How big data helps hockey teams score with fans

Thanks to the movie Moneyball, almost everyone now is familiar with how professional sports teams are using the power of analytics to pick potential star performers. However, analytics software tools are also aiding many teams make crucial decisions on other important aspects of the game.

Take game schedules for instance. Every team owner knows that some games are just harder to sell to fans than others. For teams that do not have a huge fan base, empty seats can really hurt.

As director of ticket operations for the National Hockey League team the Carolina Hurricanes, Bill Nowicki has an uncanny sense of telling which matchups are going to be sold out and which ones will be not. For the larger part of his career, the 20-year ticket industry veteran has been relying on his experience, knowledge of the sports and his gut feelings to determine which games will attract fans and what dates might require additional promotion.

Recently, the Hurricanes and other pro sports teams across North America have been filling stadium seats with the help of some of the same data analytics technologies enterprise business to predict business trends or uncover fraudulent activities, according to a recent report in the daily the National Post.

As early as 2005, the Hurricanes had been using a ticketing technology that tracked all the purchase made by an individual fan. However, it was not until the Hurricanes added analytics technologies into the mix that better insight into the data became available.

The team had “years and years of data,” said Nowicki but it “we hadn’t really minded any of it” to gain a deeper insight into the Hurricanes’ customers.

Now the team is using its new tools to build a profile of its ticket plan holders to create “a picture about what our plan holders look like.”

Read the whole story here


Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

ITW in your inbox

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

More Best of The Web