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But what about the Celtics' website?

I saw this article in Computerworld today - Celtics Turn to Data Analytics Tool for Help Pricing Tickets. Now this real-time display of ticket sales trends stuff sounds great and I am sure it really helps experienced sales executives figure out how to price remaining tickets etc. I have two questions though:

  • What about less experienced sales executives? How are they meant to interpret this given their lack of experience?
  • What about the website? Their website links to Ticketmaster for tickets but the pricing there is not dynamic, not informed by the data analytics they are doing.

Now what if the Celtics had taken an EDM approach instead? They would have taken the rules of thumb of their experience staff, plus any rules the NBA has about how tickets can be priced, and combined those with predictive analytic models that predicted how likely a game was to sell out or how likely a particular area of the stadium was to have open seats etc. With these they would have built a pricing engine that sat behind the CRM systems the sales executives use and made that decision service available for Ticketmaster to provide dynamic pricing.

Now the same engine provide multiple pricing options when providing answers to a person and a single one when providing answers to a system but the insight into pricing trends would be leveraged more widely and even new sales executives would get the pricing right. This would leave the experienced ones more time to work with the callers to maximize the sales and improve customer satisfaction.

Of course you could always add models that predict likelihood of upselling a season ticket etc etc.

So, to paraphrase George Orwell, "Data mining good, EDM better".

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Comments

Amit

James..

Thanks for reminding me of this post. Have posted my comments here (http://diamondinfoanalytics.com/blog1/2007/02/15/sportingly-analytical/)

Amit Das

Hey James. Some interesting note I saw related to use of analytics in sports. You may want to visit http://whatticksinanalytics.blogspot.com/2007/03/analytically-sports-continued.html

Harry Peltz

One trend that teams are moving to is pricing tickets based on the opponent, not just the seat quality. The New York Mets were among the teams that did this last year (2006).

I think teams would favor the dynamic pricing of tickets. It helps to increase income (which we hope would be used to sign better players), and also eliminates the 2ndary market. However, by moving to this model, you are in danger of alienating the fan base; many of whom are used to the existing season-long stable pricing model and the first order/best seat approach. I suspect in more conservative markets there might be a PR backlash against the team.

Bottom line: successful teams sell tickets at ANY price. Losing teams drive away their fans.

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