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Customer Snapshot

Firing Up the Fans with Interactive Statistics

Up to 20K

concurrent queries of the statistics database


The National Basketball Association (NBA) has been generating excitement and loads of statistics ever since the first game in 1946. Today, basketball fans have instant access to the NBA’s vast database of statistics, thanks to a web site powered by the SAP HANA® platform.


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We aspire to be….


National Basketball Association - NBA


New York, New York, USA

Customer Website




US$243 million

Number of Employees


Implementation Partners

SAP Services Organization

Line of Business

Service, Marketing, Information Technology


Sports & Entertainment

Featured Products



From tip-off to today


  • 1946The Basketball Association of America (BAA) was founded in New York City.
  • 1949The BAA merged with rival National Basketball League (NBL), creating the National Basketball Association. The new league had seventeen franchises located in a mix of large and small cities, as well as large arenas and smaller gymnasiums and armories.
  • 1950 The NBA consolidated to eleven franchises, a process that continued until 1953–54, when the league reached its smallest size of eight franchises.
  • 1954To encourage shooting and discourage stalling, the league introduced the 24-second shot clock.
  • 1966The league expanded from 9 to 14 teams, introducing the Chicago Bulls, Seattle SuperSonics (now Oklahoma City Thunder), San Diego Rockets (who relocated to Houston four years later), Milwaukee Bucks, and Phoenix Suns.
  • 1974The NBA grew to 18 franchises.
  • 1976The leagues reached a settlement that provided for the addition of four ABA franchises to the NBA, raising the number of franchises in the league at that time to 22.
  • 1980The NBA added one more expansion franchise, the Dallas Mavericks, bringing the total to 23 teams.
  • 1982Debut of the US Olympic basketball “dream team,” the first to use current NBA stars.
  • 1995The NBA expanded to Canada with the addition of the Vancouver Grizzlies and the Toronto Raptors.
  • 1996The NBA created a women's league, the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).
  • 2010 The annual NBA All-Star Game was held at Cowboys Stadium in front of the largest crowd ever: 108,713.
  • 2011The first official NBA league games on European ground took place; in two matchups, the New Jersey Nets took on the Toronto Raptors in London’s O2 Arena in front of over 20,000 fans.

Success Strategy

Interactive statistics

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Fans want to interact with stats

NBA executives wanted to further engage their loyal fan base with instant access to statistics and the ability to interact with this information. They wanted a web site that provided every follower of the game a virtual sports bureau of their own.


League officials weren’t satisfied with making the NBA stats site just pretty good. They wanted to make it awesome.

The Challenge

A tall order

The NBA wanted to give fans access to statistical and reporting tools using near real-time data changes, but their existing systems were unable to deliver. They also wanted their public-facing website to perform and scale up to a high concurrency user base, with an infrastructure that could enable future innovation and design.


They wanted to grow the game of basketball on a global basis, and drive greater engagement among more than 380 million fans. Maximizing the use of more than 65 years of statistical data, delivering the awesome web site that NBA executives envisioned was a challenge.

The NBA has over 380 million worldwide fans – that’s more than the entire population of the United States. Making their vast collection of statistics available to all of them was impossible with the league’s existing technology. The site would have crashed in no time. The fan experience would have been horrible.


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The first goal

Engaging with our fans is the most important thing that we can do…making sure that they feel close to the game.”

- Mark Tatum, Executive Vice President, Global Marketing Partnerships, National Basketball Association

Enter SAP

Making the team

After an extensive proof-of-concept, the NBA chose the SAP HANA platform to handle the massive number of concurrent fans who will be interacting with the unprecedented statistical experience on NBA.com. The SAP technical team worked hand in hand with the NBA to implement SAP HANA to run the league’s enhanced statistical offering.


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Speed and performance

That’s why choosing SAP HANA to power nba.com/stats was such a slam dunk.


The speed and performance of the in-memory computing technology from SAP makes it possible for the site to accommodate tens of thousands of concurrent users. On a global basis, they already have 15 to 20 thousand people all connected to their database and computing statistics. And the platform’s fast data loads let the NBA add new statistics immediately following a game.


The SAP Experience

Well coached

When it came to implementing their best-in-class web site, the NBA was all about collaboration. After all, the number-one factor that determines the NBA champion every year is teamwork. So the NBA teamed up with the SAP® Services organization to ensure a smooth rollout of the new technology. And, implementing it in such a short period of time wasn’t possible without SAP’s help.

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SAP Services were wonderful

This teamwork resulted in a one-stop source for all NBA statistics that is now used by enthusiastic fans, the worldwide media, 30 NBA teams, and even players and coaches.


Putting numbers on the board

NBA now has a repository for the league’s entire database of historical data and situational statistics, with enhanced fan experience who have instant access to all statistics. The NBA have seen a significant growth in number of visitors to the NBA Web site.


“For the very first time, fans have direct access to a league’s entire history and its entire database of situational stats.”

- Steve Hellmuth, Executive Vice President of Operations and Technology, National Basketball Association

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Split, filter, and run calculations


And the crowd roars

Today, the statistics and video captured and used during NBA games flow back into the league’s database. Fans can then use nba.com/stats to track every amazing point, rebound, and blocked shot in near-real time.


Everything a fan needs to know about their team is now immediately available, they can slice and dice the data and look at it however they wish. The new site offers a personalized experience to anyone who follows the game. Media folks use it to develop compelling story lines, hard-core devotees research the perfect fantasy team, and the casual fan learns more about the sport.


The average visitor now spends about twice as much time on the NBA’s Web site as they did in the past.

With its global exposure, the site helps extend the NBA brand to consumers and fans around the world. In summary all of the power that’s built into the site is really about letting the fans engage more with the sport.


“SAP HANA enabled us to build a ground-breaking Web site that I think is the best in sports.”

- Michael Gliedman, Senior Vice President and CIO, National Basketball Association


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Data from Arena to Database in Sub-Seconds

Journey Ahead

Driving to the net

The NBA’s goals are, first and foremost, to grow and celebrate the game of basketball on a global basis. This year alone, NBA programming will be seen in more than 215 countries and enjoyed in 47 languages. Overall, the success of nba.com/stats contributed to nba.com setting all-time records this season, with more than 9.5 billion page views. The web site is expected to play an important role in keeping basketball’s expanding audience fully engaged and close to the game.


So what can you expect?

They’re looking forward to taking this site even further. This includes integrating more video content and making everything available to mobile fans through their smartphones and tablets. The entire team at the NBA accomplished exactly what they set out to do. They created a statistics web site that is simply awesome. Oh, and by the way, as for who leads the NBA in scoring – you’ll have to check out the site to get the latest stats.


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