Case Study | February 24, 2011

Case Study: Pittsburgh Pirates Knock It Out Of The Park With Automated Forms Processing

Source: AnyDoc Software

Beginning with their 2010 season, the Pittsburgh Pirates were the first to utilize automated forms processing technology, giving them the home field advantage at PNC Park over a lengthy, outsourced data entry procedure. Prior to 2010, the Pirates were manually processing their fans' "Pirates Enter-to-Win" forms, a slip of paper about the size of an index card to collect information for use in ticket sales promotions and marketing research. The handwritten forms requested information including name, address, phone, and email address. At each home game, visitors are able to complete one of these forms and spin a prize wheel for the opportunity to win anything from ticket upgrades to hats, T-shirts, and other promotional items. Approximately 100,000 forms were collected during the season of 80 plus home games. Pirates' personnel were outsourcing the data entry of these forms to a third-party mail house, at a cost of approximately $0.25 per form (a total seasonal cost of $29,000) and a lengthy turnaround time averaging 6-8 weeks.

With thousands in attendance at each home game, the fan data collection forms quickly add up. In the past, with manual processing, it would take months for the Pirates to see the demographic statistics of their attendees, let alone use the relevant data to initiate or update promotional programs. For this reason, the Pirates had to compile their full season stats, and utilize them to develop customer programs for the following season, rather than utilizing up-to-the-minute data figures for the current season.

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