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Umbel Expands Multi-channel Fan Engagement Services With Lodestone Acquisition

As the challenge of converging disparate siloes of valuable data into unified, actionable insights is lessening, solution providers are also coming together to make data access and campaign creation even more powerful. Umbel, the Austin-based data aggregator and software company, has acquired a fellow Austin tech company, Lodestone, which specializes in a multi-channel fan engagement.

This Lodestone acquisition is expected to strengthen Umbel’s fan engagement service offering in their client sectors, including sports (Wimbledon, Phoenix Suns, Florida Panthers), media (USA Network, The Texas Tribune, Condé Nast), entertainment (AEG Live, Bonnaroo, Superfly, Bottlerock, Front Gate Tickets), and nonprofit (Denver Museum of Nature and Science, California Film Institute).

The data company will be able to offer clients over 70 different ways to engage with fans where they live and work: in mobile apps, in-venue, on-air, online, and on social media.

This element of direct-to-fan campaigns with multi-channel reach has gone from wishful thinking to must-have status for digital engagement programs. Fan behavioral data triggers can be used in a variety of ways within a client’s custom campaign, including in-app purchases and coupons, trivia and watch-and-win contests, task-based sweepstakes, social share promotions, and multi-channel loyalty programs.

“In marrying our two technologies, we can now really understand the fan’s journey from start to finish,” said Jordan Yeats, VP of Alliances & Partnerships at Umbel, in the company’s statement. “By creating new experiences that acquire new fans and generate lots of new data points, we will be able to help our customers fine tune essential functions like ticket sales, sponsorships, and fan engagement.”

This acquisition by Umbel follows the company’s $20M Series B infusion from Cielo Private Equity in November of 2015.

Umbel and Lodestone have vertical market crossovers within sports and media, and a bit of food-related account blending between Lodestone’s QSRs (quick service restaurants / fast food joints) customers and Umbel’s snack giant client, Snyder’s-Lance.

It will be interesting to see the results of future activations–especially in the area of sports, festivals, and concerts–where food and beverage branding is aligning more and more with enjoying your favorite sporting event or festival experience.

The combined data and engagement solution of Umbel and Lodestone also strengthens the area of first-party data based on real consumer or fan activity and engagement, versus the reliance on only surveys, focus groups, and polls to gather insights on consumer affinity, activity, behaviors, and purchase preferences.



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