SBJ/April 23-29, 2012/Facilities

Paciolan pulls together data to aid Arizona State fundraising

Don Muret
Arizona State University is using new ticketing technology to help streamline fundraising efforts tied to renovating Sun Devil Stadium.

The Pac-12 school is the first in Division I to use Paciolan’s Ticketing Intelligence, a data warehouse that consolidates information from ticketing, concessions, merchandise and university development systems into one platform.

Paciolan, Arizona State’s ticketing vendor, created the platform with business partners SSB Consulting and Kore Technologies.

Arizona State is raising funds for a refurb that will put a cover on Sun Devil Stadium.
Photo by: FUTURE CITIES
Ticketing Intelligence was first adopted at the Rose Garden about two years ago, where ASU Athletic Director Steve Patterson was formerly the president and general manager of the Portland Trail Blazers.

In Tempe, as the school moves forward with a stadium renovation that could cost $300 million, athletic officials have direct access to real-time data on game days, enabling them to target their best customers for donations to the project.
As part of the system, Arizona State customized the technology to identify the school’s principal donors sitting inside the stadium. After their tickets are scanned, athletic officials receive a text message on their smartphone with those specific seat locations.

To gain more information on those individuals, ASU officials conduct a search through the Ticketing Intelligence Web-based service to view a list of their purchases at previous football games.

Accessing those complete profiles on season-ticket holders and other contributors gives an edge to ASU Associate Athletic Director Steve Hank in his attempts to set up one-on-one conversations with potential donors for the stadium renovation.

For example, knowing ahead of time that someone had bought an extra large Sun Devils polo shirt at the team store and a Coke at the concession stand at a previous game, Hank can arrive at a person’s seat with those items as an icebreaker for easing into talks about donations, he said.

“It is that moment of truth where you meet all the needs of the customer,” he said. “The real magic of this system is that it can take data from any source and make it available anywhere. I believe this is going to revolutionize college sports. It is the ultimate data collection system.”

The cost is about $12,000 to consolidate all systems tied to athletics and university operations into the Ticketing Intelligence platform, depending on the level of customization, said Dave Butler, Paciolan’s CEO.

Paciolan is providing the system to connect ticketing and athletic fundraising for free to its 500 college clients, Butler said. The additional fees to consolidate all systems cover Paciolan’s cost to pull together other databases for concessions and retail from third-party vendors and university development outside of athletics.

SALAD DAYS: The Houston Astros’ decision to allow fans to bring food into Minute Maid Park has not affected sales at the stadium’s concession stands.

The club eliminated the ban as part of changes adopted by new owner Jim Crane and team President and CEO George Postolos.

The Houston Astros are seeing healthy business at Aramark’s new Green Fork stand.
Photo by: ARAMARK
Six games into the regular season, team officials reported food and beverage sales were up over last season. At the April 6 home opener, Aramark’s per caps were up 20 percent, said Marty Price, the Astros’ senior vice president of events and guest services. The introduction of new food items and concepts such as the Green Fork salad stand have helped boost the numbers, Price said.

The stand, on the main concourse behind home plate, allows fans to customize their salads from more than 50 ingredients. Aramark folded the Green Fork into a stand that continues to sell pizza and ice cream in addition to salads.
The cost is $12 for a salad with chicken or another protein and $8 without meat. Early on, Aramark averaged 200 salads sold a game, said Carl Mittleman, an Aramark regional vice president.

Depending on the stand’s performance, Aramark could take the concept to its 10 other MLB food accounts, Mittleman said.

The Astros were the last MLB team to lift the ban on outside food, Price said.

Don Muret can be reached at dmuret@sportsbusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @breakground.



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