Microsoft Dynamics CRM Selected By Orleans Hornets For Better Marketing and Scouting Targeting Efforts


NBA team develops mobile app to connect scouts in the field with CRM database of player information.

Microsoft Corp. today announced that the National Basketball Association’s New Orleans Hornets have selected Microsoft Dynamics CRM to gain insights about the fans who fill New Orleans Arena and the prospective players who will perform on the court.

The Hornets chose Microsoft Dynamics CRM over Salesforce.com because of the technology’s flexibility and comprehensive customer relationship management (CRM) features, as well as the option to extend the capabilities of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM offerings down the road. The organization initially integrated Microsoft Dynamics CRM with Ticketmaster and its systems to elevate customer service and marketing efforts. The Hornets took the capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM one step further by building an application that will enable scouts in the field to manage player performance information.

“We had some low-level CRM capabilities through our previous ticketing software, but we wanted a more full-featured solution, a more intelligent approach to how we were selling tickets, to be more effective in our process,” said Hornets Vice President of Information Technology Tod Caflisch. “We looked at Salesforce.com, but it didn’t have the flexibility we wanted. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, we could modify it to meet our specific needs.”

The team’s initial use of Microsoft Dynamics CRM allowed an agent to quickly access a customer’s history in an effort to better serve the customer’s specific needs when it comes to purchasing tickets. This information gave Hornets’ management the ability to understand in which geography they sell the most tickets, so they can establish successful sales operations.

From that original implementation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Caflisch worked with Transech, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, based in Houma, La., to create the application for smartphones that would enable scouts to store information on the players they were watching in real time. Scouts in the field record information about each player based on specific formulas that take into account competitive statistics and a player’s ability to positively affect team chemistry. Hornets scouts now can acquire information, store notes and sync with a master database, from which valuable reports can be pulled to evaluate potential players.

The scouting database is used to rank players based on a set of standard criteria and their interpretation by scouts. On draft day, an executive can download a list by rank or position, so that the front office easily can see its top prospects during each round.

“Our mobile application, built on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform, is a unique solution that other teams have not yet deployed,” Caflisch said. “We saved a significant amount of money compared with developing an app from scratch, so it’s a real slam-dunk as far as our return on investment in Microsoft Dynamics CRM is concerned.”

The Hornets expect to gain a wide range of capabilities and business benefits from Microsoft Dynamics CRM, including the following:

  • Improved revenue. Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows the team to identify areas where revenue may have been lost. The system logs all incoming calls — even those that may
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