How NBAs Orlando Magic use Data Analytics With SAS
In 2014, a study ranked the Orlando Magic above any other franchise in the league for the use of data and data analytics which was reported by Will Mui from Sport Techie at that time.
The Orlando Magic use data to sale tickets, sponsorship, sale merchandise, and they use it to analyze concession sales and fan demographics. It all started in 2010, the Orlando Magic business strategy was to adopt SAS Analytics and SAS Data Management Software to drive ticket sales in the new Amway Arena, which has lead to their success as one of the top revenue-making franchises in the NBA despite not having an all star player and their low standings in the NBA as a competitive team.
The NBA currently leads the sports industry in data analytic practices, something the Major League Baseball popularized. The Magic are consistently recognized as the franchise leading the charge in data analytics.
SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market.
The franchise prioritized using data mining to collect data for their predictive models for the first few years after adopting SAS Analytics and SAS Data Management Software. Using data from the fans, data like their characteristics, behaviors, preferences, and feed back from the fans, the Magic were able to deliver a more personalized and impactful campaign. They also tested various ticket prices for the same seats for different games, for example they would charge more for Golden State games. The use of this data in the campaign was just part one, the second use was for the improvements and upgrades of the concessions, merchandise and functions on the Orlando Magic app.
The Orlando Magic didn’t only use data analytics for the improvements on the fan experience, but also use it to scout opponents. This is possible thanks to the Sport VU player — tracking system which is installed inside of every NBA arena. That system let’s coaches and players review games in great detail. The system cameras record data 25 times per second.
Fact: The Sport VU tracking system was created by Israeli scientists in 2005 for missile tracking. It is used to record visual data points on players 25 times per second.
Now the Orlando Magic are upping their analytics game with their continued SAS partnership by using visual data mining and machine learning! The magic will use this data not only to improve the fan experience and marketing campaign, but also for analyzing player and team performance.
In earlier years the Magic also used data analytics to predict customer churn and trying to predict which ticket packages customers would purchase. The results of these analysis resulted in the “Fast Break Pass” and “Magic Money”.
Fast Break Pass:
A mobile app that offers customers the opportunity to access ticket packages for one low price. The users of this program are granted a set amount of seats for the NBA season. Their seat assignment is created about 15 minutes before the game.
A loyalty program specially for season ticket holders that allows users to earn rewards for trading in tickets they won’t be attending. The users are giving back seats for games they will miss and the Orlando Magic franchise can use those seats to put back on the market to drive attendance and revenue.
I am very excited to see how the Orlando magic will use machine learning and artificial intelligence to increase revenue, improve their fan experience, and create a more competitive team. Although this partnership started by just wanting to increase ticket sales, the magic innovation has lead to much more than that, the team has found many areas that could be improved that they would have never thought otherwise like inventory and fan demographics.
“We’ve proved that how many wins and losses you have as a team doesn’t prove your fate,” said Perez ( who is in charge of the Orlando Magic business strategy). “We’ve proved we can be successful despite not the most ideal record.”
In conclusion the NBA’s data revolution has created rosters with more skilled, more well-rounded players that are better rested, and increased the profitability of the NBA. If you would like to learn more about the NBA and data analytics I suggest you read “Basketball on Paper: Rules & Tools for Performance Analysis” , this book is considered to be the Money Ball book of basketball!
If you are interested in data science and data analytics after reading this article you should check out the website FiveThirtyEight.com they have many interesting articles and statistics on politics, sports, science, health, economics and culture, you can also check out my blog for more information on free tutorials and books on data analytics/ science. Thanks for reading this article, I hope you found it very helpful and enjoyable as I enjoyed writing it! Happy learning and I will see you all in my next article. Please leave many claps on here and share it, thanks for taking the time out of your busy day to read this article !
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