Innovation in Fan Experience


The Atlanta Hawks’ State Farm arena has been ranked as the best NBA Game experience in both 2019 and 2020. With the focus on the game experience in the NBA and high consumer expectations, that’s no mean feat – especially when, in the first year they won they award, the team wasn’t doing well: “When the team’s winning, the beer is colder and the hotdogs are warmer.”

So for teams, how can you deliver a better experience for the fans across all aspects of their experience – from before the game, at the venue and after the venue. How do you help them get the information that they need to ensure that they have the best experience? How do teams compete against other ways that people can spend their time?

In this episode, Yanni spoke to Don White, CEO at Satisfi Labs and David Garcia, Senior Vice President, Experience & Innovation at Atlanta Hawks. They discussed the approach that led the Hawks to be ranked as the #1 gameday experience in the NBA, what David has been able to bring from his background with Amazon and Disney into the NBA and how the data captured by Satisfi’s AI assistant is informing changes to the fan experience at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena.

Quotes from this episode:

David – “When fans rate their experience at a game, it’s tied to the amount of information they have before they arrive and the expectations that they come in with. For example, the bag policy doesn’t change from one guest to the next. But the guests that knows you can’t bring a bag will have a better experience than the guest that didn’t know and shows up and has to deal with that.”

Don – “The new fan is a data giver. They’ll ask questions, they’ll tell their friends, they’ll be on social media, they’ll communicate - they have an expectation that brands will respond to them.”

Don White
Satisfi Labs

Donny is the CEO of Satisfi Labs, which he co-founded in 2016. He previously held senior sales leadership positions at Bloomberg.

David Garcia
Atlanta Hawks