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Portland Trail Blazers Keep Record Attendance Using Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Data Analytics

by Matt Bolch
Contributing Writer,

Leaders at SSB Consulting Group never imagined that a single engagement with a performing arts center would result in a new business unit, one that accounts for half of their business. But if a company can solve a key challenge for an entire market, significant new opportunities will surely follow.

For SSB, that business challenge is data analytics, and more specifically the ability for sports and entertainment companies to capture data flowing through ticketing systems and convert it into actionable insights that can help drive customer loyalty and increase sales.

For the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA, gaining these insights into their data has translated into averaging 101.8 percent of seating capacity during the 2015-16 season, setting a franchise record in the process. The team sold out 34 of 41 regular season games.

"Back when I started four years ago, finding answers to questions required going to various data silos that didn't interact with each other," says Mike Schumacher, director of business analytics for the Trail Blazers. "With a central data warehouse, we get answers quicker and can react and change what we're doing very quickly in response to new information."

Built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Azure, the SSB's SaaS-based service interacts with ticketing systems "to help clients stratify their customers to maximize customer lifetime value," says Andrew Brodie, founder and senior partner at Denver-based SSB Consulting Group. "It looks at conversion, merchandising and loyalty to create upsell opportunities and identify at-risk season ticketholders to help increase retention."

Moving beyond the initial sale

Ticketing systems are designed to, naturally, sell tickets. But helping a venue ...

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About Matt Bolch

Matt Bolch is co-founder of content provider Landscape Creative. He is a long-time journalist specializing in technology and health IT topics. He can be reached at

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