball fans have is being hit by a stray ball. With an average of 46 foul balls per game, the Texas Rangers go to great lengths to keep fans safe. Throughout the course of a season, foul balls and their locations were tracked using Tableau. At the end of the season in question, the Rangers analyzed the data and net coverage to assess where they may need to increase the size of nets, or relocate them, to catch stray balls. Doing so helped to mitigate the risk of injury and ensured fans can focus on enjoying the game.

Tailored digital campaigns for every fan

Engaging fans outside the ballpark is imperative, so the Rangers run a brand campaign and are active across social media channels. Using Tableau, the business analytics team slices and dices brand campaign results by gender, age, ethnicity, marital status and more. Doing so allows the Rangers to better understand their fans, their perception of the organization and areas of opportunity to enhance or change those perceptions. On social media, the Rangers use Tableau to monitor engagement rates across their various social platforms to continuously improve performance and engage fans in new ways.

Maximizing revenue

Each season, ticket prices are reviewed in depth to ensure the organization continues to receive a steady stream of revenue, and fans are enticed to return to the ballpark. To assist with ticket pricing, the team uses a range of different data points and visualizes them in Tableau to make recommendations. This includes analyzing on-field performance, previous season ticket sales, ticket offer sales, as well as competitive data and much more. This kind of data-driven decision making allows the Rangers to continue to fill Globe Life Field and ensure fans are satisfied.

Building a fan-focused data culture

Tableau has helped completely transform the Texas Rangers’ back-office, providing the business users across the organization with a dashboard for almost anything. In fact, data is so ingrained in the culture of the organization that 92% of Texas Rangers employees with authorized access are using Tableau on a regular basis to inform their decisions. With this new level of data literacy and transparency, they can better communicate with and educate staff, helping them stay up to date and make data more digestible.

With the power of AI and Tableau AI, we will gain unknown insights that will provide forecasting opportunities and will allow us to reprioritize various goals as needed.

Tapping into the power of AI

The emergence of AI is proving to be one of the most powerful tools an organization can incorporate into their CRM systems.

Using AI, the Texas Rangers business analytics team will be able to take what they know from all of the data collected and make it more relational to the fan. This will provide deeper touch points for how the team can use data to further enhance the fan experience.

“AI excites me because it's an untapped world for the Texas Rangers, but it's also an incredibly powerful world,” said Katie Morgan, Vice President, Business Analytics and Ticket Strategy.

AI gives the business analytics team a competitive and strategic advantage in how they communicate with their fans and how the experience impacts those fans while they are at the stadium. “As a smaller team, we often don't have the opportunities to dig into this information quite as much as we want to,” Morgan continued. “With the power of AI and Tableau AI, we will gain unknown insights that will provide forecasting opportunities and will allow us to reprioritize various goals as needed.”

All of the business analytics team’s investments in technology are geared toward providing the best possible experience for each fan. With AI-powered insights from Tableau and Customer 360, the Texas Rangers business analytics team is succeeding in business, rekindling the magic of the ballpark, and gaining even more fan loyalty and love.