With Momentive, the Golden State Warriors are innovating on the fan experience
November 18, 2021
Most people know the Golden State Warriors as a formidable NBA team, but they’re much more than that. It’s also the name proudly worn by the live entertainment company that owns and manages Chase Center, an 18,000 seat stadium that hosts everything from concerts and comedians to documentary screenings—in addition to basketball games.
With such diverse offerings, and a deep commitment to creating incredible experiences, the Warriors turned to Momentive to understand and improve the fan experience, conduct research to build their fanbase, and foster a healthy and inclusive workforce.
“My first experience using Momentive was when we were in the midst of a championship run, while also juggling this huge project of opening Chase Center,” said Senior Manager of Business Strategy and Analytics Charles Gao. “A lot of things were on our minds that we wished we knew about our customers, and we had to figure out a way to get that information from them and bake it into our strategizing.”
Consistently collecting feedback was critical as the Warriors evolved from a basketball business to a venue management business. It allowed them to keep up with new customer expectations and increase their Net Promoter Score® (NPS) by an outstanding 19%.
But the organization recognized that feedback was a necessity for more than the fan experience. The Warriors like to put data behind every decision they make, and Momentive proved to be the ideal platform to support their future-focused business strategy.
A winning fan experience
The Warriors believe in elevating the fan experience far beyond a simple transaction. “We're in the business of entertaining people,” explained Gao. “We like to think of ourselves as a company that sells an experience, that offers joy to people, that creates lifelong memories.”
Whether fans are watching a game at Chase Center or streaming eSports at home in their living rooms, the Warriors want to make sure that they’re connecting with each and every customer.
“If we are curious about something, we've got this incredibly passionate, engaged set of fans that we can ask and get actionable insights and recommendations,” said John Beaven, executive vice president of ticket sales and services.
With Momentive customer experience management solutions, the Warriors can tap into that enthusiastic fan base and fine tune the customer journey for better results. They used GetFeedback Digital to optimize both warriors.com and chasecenter.com. In the process, they streamlined the online ticketing experience by removing unnecessary web content and got a better understanding of what resonated with fans.
“It's no longer just anecdotal feedback of, 'we think changing this layout leads to a better experience,’” said Gao. “We can actually look at the numbers and say NPS or our rating scores went up or down after this change. And that's really powerful because that directional guidance helps you make decisions and affirm those decisions as you go.”
Customer feedback has also helped shape the Warriors’ distinctive eSports brand, uncovering how their virtual fan base differs from traditional ticket buyers. As a result, the Warriors curated their merchandise and branding towards their eSports audience, ditching their eSports jerseys for hoodies based on the preferences of eSports fans.
For the in-game experience, the Warriors used GetFeedback to embed surveys into specific customer touchpoints, from the commute experience to purchasing food or beverages. The result was more immediate feedback and the ability to act proactively to improve experiences.
Perhaps most importantly, the organization discovered that asking for customer feedback using Momentive solutions was not only easy, it was something that customers welcomed.
“Our fans actually really enjoy the opportunity to give us feedback,” said Gao. “They want to see us improve the experience. And I think because of the passion that they have as fans, every time that we give them the opportunity to offer feedback, they’ll actually jump to it and will give us everything that we're asking for and more.”
An incredible employee journey
Beyond improving the customer experience, the Warriors also used Momentive to understand how employees feel about their work. “We're all about creating incredible experiences for our fans and for our future fans,” said Erin Dangerfield, senior vice president of people and culture, “and we also want to create incredible experiences for our employees.”
Regular employee feedback helped Dangerfield and her team make data-supported decisions on how to use their budget, how to create new benefits and policies, and how to respond quickly to what was happening in the world.
In response to the pandemic, for example, Dangerfield replaced the organization’s annual engagement survey with pulse surveys that were sent out every few weeks. These surveys helped inform key organizational decisions, like whether to require masks or proof of vaccination in the office. They also let Dangerfield take a remote measurement of workplace decisions and get real-time feedback on how employees were feeling.
Momentive also helped the Warriors expand their diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives to provide targeted support and services. “When we think about diversity, that's who we're bringing in the door,” said Dangerfield, “but what Momentive really helps us figure out is how different people feel included and what their experience in our organization looks like.”
A business strategy built on market research
As the live entertainment industry evolves, the Warriors are taking a leading role thanks to feedback and market research from Momentive. By targeting more than the diehard Warriors fan, they’re discovering ways to better connect with casual fans and the broader market.
Based on market research findings, they’ve introduced more diverse dance teams—including senior, junior, and co-ed squads—and uncovered the importance of having social media opportunities for visitors: Instagram-friendly backdrops, special locations for people to take selfies, and more. With these insights, the Warriors can make data-driven plans to grow all parts of their business
“Understanding where our fans are, what they're comfortable with, and what they're looking for as we look ahead to the next 5 or 10 years, is incredibly important to how we chart our strategic path,” said Beaven.
“It's no longer just about hosting basketball events and concerts,” added Gao, “it's about how do we bring these live experiences to more people and other platforms.” As the Warriors embrace digital transformation with new eCommerce and streaming options, they’re hoping to expand their use of Momentive to track more of the fan experience in real time. This will help the organization pivot quickly and personalize collective experiences to fit individual preferences.
“I'm very optimistic about the future of the Golden State Warriors, and the future of live entertainment in general,” said Gao. “I think the pandemic made it abundantly clear what happens when there's a lack of this. There's this longing for community. There's a longing to have something to root for, for people to come together, gather around, and have collective experiences.” With Momentive, the Warriors have a platform that helps them continuously find new ways to develop innovative experiences in the Bay Area and beyond.
Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.
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