TheStadiumBusiness caught up with EngageRM's Nick Zanotto to explore the firm's ongoing North American expansion and successes to date, including the NBA's Bucks.
EngageRM, the sports and entertainment business technology services provider, has grown its presence in the US in recent years after establishing itself with teams in its native Australia.
Founded by former Australian Football League player Brett Yorgey, EngageRM’s clients have included AFL team Collingwood FC, the Australian Open grand slam tennis tournament and the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
In February 2020, the LA Clippers NBA team became EngageRM’s first US client. The Clippers are owned by Steve Ballmer, the former chief executive of Microsoft, with whom EngageRM holds a global partnership.
Since then, EngageRM has further cemented its position in the US and the UK. Manchester’s Co-op Live (pictured below), the 23,000-capacity venue which will become the largest arena in the UK when it opens next year, is among the company’s clients.
In July, EngageRM added the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks to its portfolio of US partners.
Under the agreement, the Bucks will utilise EngageRM’s data-driven platform to optimise day-to-day operations and enhance opportunities to interact and engage with its fan base.
“EngageRM’s platform will support the Milwaukee Bucks across a range of areas, including premium sales and ticketing, partnerships sales and management, event management and customer services management,” Nick Zanotto, vice-president of North America development at EngageRM, told TheStadiumBusiness.com.
“The platform will also support the Bucks’ community programmes, asset and product management, ticketing, and fundraising capabilities, with EngageRM also set to host online portals on behalf of the franchise.”
As well as the Clippers – who will move to the state-of-the-art Intuit Dome (pictured below) in 2024 – EngageRM has worked with rival NBA team the Lakers. Zanotto feels these partnerships have proven invaluable when working with the Bucks.
“Working with the LA Clippers and Lakers allowed our team to truly understand both how these teams operate internally and what their needs are from our business and platform,” he said.
“This became invaluable information throughout our conversations with the Bucks as we understood the environment NBA teams operate under and how we are best positioned to help them succeed on and off the court.
“The Milwaukee Bucks are currently using an on-premise deployment of Microsoft Dynamics. EngageRM will modernise the Bucks’ CRM by leveraging the latest cloud technology that Microsoft offers. This modernisation of technology will lead the Bucks to be technology leaders in the industry.”
Zanotto said the immediate feedback from the Bucks has been “extremely positive”. EngageRM plans on fully deploying its solution with the team in October to coincide with the start of the new NBA season.
EngageRM’s platform has been specifically designed for the sports and entertainment industry. According to Zanotto, clients choose the platform as it compares to “nothing they have previously seen on the market.”
The company’s omnichannel platform centralises data and then leverages this data through the activation and automation of business processes.
“We have functionalities for ticketing, marketing, partnerships and sponsorship, fan and audience engagement, community, food and beverages, and more,” said Zanotto. “All departments of our clients operate on the one system, removing overlap and gaining access to detailed analytics, portals and integrations.
“EngageRM is a global partner of Microsoft and leads the industry in how sport and entertainment business can best operate within the Microsoft ecosystem.
“EngageRM is automating processes throughout organisations and leagues that enhance business processes and provide better data for a greater level of fan engagement. We enable our clients to own their data which leads to increased revenue, productivity and engagement with their clients.”
As well as expanding its presence in the NBA this year, EngageRM has signed its first Major League Soccer client in the shape of the Portland Timbers. Zanotto said one of the company’s targets is to further expand its foothold in international markets, with the US being of “significant importance”.
“The US is a powerhouse of the sports and entertainment industry, so it’s only natural for EngageRM to target the country for future expansion,” he added.