New Zealand Rugby and SAP Partner to Ruck Over the Competition Both On the Pitch and Off

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) is arguably the most dominant rugby union in the world. The Teams in Black – specifically the All Blacks and Black Ferns – are two of the most successful teams in men’s and women’s rugby, and that’s not an overstatement.

The All Blacks have a 77.41 winning percentage all time and three Rugby World Cups to their name. They’ve won 10 of the 16 Tri-Nations trophies, seven of the nine Rugby Championships contested, and have held the Bledisloe Cup for the past 19 years. Since 2003, when World Rugby introduced a rankings system, the All Blacks have held the No. 1 position for more than 80% of the time. Not to be outdone, the Black Ferns have won five Women’s Rugby World Cup titles and maintain a winning percentage in international rugby of close to 90%.

ALL BLACKS AND BLACK FERNS PHOTOGRAPHED FOR NZRU IN AKL, NZ
JANUARY 2022

Having teams this successful doesn’t happen by chance. It’s clear they have a strategy and plan in place with flawless execution. However, with so much success, it’s easy to become complacent. But not New Zealand Rugby — and that’s why they’ve engaged SAP as their first-ever technology partner.

To ensure New Zealand Rugby operates just as flawlessly off the pitch as it does on, SAP is helping to accelerate the organization’s digital transformation, paving the way for a better connected and intelligent, sustainable enterprise.

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“New Zealand Rugby has set an ambitious goal of becoming the most technologically advanced rugby union in the world,” said Scott Russell, member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, Customer Success. “As the organization’s first-ever technology partner, SAP can help NZR meet this goal by driving digital transformation across all areas of the business and introducing game-changing technologies that will help NZR teams run at their best — and win.”

Key areas will include creating an integrated management system to enhance operations, elevating the fan experience, enabling the organization’s sustainability goals, and supporting employee performance through products like SAP SuccessFactors software. SAP and NZR will also explore how the use of data and solutions can support player and team performance. Specific details include:

  • Integrated organizational operations: World-class support systems will be delivered to staff and players, with a digital hub of solutions across all areas. Through integration, NZR will be better positioned to leverage the power of its off-field systems to support on-field teams.
  • Performance: By implementing SAP SuccessFactors software and establishing a single source of human resources (HR) data, NZR will elevate the employee experience and empower employees to achieve their full potential.
  • Fan engagement: Identifying and creating new ways for NZR to connect and engage with its global fan base, while tapping into new technologies and platforms will help fans get closer to their favorite teams and players.
  • Sustainability: Digital solutions and capabilities will be introduced to help holistically manage sustainability performance across all touchpoints.

Aside from the technology opportunities, these two partners have much more in common by way of shared ethos. Passion points and values range from diversity and inclusion to sustainability, youth sports, and much more.

Can New Zealand Rugby become even more dominant? Given our new partnership – absolutely.


Ryan Somers is senior director of Global Sponsorships at SAP.