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Kansas City Chiefs Champion Digital Transformation in Business and Operations

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Sports

Summary

  • Investing in Dash Enterprise provided a unified analytics platform to address diverse live-data use cases in social media marketing, stadium operations, and ticket pricing.
  • Equipped with Dash Enterprise capabilities, a small analytics team is able to deliver quickly on custom analytics needs across the larger organization, with prototypes completed in days and apps deployed in minutes.
  • Dash apps connected to live data update regularly, eliminating time-consuming manual processes and pushing immediate insights on game day and off-season.
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Kansas City Chiefs Webinar Highlight Reel

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Introduction

The Kansas City Chiefs have demonstrated success on the field and in the fan base they have cultivated. As 2020, 2023, and 2024 Super Bowl champions, the Chiefs have been the highest-performing team in the American Football Conference (AFC) West division for several years and boast one of the highest home attendance rates in the NFL. Behind the scenes of this success, their Finance, Strategy, and Analytics Team works hard to capitalize on a robust fan base and optimize the game-day experience at one of the NFL’s largest stadiums.

"Deploying an application is a whole different ballgame from building one. Deploying and building from your workspace in Dash Enterprise is very easy because the platform handles a lot of the work. We can make a quick change and deploy within five minutes without disrupting the service."

Andrew Schutte, Senior Data Scientist, Kansas City Chiefs

Challenge

Digital transformation across any organization is no easy feat. Needs can vary by department and require different specialized platforms to address. The Kansas City Chiefs front office had identified several use cases requiring access to real-time analytics on live data streams:

  • Social media marketing metrics were regularly referenced by nine stakeholders across departments, but compiling this information from multiple sources and reproducing it with legacy visualization software consumed 80% of the marketing team’s time.
  • Live ticket scanning data would enrich game-day stadium operations by increasing understanding of crowd flows in relation to parking logistics, stadium staffing, and incident reporting; however, traditional solutions were costly and limited in scope.
  • Dynamic ticket pricing required current views into the market, where the velocity of real-time sales could be contextualized against historical sales data.

Solution

Dash Enterprise enabled the analytics team to quickly build, style, deploy, and manage multiple Dash apps tailored to their distinct use cases. The platform’s Workspaces code editor allowed the team’s data scientists to write Dash apps in Python in a familiar Jupyter Notebook environment and preview them live, all in the browser.

With this workflow, the team built a working prototype app in two days to display key social media metrics. One Dash app quickly turned into three, where stakeholders can not only view marketing KPIs, but also filter historical impressions data, track marketing campaigns across platforms, and view top social content. The Dash apps call a streaming service API every four hours and store the data in the app’s Redis database, ready for whatever custom analytics the team’s data scientists develop.

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Dash’s modular, component-based framework gives teams the flexibility to choose how their Python analytics are presented — from interactive data tables to histograms to embedded video.

The team went on to develop similar Dash apps for ticket scanning and dynamic pricing. Visualizing live ticket scans on game day gives the stadium operations team important information for crowd flow and entry logistics and provides a baseline for parking logistics and preventing traffic backups. Similarly, the Dash app for ticket pricing presents up-to-date data to help the sales team quickly evaluate inventory and demand in order to make appropriate price changes.

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A Dash app to visualize live ticket scan data opened the conversation around what data and visualizations would make the Kansas City Chiefs operations more proactive for game entry.

"The analytics team’s work has a broad reach in the organization. Dash Enterprise enables us to deploy at scale, and its security and authentication allow us to deliver quickly without requiring IT support."

Michael Ragsdale, VP of Finance, Strategy and Analytics, Kansas City Chiefs

Results

By investing in Dash Enterprise, the front office gained a unified platform that put analytics at the center of business and game-day stadium operations.

Time-consuming, manual workflows in the marketing team were replaced by connecting to live data streams, saving 32 person-hours each week.

For the sales team, dynamic pricing with Dash reduced the amount of time required to collect and analyze sales data. And by using Dash to replicate the functions of other software platforms used in the past, the Finance, Strategy, and Analytics team saves on annual software licensing costs, avoiding expensive ticketing data solutions. Instead, they are equipped to deliver high-value, real-time analytics at scale across the organization.

As more needs arise, the analytics team continues to develop and deploy new Dash apps, with exciting new horizons set on player and game analytics. Plotly supports the Kansas City Chiefs as they champion the use of data for a better organization and a better team.

Want to see more? Check out a highlight reel from a recent Plotly webinar featuring the Kansas City Chiefs!

About the Kansas City Chiefs

Founded as the Dallas Texans in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League (AFL) by sports pioneer Lamar Hunt, the franchise moved to Kansas City in 1963 and became known as the Kansas City Chiefs. The team currently competes in the West Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). Under the guidance of the Hunt family and the leadership of Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt, the mission of the Kansas City Chiefs is to "Win with Character, Unite our Community, Inspire our Fans and Honor Tradition."

About the Kansas City Chiefs

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