I’ve never been the world’s biggest American football fan — hockey’s more my thing — but it’s hard to avoid the incredible excitement around the Super Bowl, especially since my hometown team made it to the big game this year. Fly, Eagles, Fly!
Camila Franco grew up watching futebol and volleyball in her native Brazil — now she’s heading up the product team at StubHub, making sure Super Bowl LII ticketholders and American football fans worldwide have a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
As director of product management – browser experience, Franco oversees everything customer-facing at StubHub. That includes the Super Bowl LII landing page. She makes sure every visitor to the site has the absolute best experience possible, she says. Franco and her team have been prepping for Super Bowl LII since November; it’s the biggest event StubHub handles each year, and there are some unique challenges, she says.
“We developed a playbook — appropriate, right? — to help us handle huge events like this because it’s a massive effort, cross-functionally,” Franco says. “Our role is to ensure fans have the best ticket-buying experience, but also we’re looking at what campaigns our marketing teams want to run on StubHub.com. What other events we want to cross-promote. If there’s any kind of fun, interactive things we want to do — new features we want to release to make the experience more fun and exciting,” she says.
The playbook lays out best practices, details what not to do, and provides tips for the technical team to ensure that everything goes smoothly, is timely, and culminates in a flawless execution. The goal is for customers to navigate quickly to the site, find the event or events they’re looking for, check out easily, and be certain their data is safe, Franco says. But one of the biggest challenges is in the lack of data around user preferences, she says.
“Unlike returning customers, a lot of the audience we see for events like the Super Bowl are unique, one-offs — this is a ‘bucket list’ item,” Franco says. “We don’t know a lot about who these people are, what their preferences are, what other events they’d want to consider, [or] what other interests they have, so we have more work to do to make sure they’re having the best experience,” she says.
Guiding fans through the ticket-buying process
Without historical data, preferences or even knowing if site visitors are fans of the playing teams, it can be difficult to deliver a stellar experience for everyone — but Franco and her team pull it off every time.
“We have a Super Bowl landing page where the majority of our customers will start out, and we drive traffic there from their searches through careful SEO practices and making sure our search terms and keywords are optimized and boosted so that traffic’s all landing there, while still delivering the expected level of service to existing customers,” Franco says.
And because Super Bowl tickets are not available digitally — they’re all physical, tangible, printed tickets — there’s added pressure and an extra layer of security involved, she says.
“Once the customer purchases the tickets, we have two-factor authentication to make sure their data’s secure. We also have rigorous authentication processes to ensure they’re buying authentic tickets — but we make sure the entire experience is seamless, fast and easy, as well as being comfortable and safe,” she says.
It’s exhausting and exhilarating all at once, she says, much like the Super Bowl itself. Franco is looking forward to a relaxing weekend leading up to the big game, and yes, she’ll be watching, she says.
“I am a big sports fan, and I’m married to a Patriots fan, so we’ll definitely be watching, and I’ll be cheering on the team,” she says.