Soccer team in a huddle

College Football Hall of Fame Scores Big with SAP and Navigator Business Solutions

Feature Article | January 29, 2018 by Michael Kure

American college football is more than just a game; for many, it’s a way of life.  Families are united (and sometimes divided) over their favorite teams and children idolize star players on the field.

Since 1951, the College Football Hall of Fame has been immortalizing the greatest players and coaches to ever play the game. Induction into the College Football Hall of Fame is reserved for the very best of the best as only 0.02% of players and coaches – those who exude the utmost leadership, sportsmanship, competitive zeal, and drive for academic excellence – will ever live on in the hallowed hall.

A $68.5M Investment in Atlanta

In 2014, the College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience opened its doors to a new $68.5M interactive museum and event space in Atlanta, Georgia, a major hub of college football activity, conventions, tourism, and home to one of the nation’s busiest airports. The 94,256 square feet building offers huge growth potential, and the Hall needed the right systems in place to support that growth.

In March 2014, Hall management selected SAP Business ByDesign, a full cloud ERP suite, with help from SAP partner Navigator Business Solutions. The organization now hopes to serve more college football fans than ever before.

Operating More Efficiently with Cloud ERP

In a recent conversation, Mark Petersen, vice president of finance and administration, and Joe Sayers, the organization’s accounting manager, discussed their experiences migrating business from disjointed, manual systems to a cloud business suite.

Mark and Joe joined The College Football Hall of Fame in 2013 during the construction phase. They teamed-up to create many of the processes that suited the business at the time, and manage the finances properly. The two men soon understood that running a business on spreadsheets and a basic bare-bones system was limiting and they were unable to support increased complexity, new business models, or even new products and services that could enhance the customer experience. There was no “quick-snap” when it came to reporting either, due to a manual process that took up valuable time and resources.

Operational Excellence in the Cloud

“We wanted to make sure we had a better, broader system,” said Mark. And so, with the aid and guidance of SAP partner, Navigator Business Solutions, the College Football Hall of Fame went live with SAP Business ByDesign in only three months. Since then, they’ve enjoyed a surge in operational excellence due in no small part to a more agile and scalable platform supported by a robust cloud-based ERP solution.

One overwhelming benefit that had immediate effect was that SAP Business ByDesign allowed Mark and Joe to focus less on pulling data via manual processes, and more on understanding the implications of the data and working with management to drive smart business decisions. They now also have the robust platform necessary to launch new products, services, and content for a richer customer experience.

Why SAP?

Among the myriad cloud solutions providers, the College Football Hall of Fame scored when it selected SAP.

Mark continued, “With SAP, we are more scalable. We can have entities, we can add additional products. In addition, the solution selection and implementation processes were easy with the guidance of partner Navigator Business Solutions. We didn’t need a lot of customization on our system, because Navigator really focused our efforts on understanding the system’s native capabilities, and how they could drive immediate improvements in the first year.”

Most importantly, concluded Mark, “Our operational effectiveness has really improved with SAP Business ByDesign supporting our business and empowering our people.”


For more information on how your midsize business can scale growth with SAP Business ByDesign, visit www.sap.com/businessbydesign.

This story originally appeared on the SAP Community.

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