Sports Teams have trouble keeping track of their Customers!

Here is a great article on how professional sports teams both major and minor have difficulty tracking their customers! See the original article at:

“We Try to Eliminate Anonymous Buyers”: Basketball Team Official
BY News Editor
Email PUBLISHED: August 21, 2008
BI & Reporting Customer Relationship Mgmt Dynamics CRM Financial Management Media & Entertainment Sales & Marketing
Many consumer companies discover as they try to develop integrated marketing and sales programs that their customer and prospect data is scattered among five or more repositories around their companies.

Nowhere is this problem more pronounced than with professional sports teams, which have customer information within software databases handling accounting, bulk email, season tickets, point-of-sale and, not coincidentally, their Microsoft Dynamics CRM software, among others.

“Most of us are dealing with the concept of software integration,” Scott Jeffer, assistant general manager of the Toledo Mud Hens, a minor league baseball team, told a webinar gathering of the CRM User Group Sports SIG, formed last spring. “Some of us have the same fan in five different spots.”

The Sports SIG is independent of Microsoft, but is an outgrowth of a Microsoft sports initiative that has garnered substantial commitments by professional sports teams to Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The Toledo Mud Hens were recently named winners of a Microsoft Customer Elite Award for small business for their progress in applying Microsoft Dynamics CRM. (See’s previous article on the Sports SIG.)

Underlying the integration effort is a growing movement by professional sports teams to collect as much customer information as possible. An official of a professional basketball team put it this way: “We don’t want people coming to our ticket office. We try to direct as many customers as possible to the web. We do loyalty cards, some food cards, which all work like gift cards. We are selling our merchandise, but we know who’s buying it. When customers stand in line at the refreshment stands, we try to have someone with a portable data entry device capturing orders and names. We try to eliminate anonymous buyers.”

A number of users at the Sports SIG session are moving aggressively to integrate their ticket sales with their Microsoft Dynamics CRM systems. An official of a football team said her organization had successfully integrated its Dynamics CRM system with Ticketmaster, which receives many of its ticket orders. Unlike many other teams, it’s developed its system so that it can send information both ways-to the CRM system, and back into Ticketmaster, ensuring that the systems contain consistent data.

A number of other organizations said their Dynamics CRM systems are integrated with online ticket services, but only in one direction, allowing data to flow into the CRM system. Until they become fully integrated, though, they face the problem described by a representative of a professional baseball team: “If you’re looking at 15 different records of the same suite customer, you may not know that that person shouldn’t be called to buy a suite, but rather should be sold some suite enhancement services.”