Digital wildcatter: Firm mines sports, entertainment data

FWBP 03-18-19

Pumpjack Dataworks

Pumpjack Dataworks may sound like an energy company or a data company. It’s more of the latter than the former, but the company, which Nick Goggans founded last year in Fort Worth, is really focused on sports.

PumpJack’s mission statement declares the company is dedicated to supporting the possession, refinement and marketability of data for organizations in sports and live entertainment. Goggans has over 12 years’ experience operating and investing in analytics businesses in those fields, with global experience connected to some of the biggest brands and events in the industry.

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Goggans, being a sports fan, is excited that one of his newest clients is the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA.

“The concept is that data is the new oil,” he said. “The idea came to me driving through Electra, and I knew I wanted a name that was a nod to Texas, where we were based.”

The name is also a nod to his two grandfathers; one was a cardiologist and the other was a wildcatter. And Goggans believes he has hit a mother lode.

PumpJack’s clients are sports teams, venues and leagues. Goggans said there are two sides on which to use PumpJack technology, “which make a better whole.”

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“Our first job is to help clients convert data to improve revenue growth in the organization, and this is related to consolidating and cleaning the data they have across a variety of silos,” he said.

Think ticketing, Wi-Fi, web, league feeds, point-of-sale systems, access system, social feeds, customer relationship-management systems, etc. PumpJack’s FanXP product takes all these feeds and puts them in one place. This makes it easier for people in sales, marketing and executive positions to query and use, instead of paying a team of engineers to run queries on raw data.

Goggans said an example would be speeding up data consolidation simplification supporting the biggest trend in U.S. consumer behavior – mobile purchasing.

“Did you know 33 percent of sales on Black Friday were off smartphones?” he said. “That was $2 billion in sales in one day.

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“We see an accelerated opportunity in the mobile applications space in sports, which has been slow to develop.”

A former athlete himself (football and baseball at Williams College), Goggans realizes the importance of data and its accuracy in the world of sports. His clients have included the Washington Redskins of the NFL and Indiana Pacers of the NBA, events such as the Final Four of college basketball and golf’s Open Championship, and organizations such as the Canadian Olympic Committee and Turner Broadcasting.

“In my work with sports and entertainment, there is still a massive value asymmetry between the amount of unique structured data available to these entities and the value they’re getting in market, on the sponsorship side, and the ability to leverage information into extracting more sales on their direct bottom lines,” he said.

And now the Dallas Mavericks have been added to the list of clients. PumpJack developed the team’s official app.

“We are working with their technology team on providing a holistic fan view, which allows us to expand offerings and capabilities to fans and improve loyalty,” he said. “Next season, from a digital side, we should be league-leading, and hopefully with a digital excitement as keen as the Mavs’ on-the-court duo of Luka [Donkic] and [Kristops] Porzingis. Exciting times for D-FW sports.

“The success of the Mavericks’ digital ticketing sales, and requiring digital access to American Airlines Center, is a demonstrable first step in making a core feature of the mobile application for fans to help speed up and simplify transactions between them and the team.”

The Mavericks are equally happy with the arrangement, it seems.

“Our strategic partnership with PumpJack is evolving how our organization communicates with our data, especially on the Mavs app,” said David Herr, Mavericks chief technological officer. “We are excited about some of the new experiences and innovations we’re delivering to our fans and are looking forward to creating new capabilities, including the ability to activate data to create ticket packages, make it easier for fans to get to a game (e.g. transportation decisions with Drive & Park, Rideshare, DART), transact in the arena, earn Mavs points and, with MotionLoft, reduce time spent waiting in lines.”

Goggans has spent his career in data startups. He first founded Lytiks in Boston in 2005, and then Umbel in Austin [now MVP Index] five years later.

“Over that time, I became fascinated with the value of data and how it has yet to be fully realized, still crude mostly,” he said. “Facebook is an example of a business that’s refined the most value.”

Goggans said PumpJack is also entering the realm of European soccer. He said the company has a pilot program going live in Spain with one of the top 10, and most historic, teams in La Liga, though he didn’t name the team.

“We are very excited at this opportunity and the others that have developed in Europe,” he said, noting that the United Kingdom, Italy and Finland are in the pipeline.

And very recently, Goggans announced a new strategic investor, Camwood Ventures, the family office for Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.

“This is very exciting news,” a thrilled Goggans said.

In all, Goggans said PumpJack plans to have 40 teams onboard by June.

And yes, fans can buy tickets through PumpJack — and in quick fashion.

“The average time to buy tickets in our system is under three minutes,” he said. “We’ve seen a steady increase of return ticket purchasing users versus the website. We partner with ticketing companies who are running all the inventory and credit card processing, etc.”

Also, PumpJack believes in being loyal, just as fans are loyal to their teams and sports. The company, in fact, has a loyalty program.

“It’s simple. Gain points when you use your loyalty card,” which is stored in the app, he said. “This relationship can begin with transactions in the arena or stadium, but can also extend to sponsor partners of the team or venue outside the arena and outside of game time.”

Goggans said a long-term goal for PumpJack is to be a key component in developing increased internet speed, specifically in towns/cities with fewer than a million residents.

“We believe the role of digitization of live events will continue to increase the demand for high-speed connectivity,” he said. “These arenas and stadiums are regional hubs for more rural areas, and we believe we can remove some of the barriers to last-mile fiber optics to cities and towns under a million via these models.

“Personally, I want PumpJack to be a magnet for Fort Worth and North Texas. I believe the sports industry is an under-leveraged asset of the D-FW area. The impact of sports can be best seen by looking at Frisco, aka Sports City USA. We are excited about refocusing some of that growth to Fort Worth, with the development of the Dickies Arena.”