Through interactions with a number of sports franchise prospects and clients over the past few years, it dawned on us that many of these organizations rely largely on ticketing platforms to manage their “fan experience”. More surprising, however, is how many of these organizations have seemingly accepted the notion of being boxed in by the limitations of their legacy ticketing platforms, unable to effectively extend beyond the standard sets of features and functionality which have remained largely unchanged for years. Our philosophy: Your technology tool box should be more capable than just managing ticketing and sponsorship sales and should provide your organization with benefits across various departments.
It has been nice to see the excitement (borderline giddiness) when we outline that there is light at the end of the tunnel by integrating ticketing platforms with a best-of-breed CRM business applications platform such as Salesforce.com. With this integrated approach, what was once a sea of silos becomes a mobile and social-enabled platform across a sports franchise’s operations including ticket sales, sponsorships sales, stadium/risk management, fan loyalty, marketing campaign management and customer service/fan experience to name a few. Social media can bring a sports team’s game to the next level (no pun intended) by dramatically enhancing customer service levels or the “fan experience”. For example, with an integrated CRM tool it is possible to see when Joe Smith, a season ticket holder, posts a negative comment about his stadium experience to his network of 1,000 friends. Rather than allowing this potentially harmful post go unanswered, a sports organization could reply to Joe and offer a courtesy drink or hot dog thus enhancing the fan experience.
To further illustrate our vision, take this example from a recent conversation with a prospective client. Over the weekend before a big game, the team was forced to postpone the event due to extenuating circumstances. In an effort to proactively notify season ticket holders, they relied on their existing ticketing platform to gather the information needed for outreach. Unfortunately, they did not have the visibility they needed to simply and efficiently reach their ticket holders. Due to the lack of visibility in their ticketing system, what should have been a fairly standard multi-channel outreach ended up taking employees an excruciating number of hours to execute via phone. Possessing the ability to effectively execute such an exercise (I’m sure you could think of your own scenarios) in an agile fashion is what could make both a short-term and long-term impact on the success of the franchise.
The stories and challenges outlined above led our firm to begin leveraging Informatica Cloud, the #1 AppExchange data integration solution, for integrating legacy ticketing platforms with Salesforce.com. This approach has opened the door to managing a range of processes and data across a sports franchise’s organization within Salesforce.com including:
- Premium Services Management
- Social / Mobile Collaboration Management
- Ticket Operations Management
- Suite Sales Management
- Community Relations Management
- Stadium Operations Management
- Sponsorship Sales Management
Imagine an increased visibility into all aspects of your relationship with ticket holders, an enhanced ability to segment fans for marketing and support-related communications and improved productivity, efficiency and agility across your organization. There are more stories to tell, so let’s have a discussion. Leave a comment below if you face similar challenges and would like to share with others or contact us directly to see a demonstration of our Sports Franchises solution built on the Salesforce.com platform.