NBA tracking analytics as a marketing tool

Analytics and the software platforms used to properly track them have a natural application in the arena of marketing initiatives. While some industry outlets such as The CMO Survey have reported declines in the number of decisions made on the basis of big data results – a drop from 37 percent in February 2012 to 29 percent in August 2013 – others, such as MediaPost, believe that this is only natural for the early development of a product market. The latter source argues that as long as organizations take the time to examine what data is available and mine the most important metrics for optimal gains, positive outcomes are possible for marketing.

Recently, the National Basketball Association unveiled the preliminary plans for a new marketing initiative that will be centered around directly presenting analytics to fans. According to AdWeek, the organization hopes to engender greater engagement among audiences in a dynamic way that benefits its bottom line and increases enjoyment.

Capturing and presenting player data
The news source reports that the arenas where all 29 NBA franchises play will now be outfitted with advanced cameras that capture footage of games at a speed of 25 images per second. This is not going to be used solely for improved coverage of games. Instead, the cameras be connected to software that will analyze the performances of each athlete to compile fascinating statistics. As the renewed popularity of sabermetrics in baseball proves, stats are consistently interesting to many fans. These figures will be considerably more complex than counting points, fouls or turnovers – one example would be the fact that Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs scores points every 0.24 times he has control of the ball in a game.

Steve Hellmuth, executive vice president of operations and technology for the NBA, explained his excitement for the possibilities of the new initiative.

"We are really setting out on a journey," Hellmuth said to the news source. "We want statistics that visualize the game and lead to a better understanding of it."

With that being said, the NBA is also not looking to bombard fans with all of this data right away. The organization plans to offer a sampling of different ways to present the data and gauge fan interest based on which offerings garner the most significant response. The information will be available through various outlets, including the NBA TV cable channel and NBA.com.

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