Boston Red Sox Score with Microsoft Dynamics CRM
When a baseball team is repeatedly selling out its stadium seats, CRM may seem like the last thing that would be on the management’s radar. However, when your current CRM system consists of sticky notes and spreadsheets, change is long overdue.
Green Beacon Solutions LLC out of Newton, Mass., has customized a version of Microsoft (News - Alert) Dynamics CRM for its sports teams. The Red Sox chose their version, Sports CRM, at the conclusion of a search process that spanned nearly seven years.
“We did a lot of due diligence before we selected Green Beacon to come in,” explained Ron Bumgarner, senior vice president of ticketing for the Red Sox in a statement. “It was a process of proving that the return on investment would be well worth it.”
Sports CRM integrated with Tickets.com and Ticketmaster, essentially serve as the Red Sox’s enterprise resource planning system. Green Beacon used the Microsoft xRM platform to create the software, which uses Dynamic CRM as a basis for developing similar applications. “XRM has simplified the process whereby we’re able to prototype new solutions and show it to clients, rather than draw it on a whiteboard,” stated Green Beacon’s Vice President of business solutions architecture, Richard Smith. “We can show them in real time and get them to buy with their eyes rather than their minds.”
Bumgarner said that the next phase of the tool’s implementation would involve Fenway Enterprises, which markets non-game events at the park. When the group hosted Frozen Fenway, a series of hockey games for college, high school and leagues, the CRM tool helped them to target people who had purchased Frozen Fenway tickets in 2010 at the right point in the sales cycle.
The team has implemented Sports CRM not only to simplify the back office, but also to better understand fan behavior. Knowing where people like to sit, when fans last communicated with the team and any past problems they may have had will help the team get past what Bumgarner calls “shotgun marketing.” Sports CRM is measuring ticket sales, suite sales and previous experience sales. The program is also extensively surveying fans to determine their satisfaction levels.
“We found ourselves in a pattern,” Bumgarner remarked. “We did have tools, but not high-level tools to manage our processes. We basically go to the point where we needed to invest in how we target folks. The CRM tool proved tremendously valuable.”
Jacqueline Lee is a TMCnet contributor who produces web content, blogs and articles for numerous websites including wikiHow.com. Her background is in business and education.
Edited by Jamie Epstein