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Great Lakes Analytics in Sports Conference

Liz Wanless

Ball State University

New Applications of Survival Analysis Modeling:

Examining Intercollegiate Athletic Relationship


Customer retention is critical to successful sport business revenue generation strategy. This project applies survival analysis modeling to quantitatively analyze and predict the potential dissolution of the intercollegiate athletic department-donor relationship, utilizing 10 years of athletic department and customer data from a mid-sized NCAA FBS athletic program. Study results inform a data-driven approach to donor relationship marketing and provide meaningful implications for customer retention strategy. Attendees will learn about the application of survival analysis modeling to sport business customer relationship management, including the benefits and limitations of business-to-business and business-to-consumer, and what survival analysis can tell us about the conditions when our sports customers, as exemplified in the study of intercollegiate athletic donors, are likely to defect. Whether your organization manages customers with the Lamborghini of customer relationship management systems or no system at all, learn start-today data collection strategies to effectively inform successful customer retention campaigns

Dr. Liz Wanless serves as assistant professor/undergraduate coordinator of the sport administration program at Ball State University. Dr. Wanless researches data-driven decision making to advance sport business revenue generation strategy. Active consultation projects include sport fan experience surveys and analysis for football and men’s/women’s basketball, donor prioritization and retention tactics, and customer relationship management strategies for university athletic programs, sport event management companies, and community non-profit organizations. She received her undergraduate degree from Bates College, master’s degree in sport administration from Ball State University, her doctorate in higher education from Ball State’s Department of Education, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in data analytics (business analytics option) at Penn State.

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