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San Jose Sharks: Embracing data insights to grow fan engagement

Explore San Jose Sharks’ journey with SAP

When the San Jose Sharks take the ice, parent company San Jose Sports & Entertainment Enterprises wants a happy fan in every seat. The most straightforward shot to making that goal is using valuable, multisource fan data with holistic, intelligent data management and analytics available in SAP Business Technology Platform.

Deploying intelligent technologies from SAP was fast, and our team easily manages them. We now have one source of truth and deep insight that allow us to better connect with fans.

Neda Tabatabaie
VP, Business Analytics and Technology
San Jose Sharks LLC

The Challenge

Giving marketing the assist to maximize the impact of its campaigns

The San Jose Sharks (Sharks) organization struggled to measure campaign ROI and churn risk for season ticket holders, despite using the SAP Sales Cloud and SAP Marketing Cloud solutions to manage sales and marketing campaigns. Unfortunately, the solutions from the SAP Customer Experience portfolio were disconnected from the organization's KORE Software system for ticketing, restricting its ability to measure the impact and ROI of individual marketing campaigns. Meanwhile, the Sharks wanted to identify season ticket holders at risk of not renewing. 


The Sharks needed to eliminate data silos and integrate operational data, marketing systems, and ticket sales with front-end, fan-facing experiences and promotions. This approach would allow the National Hockey League franchise to capture and quantify the needs and preferences of every fan segment – including newcomers, occasional visitors, and season ticket holders. More important, it would enable those insights to be translated into targeted marketing campaigns based on actual purchasing behavior and experience data.


The goal was to determine the right rewards and offers to fill every available seat, bring in new fans, and keep longtime Sharks supporters coming back for more.

The Solution

Unifying fan and customer data in user-friendly analytics dashboards

To maximize marketing impact and support an intelligent enterprise strategy, the Sharks turned to SAP Business Technology Platform.


Using SAP Sales Cloud to manage customer relationships, account managers can obtain smart recommendations and insights focused on ticket sales. SAP Marketing Cloud also helps track fan activity and provides deep insights into the fan experience that help marketers better understand intent and anticipate behavior.


With the addition of the SAP Data Warehouse Cloud solution, the Sharks can now integrate sales and marketing data with ticketing data from its KORE Software system. The SAP Analytics Cloud solution was leveraged to serve as the single entry point for business users to gain insights from all that data – providing user-friendly dashboards to visualize, analyze, and identify patterns in consolidated data sets. The solution also enables geospatial analyses by fan location, making it possible to create marketing campaigns based on where fans are.


SAP Integration Suite facilitates the integration of fan sentiment and feedback data from Facebook and Twitter. It also enables the integration of traffic data from the Sharks’ Web site, helping tie anonymous data to specific fan and customer accounts and make it visible in SAP Analytics Cloud.


The next phase will be integrating finance data from SAP S/4HANA Cloud into SAP Data Warehouse Cloud – giving the Sharks even greater strategic oversight of operations.

The Result

Gaining the insight to fill stadium seats and get closer to the fans

By unifying e-mail, social media, Web site, and ticket data, the Sharks now have total visibility into fan activity. This outcome produces more effective marketing promotions that deliver a better fan experience. Additionally, targeted up-selling and cross-selling to subscribers leads to higher opt-in rates and fewer unsold seats.


Having one access point for analytics makes it easier for users to track fan feedback on marketing campaigns and optimize, pivot, and enhance offers in real time. A variety of reports help clarify the impact of each campaign. For example, campaigns can be correlated to ticket sales, sales can be broken down by geography, ROI can be measured, e-mail open and click-through rates can be tracked, and Web site activity can be analyzed.


Revenue can also be tracked by game, including product breakdown, and the Sharks can see if fans who bought tickets attended games. If a season ticket holder skips three games in a row, account managers are notified to reach out.


Self-service access and a graphical drag-and-drop interface let users run these reports and more to test any hypotheses quickly with real-time data. On top of that, these features reduce the workload for IT, allowing teams to focus on future innovations.


With a world-class fan experience as its goal, the Sharks are scoring big as an intelligent enterprise using SAP Customer Experience solutions and SAP Business Technology Platform.

SAP helps the San Jose Sharks run better

Key business outcomes and benefits

  • Unified sales, marketing, e-mail, social media, Web site, and ticket data
  • Derived real-time insights to improve marketing and the fan experience
  • Enabled real-time fan feedback tracking and campaign optimization
  • Targeted up-selling and cross-selling opportunities while increasing opt-in rates and filling more seats

Featured solutions and services

About the San Jose Sharks

The San Jose Sharks (San Jose Sharks LLC) is the pride of hockey fans across the San Francisco Bay Area and around the globe. Competing in the National Hockey League, the Sharks call the arena in San Jose home and are dedicated to making a significant impact on the ice, for fans, and within local communities.

Industry Region Revenue
Sports and entertainment North America US$118 million
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