The Impact of Business Intelligence and Measurement

Analytics play a pivotal role in the industry from the ballpark to the boardroom and we are doubling down on our investment in the space with the acquisition of Block Six Analytics (B6A), an industry-leading data insights and partnership valuation company.

We sat down with Tuck Burch, Head of Brand Marketing, and Adam Grossman, Founder of B6A and our new Vice President, Business Insights & Analytics, to discuss the impact the acquisition will have on our day-to-day business.

How will the acquisition of B6A propel Excel forward in the ever-evolving sports business landscape?

Tuck Burch: Data and analytics drive the marketplace across the industry and quality measurement tools are invaluable as it relates to sports sponsorship evaluation. B6A’s proprietary machine learning and artificial intelligence tools are best-in-class and a clear point of differentiation among others in the analytics and measurement space. Adding the B6A team will enhance the incredible momentum we have realized in 2021 as we increase our in-house capabilities and streamline our efforts to support clients with their analytics and measurement needs.

Adam Grossman: The industry is moving towards understanding data, generating insights, and making those actionable for clients. Excel operates multiple different verticals – talent, brands properties etc. – and data is a big component of for each.  Combining Excel’s current capabilities with the ability to layer on data, insights, analytics and machine learning will only further grow those verticals and provide direct impact to clients.

How will Excel employ proprietary machine learning and artificial intelligence to support client needs? Are there potential new areas of application?

TB: As marketers continue to evaluate the true value of sports sponsorships against brand and business objectives, the proprietary tools and models we will employ determine the revenue and overall value that individual brands can extract from a deal with any given sports property. We will apply this across all business verticals and develop new areas of application including athlete modeling and analytics to support our work in the NIL space as well.

AG: We are creating a differentiated offering that will allow us to really understand the value of cross channel partnerships and how buyers and sellers value assets in order to develop unique solutions that drive revenue for clients.

In general, there are always new areas of application for data and analysis. Specific to athlete and talent modeling, as Tuck mentioned, we are focused on leveraging both on-court and off-court analytics to understand the full value of athletes, influencers, media personalities offer and then communicate that to brands.

What will the acquisition mean for current Excel and B6A clients?

TB: The acquisition will bring together two organizations with robust client rosters and incredible connections within the industry. Current clients will have access to a vast new universe of insight and agency experience, complementing the day-to-day client service work that has consistently been delivered for brands, properties and talent.

AG: Together we are going to be able to offer clients a single stop for their needs and access to industry-leading practices. At B6A, we consider ourselves as an industry leader in data insights, analytics, machine learning, and the application of all three, particularly within the sports industry. Excel offers leading expertise in strategy, negotiation, creativity and activation.

What are the synergies between Excel and B6A? How did the existing relationship lead to an acquisition?

TB: The synergies between Excel and B6A are unparalleled. We were searching for a forward-thinking data and analytics company to partner with, and they were seeking an established partner in the sports and entertainment landscape with unparalleled industry access. We conducted a diligent review process of acquisition targets across the research, analytics and measurement landscape, and B6A rose to the top among the set of top tier opportunities. Having worked with B6A on several projects before provided a strong foundation of what a working relationship together would look like moving forward, and their work speaks for itself.

AG: What B6A is good at is 100% complementary to what Excel is really good at. And if you combine two entities that are leaders in different sectors of the same industry, that’s the textbook definition of why companies should work together. We already had several relationships in place, and even before the acquisition closed, have proven success working together across multiple clients.

B6A was founded after identifying a need in the marketplace. Tell us a little bit about that and how you see that continuing within Excel.

TB: In an era of incredible technological advancement, the measurement and analytics space seems to be stuck in a somewhat antiquated model that has produced a sea of sameness when it comes to potential client solutions. B6A has identified a gap in the marketplace by developing tools that aren’t spitting out inflated impression numbers, but rather valuable insights and data that paint the bigger picture of the revenue and overall value delivered by a given asset in the marketplace.

AG: The core conceit of B6A from the beginning was fair market asset evaluation, specifically focused on the sports industry. While sports, whether it’s partnerships or athletes, are often considered assets, an asset valuation model was not being applied. With B6A, we created a model in sports that was similar to the way investment banks, private equity or venture capital firms apply best practice financial evaluation to assets. While we started with a focus on evaluating sponsorship assets, we also developed several other approaches.

Our goal at Excel is to create a larger business intelligence practice that will leverage our methodology across multiple verticals. We are not only focused on revenue generation, but also on both top-of-funnel and bottom-of-funnel brand marketing metrics, and how we combine the two to provide tangible and substantial impact and results for our clients.

Read more about the Block Six Analytics acquisition here: Excel Sports Acquires Block Six To Address Data Analytics Needs