Orlando Magic Employ SAS Analytics to Help with Basketball Operations

December 19, 2011

NBA’s Orlando Magic have hired SAS Analytics, the leader in business analytics for its basketball operations following a successful partnership with SAS for Sports which took customizing the fan experience for Magic Fans to a whole new level last season.

Under the new deal coaching staff will use SAS software tools for automated reporting and analysis of game statistics.

Alex Martins, President of the Orlando Magic, said: “SAS Analytics helped us take our business to a higher level. Despite being a small-market team, SAS helped make the difference in effectiveness. We look forward to making enhanced statistical data available to our basketball operations team.”

Martins said the Magic plans to introduce a digital ticketing system, offering fans ID cards. In addition to convenience for fans, card data will help staff improve efficiency and customize Magic fans’ experiences. After analyzing this enriched fan data, marketers can pinpoint special offers for everyone from diehard basketball fans to those who attend games for the social experience.

“We treat fan relationships as long-term partnerships,” said Anthony Perez, Director of Business Strategy, Orlando Magic. “To better understand our fans, we’ll continue using SAS to analyze purchase history – including things like team store and concession stand selections. Our data warehouse connects all these data sources, so we can apply analytics to drive new value. This big-picture view helps us recognize needs so we can extend just the right offers and perks to fans.”

The team’s SAS-based portal delivers critical numbers each day, providing timely insights throughout the organization. The Web portal is available to everyone in the organization, including ticket sales, corporate partnerships and client services – so relevant departments can quickly access inventory and sales reports, for example. The portal allows everyone to work from the same page through consistent reporting. Executives especially appreciate the visual reporting tools, such as heat maps, available through the portal.

SAS also helps the team price individual games relative to demand – traditionally the highest when the Magic plays premier opponents and/or on weekend dates. SAS has been invaluable in dynamic ticket pricing as well as in unlocking the factors that drive season ticket holders’ renewal decisions.

“A particularly valuable SAS Enterprise Miner model showed that tenure and ticket utilization are two key determinants of season ticket renewal,” Perez continued. “To help maximize season ticket holder value, we have implemented a touch-point strategy that includes calling season ticket holders when tickets for games are unused, offering them information about our secondary ticket market, Ticket Exchange, and other best practices for ensuring tickets don’t go unused. This campaign will be in full swing during the new season, and we expect it to generate significant improvements.”