Mastering Your Reporting on Key Metrics in College Athletics

As the old adage goes, "if you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it". At your athletics program, you're running a business. You need to ensure that your key metrics stay healthy and ideally, improve over time.

In this blog post, we do a deep dive into key metrics for you college athletics programs and how you can create a cadence to report on these and keep your staff informed. After all, reporting requires a concerted effort and commitment from your organization.

We'll try to go beyond the obvious - ticket sales, donations, etc. and give you some less obvious key metrics and best practices that can help you monitor and improve the health of your business.

So, what are some of the less-than-obvious metrics you should be tracking? Let's go down our list.

Season Ticket Holder Retention

Simply put, this is the percentage of season ticket holders that renew each year. This number can be measured by group or cohort (e.g. - groups of fans who bought season tickets each year), in terms of tenure (one year, five year and ten year season ticket holder retention) as well as by sport.

To help keep track of your renewals, you may want to create a renewal offer status report.  This will help you keep track of your renewals by telling you what percentage of offers have been accepted or declined.

Donation Progress Metrics

Having robust donation reporting will help you stay on track towards your fundraising goals. There are several different aspects of donation reporting you should keep tabs on.

Constructing a pledge report will help you keep track of your donors. Here' its a good idea to look at upcoming and past due donations so that you can assign tasks to your development staff.

Speaking of which, it's also a good idea to use task reporting and communication tracking to ensure that all donors have received the appropriate communications and follow ups.

In terms of actual key metrics for donations, we suggest tracking donor retention (year-over-year, by donor group, campaign etc.), donor growth, average gift size, cost per dollar raised and fundraising ROI. 

Marketing Metrics

It's also important to measure the success of your marketing campaigns so that you can improve upon these in the future.

You'll want to keep an eye on email marketing metrics - open rates, click rates and revenue from campaigns. This way, you can see which messages, content and offers are resonating best with your fans. Use this data to inform future email marketing campaigns. As a bonus, use A/B testing on elements such as subject lines and calls-to-action to further optimize your campaigns.

Social media is another area where you should monitor key metrics such as followers, shares and engagements. By tracking these metrics, you'll be able to understand what social content is most appealing to your audience and understand the sentiment around your brands.

Gameday Metrics

There are several metrics which will help you run a smoother operation on gameday. The first of these is tickets sold by gate. Knowing these numbers will help you staff each gate appropriately. Be sure to schedule a tickets sold by gate report to run before your games operation meeting and send this report to your head of event staff.

Real time access control will give you the number of tickets scanned by section so that you know how many people are actually in each section.

Another useful metrics is ticket sales by price type and zone - this will help you see which types and zones are most popular and determine where you may have extra inventory to sell.

Reporting Best Practices

So now that you know some of the key metrics you should be monitoring at your athletics programs, here are some tips to help you keep tabs on these numbers.

Our first tip is to make use of dashboards. Dashboards are especially helpful to track your progress against goals and give your team a quick way to look at your metrics. Here are some dashboards we suggest creating.

Ticket sales dashboard - comparing by sport or week over week, total numbers or orders, average order value, etc.

The OvationTix Daily Report Builder feature allows you to organize ticket types into customizable groupings. For instance, you may want to group all full price, discount and comp tickets in their own respective groupings. This will help streamline your reporting and give you a better understanding of which ticket types are most popular.

Fundraising dashboard - number of donors, total donations, unpaid pledges, opportunity amount - analyze these numbers by campaign.

It's also a good idea to set up automated reports. Your ticketing platform should enable you to schedule automated email reports to go to relevant stakeholders. This helps keep folks informed and reduces the need to spend time creating ad-hoc reports.

Another best practice is to use categories and tags to better understand your fans. By tagging fans based on their relationship of behavior such as season ticket holders or repeat donors, you get a better idea of who is coming out to your games. You can also use this data for segmentation in marketing campaigns to send more relevant offers and increase your conversion rates.

Furthermore, your marketing campaigns can only be as good as your data, so maintaining good database hygiene is extremely important. Run regular checkups on your database to ensure that it's accurate and eliminate any duplicate fan records.

And, if you need any help refining the reporting for your athletics programs, don't hesitate to give us a shout. Our OvationTix software solution gives you all the tools you need to set up a robust reporting infrastructure. Schedule a demo with us to learn how!

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