NBA Aims to Aggregate Web, E-mail, Sales Data

CRM technology firm E.piphany typically works with large businesses to combine and act on marketing data across the enterprise — that was, until the NBA came knocking.

San Mateo, Calif.-based E.piphany’s agreement with the National Basketball Association is one of the first deals incorporating enterprise-class CRM tools — normally used by clients like Microsoft, Alcatel and Bear Stearns — for use in sports marketing.

Like all of the major sports leagues that bring in sizable merchandising revenue, the NBA culls consumer data on its own. But using E.piphany’s E.5 CRM software — which collects, combines and analyses data from Web site visitors, email marketing response, direct marketing response, and sales channels — the NBA says would help it automate and improve its marketing to basketball fans worldwide.

Specifically, NBA officials said they plan to use E.piphany’s system to aggregate data about basketball fans in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia — data like names, addresses and team and ticket preferences.

“After evaluating several CRM vendors, we selected E.piphany because it is an organization that is at the forefront of innovation in this industry,” said Bernie Mullin, the senior vice president for team marketing and business operations at the NBA. “E.piphany’s software will allow us to gather crucial information about basketball fans all over the world so we can reach out to them on a personal level.”

Ultimately, the goal lies in creating personalized promotions for NBA teams, merchandise, and other products. Those promotions could include Web discounts at Store.NBA.com and exclusive ticket offers, in addition to targeted email advertising.

“We are always evaluating how untapped markets can benefit from our next-generation CRM software,” said E.piphany president and chief executive Roger Siboni. “As the sports marketing powerhouse with millions of fans worldwide, the NBA is a distinctive customer for our company.”

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