ORLANDO — Joined by luminaries from some of the biggest names in professional sports, SAP today spotlighted new solutions that are expected to transform the sports and entertainment industry, the company’s 25th and newest vertical industry market. The foray paves the way for SAP and its key technology drivers — big data analytics, the SAP HANA platform, mobile computing and cloud applications — to help the sports and entertainment industry run better from the fans, athletes, performers and the media to venues, teams, leagues and entertainment companies. The announcement was made at SAPPHIRE NOW, being held May 14–16 in Orlando, Florida.
The SAP for Sports & Entertainment solution portfolio is designed to add value and new experiences for everyone, from ardent concert fans to the most intense sports fanatics. Examples include:
- Professional sports franchises can enhance their talent selection process through innovative scouting solutions.
- Leagues can engage fan bases through enhanced statistical insights and fantasy initiatives. Fans can be immersed in the game-day experience and hold a two-way dialogue with their teams.
- Players and teams can maximize their on-field performance by drawing on big data capabilities.
- Media can gain more access to information that will enrich storytelling, while major events, venues and concert promoters can better streamline their logistical and revenue operations.
At SAPPHIRE NOW today, SAP Co-CEO Bill McDermott was joined on stage by Kevin Plank, founder and CEO of Under Armour, Inc.; Adam Silver, incoming commissioner and former chief operating officer of the National Basketball Association; and Jed York, CEO of the San Francisco 49ers.
“The sports and entertainment industry understands what it takes to turn consumers into passionate fans of the brand,” said McDermott. “The world-class organizations represented on stage at SAPPHIRE NOW today – and many more across the world – are embracing the value that breakthrough technologies such as SAP HANA, the SAP Cloud portfolio and advanced CRM and ticketing can bring to the fan experience. We expect that our 25th and newest industry vertical will touch literally billions of people who love concerts, entertainment and sports, and help give them an unprecedented level of enjoyment and attachment.”
Kevin Plank of Under Armour has worked with SAP for more than a decade to research, develop, manufacture and distribute Under Armour products: “As a company that is built on speed and innovation, we are constantly working to improve the consumer experience and the platform that SAP delivers throughout our business helps to refine our process, allowing us to innovate with products such as the new Armour 39. That ability to help brands capture a multitude of real-time data and expedite communication is exactly how SAP can elevate the sports and entertainment industries and enable all of us to best utilize the most advanced technologies. We believe this is the true ‘game changer.’”
“The sports world mirrors the very dynamic shift in today’s global business environment,” said York, of the San Francisco 49ers. “As managers of teams and clubs, we need to make significant brand and strategy changes quickly while simultaneously minimizing risk. The use of analytics, combined with the ability to reach and hear from fans on their mobile devices in real time, can offer enormous benefits for everyone.”
“NBA fans’ passion for our game is amplified by deep game data and player statistics,” said Silver. “SAP has created the definitive tool on NBA.com for accessing our rich history and up-to-the-minute game results.”
Market estimates for the sports and entertainment industries are, to say the least, enormous. According to data from the U.S. Commerce Department, spending on these — including facilities management, agents for artists, athletes and entertainers, and professional sports teams and clubs — topped $68 billion annually in the United States for the last five years.
In addition to sports, SAP counts numerous entertainment organizations as customers, including Cirque du Soleil, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) and Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment LLC This year, SAP acquired Ticket-Web GMBH & Co. KG, a provider of ticketing solutions and niche CRM tools for concerts and sports events.
Transforming the Sports and Entertainment Industry
SAP already boasts several sporting solutions and partnerships, including:
- SAP partnered with the NBA in July 2012 on a multiyear technology and marketing venture. Fans and the media were able to get interactive access to virtually unlimited amounts of official NBA statistics and analysis, including every official box score in NBA history. (Insert Link)
- In October 2012, the NFL and SAP announced a multiyear technology and marketing partnership, where the NFL will adopt on-demand technology from SAP for its proprietary NFL.com Fantasy Football offering. SAP also deployed custom analytics to develop an interactive dashboard for fans to participate in the NFL.com 2012 Fantasy Player of the Year Award.
- SAP joined EMC in October 2012 in signing on as Cornerstone Partners at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The N.Y. Jets and N.Y. Giants said they will use SAP and EMC technology to introduce a new level of fan interaction and activation throughout the entire building.
- SAP is a Founding Partner of the San Francisco 49ers’ new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The team will use SAP’s expertise in big data analytics, mobile and real-time systems in all digital touch points, including 49ers.com, Twitter and Facebook to help create enhanced relationships with its loyal fan base.
- In March 2013, SAP announced the launch of the SAP Scouting solution, an enterprise offering that helps enable sports franchises to improve their ability to identify, assess and recruit the talent that can fuel their teams’ on-field success.
Leading the sports and entertainment industry globally is Steve Peck, senior vice president of Global Strategic Industries at SAP.
For announcements, blog posts, videos and other coverage during SAPPHIRE NOW, visit the SAP Newsroom.
About the San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers, owned by Denise and John York, currently play in the NFC West division and have won five Super Bowl trophies including Super Bowl XVI, XIX, XXIII, XXIV and XXIX. The franchise also has six conference championships and 19 divisional championships and was the first major league professional sports team to be based in San Francisco over 60 years ago. Please visit www.49ers.com and follow the 49ers on Facebook and Twitter @49ers.
About the NBA.com
NBA.com, launched in 1995, is the official destination for the National Basketball Association and averages more than 42 million page views per day, more than half of which originate from outside of North America. Consistently ranked among the top sports Internet sites, NBA.com is a part of NBA Digital, the NBA’s extensive cross-platform of digital assets jointly managed by the NBA and Turner Sports. Along with NBA.com, the robust offering includes NBA TV, NBA.com, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NBA LEAGUE PASS Broadband, NBA Mobile, NBADLEAGUE.com and WNBA.com.
About Under Armour, Inc.
Under Armour (NYSE: UA) is a leading developer, marketer, and distributor of branded performance apparel, footwear, and accessories. The Company’s products are sold worldwide and worn by athletes at all levels, from youth to professional, on playing fields around the globe. The Under Armour global headquarters is in Baltimore, Maryland. For further information, please visit the Company’s website at www.ua.com.
With SAPPHIRE NOW, SAP offers its customers, partners and prospects even more opportunities to engage in dialogue with peers, participants and thought leaders around the globe. Being held in Orlando, Florida, May 14-16, 2013, this enhanced, real-time event connects attendees on site with global participants through state-of-the-art broadcast studios and an online experience that incorporates the latest social media and community functionality. Whether on site or online, participants can gain insight as to how SAP is delivering on its product strategy and helping organizations around the world to run better. For more information, visit www.sapphirenow.com. Follow SAPPHIRE NOW on Twitter at @SAPPHIRENOW and visit the SAP Newsroom at www.news.sap.com.
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