BasketballSAP has announced that it is helping to power fan engagement in collaboration with Phizzle for the Charlotte Hornets. Using the Phizzle FanTracker API and data management solution powered by SAP HANA the Hornets have a better handle on their fan base. Data cleansing with the Phizzle solution has allowed the Hornets to save more than $1.5 million.

Nearly 2 years ago the Hornets played their first game for twelve years in Charlotte, NC.  With a mass of historic data and the new data they were collecting from ticketing and retailing they turned to Phizzle to help them analyse and use the information effectively. With over 9.5 million fans producing 25 million interactions across many data points Phizzle needed the power of SAP HANA. There were two phases to this process. In the first, Pizzle aggregates the data from multiple data points including such things as Point of Sale systems, e-commerce, ticketing, CRM solutions and financial data. During the consolidation they were able to de-duplicate more than 50% of the records.

The second stage is to create a holistic view of each fan. This means monitoring and analysing their behaviour and then suggesting, using predictive analytics, the best marketing approaches to take. This has led to the saving of more than 10,000 hours of consulting. It has also created additional ticket revenue sales. According to the NBA Attendance report (Source ESPN) the Hornets have climbed one place in their attendance league table in a last year. Average ticket sales in 2016 for home games was 17,495, an increase of 1.6% from the 17,192 they achieved in 2015. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues.

Hornets continue to leverage Phizzle

Ben Davis, CEO at Phizzle (Image Source
Ben Davis, CEO at Phizzle

Christopher Zeppenfeld, the Hornets’ senior director of business intelligence is clearly impressed. He commented:  “The real challenge is in consolidating fans into a single profile. Phizzle, powered by SAP HANA, does that better than anyone.” Zeppenfield is not stopping here though. The next step will be to introduce new data sources into the analytics engine such as food and beverage sales. The potential scope of sources is far wider. By 2020 there may be 50 billion devices connected to the internet. These devices will take fan engagements to a completely new level. Analysing that data will need the power that only cloud computing can deliver.

This fan/customer engagement issue is faced by many companies around the globe. Phizzle is not just in use by other sporting brands such as the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks. It is also used by brands such as Subway and media companies such as HBO and Fox Sports. Ben Davis, CEO at Phizzle commented: “Phizzle’s solutions are driving digital transformation for teams like the Hornets, enabling them to identify and enhance the economic value of each fan.The API allows us to provide a streamlined integration solution that avoided disruption to the Hornets’ daily operations and showed an immediate significant return on their investment.”


Any company that has a mass of customer or fan record from multiple sources needs to start leveraging their data. This demonstrates that collating large data sets, the intelligent application of analytics can lead to cost savings and revenue increases. These are two of the goals that CEO’s look to achieve.


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