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NBA in OKC: Teams study fans' habits to boost revenue

By Darnell Mayberry Modified: July 13, 2008 at 12:01 am •  Published: July 13, 2008
Team officials were unavailable for comment for this story, but Marolda said the old Seattle SuperSonics used the software and the technology would be beneficial for a relocating team. Marolda also said the Hornets used the program during their final season in Oklahoma City.

"I think this is one of the situations where our tool becomes extremely valuable to a team,” Marolda said. "When you go into a new market like that, having data and being able to do all kinds of things with analyzing, targeting and projecting can create a lot of value and get them up that fan base curve pretty quickly.”

The software costs between $10,000 and $100,000, Marolda said, depending on the level of functionality. In addition to allowing teams to analyze ticket data, StratTix helps teams target existing and potential ticket buyers and project sales for an entire season.

Oklahoma City's franchise likely would use the technology as more of tool to gathering information during the first season, Marolda said, before using the system to devise pricing plans in future seasons.

"There's a lot of novelty and exciting things about having a team come to a new city,” Marolda said. "But you want to build that foundation for the subsequent seasons. So two seasons out, three seasons out, four seasons out, who are the people that I want to build around? Who are the people that are the right kinds of fans for me to be cultivating? And who should I be spending my time on?”

Perhaps it's no coincidence the NBA has set attendance records in four of the past five seasons.

"It's very much a growing trend in the NBA that teams are becoming more analytical, whether it be for their pricing or getting to know their season ticket holders better or individual ticket holders,” Heck said. "I would say that we started really seeing a focus on it as far as five years ago, and it ramps up more every year. Our teams are embracing this and taking full advantage of having an analytical mind and someone that can focus on these trends on staff.”

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