SBJ/20101129/This Week's Issue

Magic signs SAS for both biz, basketball operations

The Orlando Magic has signed a three-year deal with SAS Sports & Entertainment to implement an integrated analytics solution for both its business and basketball operations.

Marking a somewhat rare blending of analytics products for a team front office, the Magic has begun to use SAS analytics for ticketing, merchandise, food and beverage, sponsorship, customer relationship management and other game-day operations at the new Amway Center, with an inclusion of the basketball operations planned for late in the current 2010-11 season.

The most dramatic and immediate manifestation of the pact will be a heightened use of dynamic ticket pricing by the Magic. The team has begun to adjust single-game ticket prices based on a wide range of factors such as secondary market dynamics, day of the week, and opponent, with the process soon to become more automated.

“The ticketing is a big piece of this, and we talked with all the big players out there in that [dynamic ticketing] space, including Qcue, Digonex and StratBridge,” said Anthony Perez, Magic director of business strategy. “But where we saw the real value of this with SAS is that for not much more in terms of spend, we could get a system that also could be applied to all these other areas.”

Financial terms were not disclosed. The Magic previously had been using Spotfire Analytics, owned by TIBCO Software Inc., for its basketball operations, and the IBM-owned SPSS Inc., for its business-side analytics work.

The Magic deal adds to a developing SAS sports practice that also includes pacts with the San Antonio Spurs, San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Hurricanes, among others.

“There is still a lot of siloed technology in most organizations, and being able to apply high-end analytics in one integrated solution across an entire organization like we are in Orlando is a big step forward,” said Craig Duncan, manager of SAS Sports & Entertainment.

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