Inside AEG’s mobile-first plan to ‘own the fan journey’

With a portfolio that includes entertainment venues like London’s O2 Arena and NHL hockey team the LA Kings among others, events giant AEG has the unique challenge of having to market at the speed of culture. Its solution: going mobile-first.

“Our business is about live events. It’s about fans,” said Scott Carlis, vp of digital and social at AEG. Speaking at the Digiday Brand Summit in Palm Springs this week, Carlis described a brand mission to “own the fan journey.”

Nearly all — 98 percent — of the fans at AEG events come with mobile phones, according to Carlis. Of those, 75 percent are taking photos, 65 percent are sharing on social.

“We’re moderating and listening to what’s going on and what’s bubbling up and then developing content … to allow our fans to feel they’re part of the conversation,” he said. “You have to start with mobile”

As an example, Carlis pointed to the upcoming Amgen Tour of California, a 10 day bicycle race through the Golden State. Social chatter around a given event can be so disjointed, he said, that AEG is creating event-specific social hubs that aggregate and generate content.

“We built a platform for people to post tweets, aggregate content, make that 10-day race a 365 affair,” he said. “It’s so important with social and mobile and digital that you’re creating these communities … Allow them to have a voice, share their voice and speak with likeminded people.”

To that end, content takes center stage. Carlis explained AEG’s hubs did away with a few tech “modules” that got in the way of the message. Cycling fans are passionate about cycling information, after all, not tech bells and whistles. Polls within the hub allow users to vote on which hills are the toughest, for example, or whether they prefer single or multi-day races. The hubs serve as one-stop-shops for social media mentioning the events.

“You’re not repurposing the same content through new verticals,” he said. “You’re creating enhanced experiences through these amazing avenues we now have.”

Watch the full video here.

Homepage image via Steve Cukrov /

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