How Endeavor used Twilio Segment to scale its data infrastructure and drive digital transformation across its expansive portfolio of brands

The big win

With business units spread across various companies, Endeavor’s data science and engineering teams needed to integrate customer data from dozens of sources and adhere to global privacy regulations, while also limiting access to individuals based on their role within an organization.

Endeavor, parent company of IMG, WME, and UFC, turned to Twilio Segment to centralize its data collection, scale its data infrastructure, and share information throughout the company ecosystem. With visibility into customer behaviors, teams use analytics and other downstream tools to generate marketing campaigns.

Endeavor is a global sports and entertainment company, home to the world’s most dynamic and engaging storytellers, brands, live events and experiences. The company is composed of industry leaders including entertainment agency WME; sports, fashion, events and media company IMG; and premier mixed martial arts organization UFC. The Endeavor network specializes in talent representation, sports operations & advisory, event & experiences management, media production & distribution, experiential marketing and brand licensing.

When the Endeavor team needed access to trusted customer data to scale its infrastructure, they turned to Twilio Segment to help drive digital transformation by consolidating and unifying their data, eliminating silos that prevented them from fully leveraging customer data across properties. 

Saad Zaheer, Vice President, Data Science and Engineering, said that trying to manage so many brands without a centralized source of data made it very difficult to identify cross-sell opportunities. Having experience with Twilio Segment at a prior company, he knew the customer data platform (CDP) could centralize and democratize Endeavor’s customer data. 

While the ease of implementation was important to him, having complete visibility and access to the raw data and insights into what their customers were doing in real time is what mattered most to improve and personalize their experience.  

Collecting and unifying data across businesses

Endeavor chose Twilio Segment to integrate its data sources into a single customer data platform, and help scale its infrastructure to reduce demand on engineering resources. 

With Segment Connections, Endeavor is able to collect, unify, and connect its customer data, while Segment Personas (now Twilio Engage) helps to create Audiences for outbound communications like personalized email campaigns and social media ads platforms. 

Once Audiences have been created based on user traits, that information is sent to their email marketing platform. Data is also sent to Facebook or Google ad platforms where marketers can see the Audience stored there, and target marketing messages to them. 

One of the biggest benefits of adopting the CDP has been the hundreds of engineering hours saved. By no longer needing to write custom integrations for each business the team can focus on initiatives for the broader company. 

Endeavor workspace
Customer data flowing through Segment from Sources to downstream Destinations

Endeavor also implemented Segment Protocols for data governance. With security best practices in place, including role-based access control using Segment’s Public API, they now have confidence that data from each business is only accessible to individuals within that organization. 

A strict change management process has also been set up. All code changes are tracked in GitHub, version controlled, and peer reviewed. By creating different zones for marketers in Segment, and identifying where they can go and what they can do, it ensures the configuration, which is a core component of the data going in and out of the CDP, isn’t changed by mistake.

By limiting permissions, marketers for the IMG, for example, can view data and build customer Journeys for their campaigns, but they can’t access data for the Frieze arts media and event company or other business units. As the proverb states, “good fences make good neighbors.”

Creating a single source of truth for customer data

Having a single source of truth enables Endeavor to view the customer journey on every platform and channel and integrate the data with multiple existing analytics and marketing tools.  

Powered by real-time data, Twilio Engage (formerly Personas), allows Endeavor to use the customizable and personalizable platform to build, enrich, and activate dozens of Audiences for omni-channel campaigns. And with Segment’s Identity Resolution, they can compile data across devices and channels and merge it into complete user- or account-level profiles. 

Having this single view of their customers allows the company to create Audiences based on individual behaviors and traits. Sharing their data with marketing teams was eye opening. They could identify pain points in the ordering process that caused customers to drop off. Armed with this data, they can now make changes to websites and apps to increase conversion.

Kicking off a new initiative with Super Bowl LVI 

Reducing the number of abandoned shopping carts for premium experience Super Bowl tickets was a huge win for premium experience provider On Location, a subsidiary of Endeavor. Their initiative to retarget customers who selected ticket packages for the big game but failed to complete the transaction was their first test. For fans, the play had stalled on 3rd down.

On Location offers an array of Super Bowl packages including official ticket and hospitality packages, travel and accommodations and premier experiences, all at various price points for fans. The company believed they could benefit from retargeting efforts due to the event’s in-high-demand nature. When orders were started but not completed within a specified time frame, an email was triggered to try and re-engage customers.

Following up on abandoned carts was well worth their time as the sales team reached out by phone to connect with fans who had expressed interest in purchasing a package through an e-commerce platform. Those who connected with a dedicated salesperson were able to learn more about buying with confidence as On Location is the safe and secure way to trusted experience access for the big game.

Automating their marketing workflows became a game-changer for On Location. As such, Endeavor is now expanding the program by creating automated cart abandonment steps for their other network of subsidiaries.

Endeavor cart
Example of Audience containing users who abandoned a shopping cart

Growing at scale with data automation

With the Segment API collecting data and sending it to any destination, Endeavor has been able to scale its data infrastructure because the process is managed by code which creates more efficient processes. The engineering team uses the platform heavily because it’s the most common destination for their sources, primarily their data warehouse, Snowflake. They also use it for machine learning for data analysis. 

Other teams relying on Segment for automation include marketing to drive campaigns, sales to follow up on leads, product for feedback, and engineering to gauge app performance. Because the Segment customer data is so granular, everyone is better able to understand the user experience. 

Ilya Galperin, Staff Data Engineer, shared how the benefits could be seen immediately after data began pouring into Segment, “From an efficiency perspective it’s a great tool because all the data looks the same. All the schema is the same so it's easy for folks to work across dozens of websites, properties and events at the same time. That brings scalability because of the way it's structured.”

Using real-time data, Twilio Engage enables Endeavor to use the platform to build, enrich, and activate Audiences for campaigns. And with Segment’s Identity Resolution, they can compile data across devices and channels and merge it into complete user- or account-level profiles. 

With their data flowing through Segment the team can now focus on other projects to help drive growth. Occasionally they may be asked to work on a custom event, but with Computed Traits they can handle it quickly. 

Endeavor wants to improve the event experience for consumers

With Twilio Segment, Endeavor has accomplished many of its goals, but there’s a new initiative around digital transformation the team is anxious to tackle: using data from their customers around the world and combining it in such a way to create new opportunities. 

Saad shared, “I want to use our data to improve experiences. Our goal is not just to sell more tickets, but to improve the experience of events while coming up with new ways to do business.” To achieve that, Endeavor plans to use Twilio Segment to free up their engineering teams even more.

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