Soccer team in a huddle

Corporate Sponsorships Reimagined: City Football Group

Feature Article | June 6, 2017 by Damian Willoughby, senior vice president of Partnerships, City Football Group

It took a lot to get City Football Group to where it is today. In 2008, we were one club; today, we are six teams, with eight offices operating in seven countries around the world. It’s been a rapid expansion project, one that necessitated a leading technology partner.

When your business is as global as ours, high premiums get placed on seamless process, people management, and operational control. We explored the market and chose SAP for its great product, but even more so for its passion, experience, and expertise in sports.


Corporate Sponsorships Reimagined is a series documenting the experiences of SAP sponsorship partners, in their own words.


It’s not sexy to talk about backend software, but SAP solutions for HR, procurement, finance, and operations have become and will continue to be a game changer for us. They have enabled us to scale quickly, align globally, and keep everything running smoothly from the boardroom to the pitch.

With a solid technology partnership in place, we’re positioned to help the Club grow its footprint both here in Manchester and across the globe. We’re working together to invest for the future. Not only do we believe in SAP’s sports performance solutions, but we love what they are doing for youth around the world. SAP also shares our commitment to diversity and inclusion, which is something that can only help our business.

City Football Group chose SAP as technology partner due to its passion, experience, and expertise in sports

Beyond the boardroom, we’re exploring new innovations in fan engagement and player performance. The Etihad Stadium has a new interactive fan wall, powered by SAP HANA, where fans can explore in-depth individual and team statistics. For the other millions of fans around the world, we’ve worked to develop website widgets and a match day app. These tools help fans understand the team, enable us to tell our story, and in turn we provide them the forum to share theirs.

On the pitch, City Football Group will continue to co-innovate on new technological enhancements in the areas of talent management, football performance and human performance for future versions of the SAP Sports One Solution, as the partnership continues to push the boundaries as to what is possible.


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Damian Willoughby is senior vice president of Partnerships for City Football Group.

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