Carnegie Mellon University
January 24, 2020

Seniors Leveraged Behavioral Economics to Improve NHL Fan Engagement

Stefanie Johndrow

Ranked as one of the nation’s best hockey tahns, Pittsburgh is home to the Penguins, the five-time Stanley Cup champions, and Carnegie Mellon University, the institution responsible for pioneering the field of behavioral economics. This fall, a group of CMU students brought both worlds together.

Seniors in BEPO — the first undergraduate major in behavioral economics, policy and organizations — partnered with the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Pittsburgh Penguins for their capstone course. BEPO trains students to apply psychological insights to human behavior to explain and predict economic decision-making.

Students researched how behavioral economics could be applied to fan engagement with the Penguins organization and the NHL. They designed experiments and analyzed data to inform their recommendations across three topics: improving 50/50 raffle engagement, increasing season ticket renewals and redesigning the digital landscape of buying season tickets.

The students presented their findings to executives from the Pittsburgh Penguins and NHL at PPG Paints Arena.

The BEPO seniors include: Sophia Angel, Madeleine Bomberg, Ryan Casey, Darian Cohen, Bolade Fatade, David Huber, Maury Jackson, Megan Jaeb, Benjamin Klingensmith, Alyssa Kloehn, Colin McNeil, Madeline Moon, Jacob Rothschild, Michael Rozenvasser, Samantha Trapani and William Wang.