Rob Bluey, the chief digital guru at the Heritage Foundation, is well-known in political circles for his sharp eye for both journalism and technology. For those who know Rob, it’s hard to miss his just-as-passionate-and-maybe-more-so love for sports. An ardent Pittsburgh sports fan, Rob recently took that obsession up a notch by attending the 2013 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston.
While there though, he found worlds colliding, as sports nerds talked about a focus on analytics that sounded eerily like the work many conservative political operatives feel they must do regain their electoral footing. We are fortunate that he wrote a piece for The Atlantic with several ideas and takeaways from his experience:
“What, if anything, could a sports analytics conference teach a political junkie?
“Since President Obama’s reelection, we’ve heard countless stories about the startup nature of his campaign, with its focus on digital, technology, and analytics to drive decisions about messaging and marketing.
“Data played a major role. There’s perhaps no better example than the constant testing of email subject lines. The performance of the Obama email with the subject line “I will be outspent” earned the campaign an estimated $2.6 million. Had the campaign gone with the lowest-performing subject line, it would have raised $2.2 million less, according to “Inside the Cave,” a detailed report from Republican strategist Patrick Ruffini and the team at Engage.”
Rob’s article is full of great insights from the world of sports, where analytics have been central to successful teams for years, that could be leveraged to make politics even more effective.