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Case Study | Airfare & Hotel Price Tracking Proves to be a Slam Dunk for the National Basketball Association

As an organization of approximately 1,500 employees orchestrating and executing events worldwide and throughout the year, it requires some serious globetrotting. With travel volumes continuing to rise, the NBA looked to Yapta to begin tracking airfare and hotel prices and to blow the whistle when there’s an opportunity to save.


RESULTS AT A GLANCE

2.0%

Reduction in airfare

$872,721

Total program realized savings

$300

Savings per trip

SAVINGS ANALYSIS

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a global sports and media business built around 3 professional sports leagues, the NBA, the Women’s National Basketball Association, and the NBA Development League. The league has established a major international presence with offices in 13 markets worldwide, games and programming in 215 countries and territories in 47 languages, and NBA merchandise for sale in more than 125,000 stores in 100 countries on 6 continents.

The Implementation

The NBA and Yapta tipped-off their price tracking effort together in 2013, first by tracking airfare with FareIQ, and more recently by tracking hotel prices with RoomIQ. Critical to the process was American Express Global Business Travel, the travel management company assisting the NBA by capturing the savings when it became available.

As part of the implementation, the NBA instituted some carefully considered rebooking rules to follow, so as to not disrupt a traveler’s existing itinerary. FareIQ and RoomIQ worked around the clock to dynamically monitor prices on the same flights, and on available rates at the same properties. Changing to a different flight or hotel wasn’t part of any scenario.

Results

Yapta’s price tracking technology has scored big for the NBA, securing more than $870,000 in combined airfare and hotel savings to date.

“As you can imagine, the savings on international travel is quite phenomenal when it comes up,” said Joe Postiglione, VP of Global Procurement for the NBA. “Those are big ticket items.”

The NBA has also used Yapta’s price tracking data to take a closer look at the organization’s booking behaviors and to help make changes to its travel policy.

“We can see the difference between booking 7 days in advance and 21 days in advance,” Postiglione said. “We are now looking at things in a much more holistic way and we’re truly purposing data to depict traveler behavior and to suggest where changes in policy or behavior needs to occur.”

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