FC Barcelona Implements KORE ProSports Sponsorship™ to Take Sponsorship Sales and Activations to the Next Level
FC Barcelona selected KORE Software as the preferred Customer Relationship Management (CRM) product of choice for the perennial LA Liga and UEFA contenders enabling the sports company to streamline global commercial activities. Data and insight provided by the KORE ProSports Sponsorship™ is designed to better manage sponsors sales and activations from anywhere in the world for the more than 100 professional sports teams currently utilizing their products that now includes integration by the Barca team. The Sports Techie community blog chatted with Russell Scibetti, VP of Product Strategy, about this international business processes relationship aimed to improve the streamlining of sales, marketing, contracting, finance, and operations. The days of using spreadsheets to manage these services are long gone because SAAS hosted in the clouds by the likes of Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, and KORE, has forever changed the CRM playing field for the Fortune 500 to the SMB industries.
FC Barcelona began their business of football in 1889. Since then, the Spanish professional soccer franchise has become one of the most prestigious sport businesses throughout Europe and the entire world. By implementing KORE ProSports Sponsorship™ software, Barca immediately benefited from the proprietary software features as have many other sponsorship industry leaders with worldwide reach.
“In a part of the industry that is often run on spreadsheets and decisions are made by gut feel, seeing one of the most iconic global brands investing in a system such as KORE demonstrates the ever-growing importance on data-driven decision making and leveraging technology for more efficiency and revenue growth,” said Russell Scibetti, VP of Product Strategy at KORE.
The primary strategic goal for the integration of KORE is to improve sponsorship sales and activation throughout Barca’s commercial offices. The company has a second overseas office recently launched in New York City that followed their Hong Kong opening. In order to meet the demands of one of the world’s most popular brands, Barca’s CRM process needed to be upgraded and in stepped KORE.
“With KORE ProSports, FC Barcelona will be able to streamline their communication, processes and data across their three offices around the world and impressive global partners to reach a new level of real-time insight into their business efforts,” said Todd Cusolle President of KORE.
KORE ProSports Sponsorship meets the needs of the executive and management team because of the many tools offered. They become the first European pro futbol club to become a KORE client. This significant partnership is an indication as to the business development strategy Barca has in mind through global expansion with an eye on today, and the near future and beyond.
Cusolle added, “We are excited to add an organization the caliber of FC Barcelona to our European operations. We look forward to boosting the operations of this world-class club for years to come.”
KORE is changing the way sports and entertainment assets are bought and sold, including individual tickets, annual memberships, luxury suites, media, or corporate sponsorships to the sum of more than €10 billion and growing because of KORE’s systems and tech each year.
KORE’s flagship suite of SaaS software includes:
KORE ProSports Sponsorship™ 360-degree management of sponsorship inventory, proposals, sales, contracting, billing, and activation.
KORE ProSports Suites & Premium Seating™ Nurtures relationships, tracks performance, and streamlines the hospitality sales and contracting processes.
KORE ProSports Ticketing™ Makes CRM and ticketing systems work in harmony for higher sales, better servicing, and higher customer retention rates.
Besides pro sports teams, approximately 200 American college athletics properties, US and global sports broadcasters, and global sports marketing and management companies ranging from London, to Shanghai, to New York, are the benefactors of KORE Software.
KORE headquarters are in New York with additional software development offices located in Vancouver BC, Canada, as well as regional offices in the UK and China.
Sports Techie, about a year ago I met Scibetti at the IBM Interconnect 2016 because we were both honored to be in Las Vegas as key industry influencers.
Sports & Technology Panel from IBM InterConnect – (From Russell’s YouTube channel) – On February 23rd, I had the chance to participate on a sports and technology discussion panel with Robert Roble (SportsTechie.net) and John Short (IBM) at IBM’s InterConnect conference. We used periscope to live-stream the panel, so I apologize for the iPhone-style vertical view.
Russell is a champion of the digital business world and a master of the CRM industry. He is renowned for his intellect, work ethic and product vision. Scibetti is the person that invented Twitter hashtag #sportsbiz. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that he was able to help sell KORE ProSports Sponsorship to FC Barcelona in order to meet the complicated demands of connecting millions if not billions of Barca fans around the world together with corporations via a technology solution designed to improve communication and corporate sponsor activation.
Russell told me he manages the product line, oversees development and implementation. The KORE Director of Implementation that answers to Scibetti was in charge of the FC Barcelona account and together with some other staff members flew to Barcelona a few weeks ago to ensure customer success.
KORE in fact partners with SalesForce, MS Dynamics and SAP in that they extend the CRM system from a generic platform to one that is an end-to-end sports specific platform. By layering on top of CRM, KORE can offer supplemental software to better help to manage commercial business, inventory, exclusivity, and other business needs, while improving full visibility and consistency across entire the commercial entity.
He added“All these vendors have great platforms with massive R&D and are doing great things.”
Scibetti confirmed this is the first dedicated European club to work with KORE. They have been working together with AEG on some global properties. He shared that KORE brought on a new commercial director based in London that was very active in spearheading European growth. The Barca deal is considered a door opener to Europe and piggybacks on their success in the States. Russell said, “KORE has a big volume of the big 5 sports leagues in the U.S. as clients.”
KORE CRM software is also designed to support multiple languages and multiple currencies. I asked if Cantonese and Spanish, as well as the Euro were included. Scibetti said, “Spanish and the Euro, UK pound and Kong Kong dollar are supported but not Cantonese.” He was fairly certain FC Barcelona are using the English language with this roll-out.
Besides soccer, I wanted to know if other international sports such as cricket, rugby and various Olympic sports were next up as KORE users. He said conversations are ongoing across many different sports but declined to provide details.
Russell said business is going strong. He has been with KORE for two and a half years now. I asked how 2017 was treating him thus far. He said the holidays were quieter and he was able to spend quality time with his family in New Jersey. He is currently ramping up with plenty of development work in the pipeline. He was supporting Baylor University last week and taught a guest lecture class on campus. Before that he traveled to Florida for business.
Back in 2012, I also had the privilege to be selected as an official blogger at the Global Sports Forum Barcelona while Russell was chosen for the same honor in 2010. I worked so much at the wonderful event near the Hotel Rey I was not able to take in the culture, sights and sounds of Spain during the GSFB, however, I returned to the wonderful city of Barcelona in 2014 and was able to tour the region and visit legendary Camp Nou, as did Russell.
Walking onto the pitch at Camp Nou
I have witnessed the evolution of CRM first hand since I worked for Entellium in Seattle a decade ago. SaaS was fairly new and the small to medium sized business CRM niche was underdeveloped. It is nice to see KORE capture the niche of CRM in sports thanks to impressive business-centric software that caught the attention of FC Barcelona as they expand their brand around the planet.
Barca, Barca, Barca!
See y’all later in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world.
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