SBJ/May 14-20, 2012/Franchises

Hawks: Adobe EchoSign helped increase premium-seat revenue 20 percent

The Atlanta Hawks are looking to leverage their NBA playoff appearance by using a new cloud-based system that aims to eliminate any deal-making delays due to the handling of paper contracts.

The team tested the technology last year and this year signed a deal with San Jose-based Adobe EchoSign. The goal, Hawks officials said, is to increase the volume of premium and season-ticket deals by cutting out the sometimes clunky and time-consuming process of having customers sign paper contracts.

The Hawks want a quick turnaround on their premium-seating sales efforts as they take advantage of their first-round playoff matchup against the Boston Celtics.

The team began using the technology as it kicked off its season-ticket renewal efforts in February.

The Hawks have sold about 70 of the 92 suites at Philips Arena and hope to increase attendance after drawing an average of 15,219 fans a game this year, down about 3 percent from last season.

“We like to do business face to face, but a good number of our business is done over the phone and we found that we were having trouble getting contracts sent back to us,” said Shawn Doss, director of suite sales and service for the Hawks. “Now we are able to upload our contracts, see when they have been opened, and track all the data. It has easily led to about a 20 percent increase in premium-seating revenues, including suites, and season-ticket business.”

The Hawks pay an undisclosed annual licensing fee to Adobe EchoSign for the technology, which processes the use of electronic signatures to streamline the signing of contracts.

Adobe EchoSign also recently signed a deal with the NHL Carolina Hurricanes and the Phoenix Coyotes and is in negotiations with other teams.

“We have other deals in the pipeline,” said Loretta Jones, director of marketing for Adobe EchoSign. “It is a frictionless way to get contracts signed.”

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