Case Study
The better the question The better the answer The better the world works
Case Study

How digital transformation helped benefit fans and the bottom line

With help from EY, the professional sports franchise was able to turn big data into even bigger value.

Miami Heat Case Study 1
(Chapter breaker)

The better the question

How can a sports franchise score more points with its fans?

A championship-winning basketball team had the most engaged fans in the league but wanted to take their fan experience to the next level.

The franchise decided to evolve its legacy IT systems and introduce new tools to enhance marketing conversion and drive revenue growth. It engaged EY to help in the design and development of a suite of digital solutions that would bring fans closer to the action while maximizing attendance levels and revenue opportunities.

Our business has always taken a non-traditional approach — we have a history of innovation that looks outside our industry. With this project, we were ready to push our digital technology strategy to the next level.
Executive Vice President of Business Strategy

The organization’s sales team wanted a state-of-the-art customer relationship management (CRM) system and digital repository for customer data that would prevent fans from being sent any unnecessary messages and would generate more efficient returns for the franchise. The existing system risked customers being sent generic messaging that didn’t fully account for their particular interests or buying patterns.

In addition to updating its CRM system, the organization wanted to invest in smart digital solutions that would motivate its sales team and provide more sophisticated tools. This led to the implementation of large screens with sales leaderboards measuring daily, monthly and quarterly goals. This solution drove friendly competition and ultimately led to growth for the entire organization.

Miami Heat Case Study 2
(Chapter breaker)

The better the answer

AI-powered marketing to deliver the right deals to the right fan

The sports franchise built a new data architecture, creating the most sophisticated marketing system in the league.

A single platform to track sales and turn big data into big value

The organization wanted to implement a unified system capable of tracking and using customer data to dramatically increase marketing conversion. We began by leveraging EY’s strong relationships with Adobe and Microsoft to create a digital road map for solving existing pain points and delivering future growth and clear ROI.

A powerful mobile app to help fans get the most out of their arena experience.

The new CRM system we developed together was integrated with the team’s mobile app. This unlocked deep insights into purchasing decisions and customer behavior. With the team’s arena being ticketless, the new system could track attendance, sales of merchandising, and food and beverage purchases. This provided our client with a wealth of valuable information it could use to improve the fan experience — for example, adjusting prices to make sure no seat goes unfilled. Combined with the newly implemented AI platform, the app shows fans where they can find the shortest lines for concessions, bathrooms and even parking — helping them enjoy frictionless experiences.

An automated marketing platform to deliver the right message at the right moment to the right person

To leverage this wealth of new data, we implemented Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM and Adobe Experience Cloud, an integrated technology stack that enables the sports franchise to better understand its customers, right down to the food and drink items fans are purchasing at games.

By using Adobe Analytics and Adobe Campaign, our client can analyze the consolidated data to understand fans’ behavior across seven different digital properties, painting a complete picture for its sales and marketing teams. This rich understanding of its customers is giving our client the ability to quickly execute fully automated, multichannel marketing campaigns. These deliver the right message via the right channel at the right moment and drive revenue growth regardless of team performance on the court.

Miami Heat Case Study 3
(Chapter breaker)

The better the world works

A smart experience that’s better for fans and the business

Rolling out the new CRM platform resulted in increased ticket sales and sales staff efficiency.

Once the new CRM system was rolled out, our client saw


Increase in ticket sales - a remarkable achievement.

This uptick was due to the power of the data the sales team now had at its fingertips. EY also helped streamline the sales process for both staff and season ticket buyers. We did this by introducing technologies, such as e-signatures, that make it easy to close deals faster and increase conversion.

A better business powered by AI

In combination, all of these new upgrades made an astounding impact on the business. In just one season, the basketball team increased mobile app merchandise and ticketing revenue by 

Increase in mobile app merchandise and ticketing revenue


— a huge win for the business.

Today, thanks to the richer customer data now being captured, the team can respond much faster to any capacity issues — repricing tickets based on real-time marketing intelligence. The benefits also extend to fans, creating a much more seamless and enjoyable digital experience.

The organization took its marketing capabilities to the next level and gave its sales teams and managers the tools they need to succeed. Beyond this, fans benefited from getting better, more relevant deals and gaining access to the arena experience of the future — a win-win for everyone. 

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