CARY — Are you a “five-star Woldpack fan”? NC State is about to find out.

The university’s athletics department has teamed up with Cary-based software firm SAS to analyze fan engagement and identify those most likely to engage and donate using a five-star rating the system.

The goal: to increase attendance and game day atmosphere for more than 550 student-athletes that compete nationally across 23 sports.

”We are thankful for fans whose support of Wolfpack athletics is a lifelong passion,” said Stephanie Menio, NC Stat’s deputy athletic director, in a statement. “SAS will help us be smarter about our data and analytics while also helping us engage fans in new ways that will fortify those relationships for years to come.”

SAS will analyze the behavioral data related to  ticket sales, alumni, donors, fans, attendance, mobile apps, web browsing, venues and more. That information can then be used by external staff for targeted call and email campaigns to help increase football and basketball season ticket sales, and help drive additional Wolfpack Club memberships and donations.

Helping more student-athletes cross the graduation finish line

SAS will also analyze data related to academic success.

In 2019, NC State’s student-athletes posted the athletics department’s highest-ever graduation success rate, but the university said it hopes the use of analytics can help accelerate that upward trend.

By analyzing enrollment, course and student data, NC State said it can identify obstacles and opportunities to put more student-athletes on the path to graduation.

SAS was founded at NC State in 1976 and helped launch the nation’s first master of science in analytics degree program in 2006. SAS hires many analytics and computer science experts from the university.

“It’s only appropriate that we partner with NC State Athletics to do this groundbreaking work on both student-athlete success and fan and donor engagement,” said Dan Axman, SAS sports analytics advisor, in a statement. “Analytics has taken a front seat within collegiate athletics. We’re thrilled to have a part in helping NC State attain their revenue generation goals, and to help student-athletes thrive both on and off the field.”

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