News and Society

The Leading Brands in Sports Rely on the Digideck

Marketing and sales professionals are turning heads with Sportsdigita

When Keisha Taylor was hired away from Turner Broadcasting by Learfield Sports in 2016, one of the first orders of business was to help find or develop a new sales presentation platform.

At the time, Learfield—the leading collegiate sports licensing company—had 130 individual Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, one for each of its university partners. Each presentation had its own branding, design, everything down to team colors. Looking back, Taylor says, “it was all over the board,” with little-to-no brand-level consistency, different messaging, different fonts. Even the colors weren’t always quite right.

Taylor soon spoke with Christy Grady, the EVP of Business Development for Sportsdigita, and learned about the capabilities of the Digideck product. That solution was, Taylor says, “amazing.”

The Digideck was exactly what Taylor was looking for: A cloud-based sales presentation platform that allows both marketing and sales professionals to work off a standardized deck to build custom presentations. The platform tracks usage and analytics for each slide in every presentation and provides real-time alerts when a presentation is opened. All of which shortens sales-cycles.

“We needed what was next, but really what’s next is already here with the Digideck,” Taylor said. Today, the Digideck is used by the biggest brands in sports, including the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Cowboys, Anaheim Ducks, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and of course, Learfield’s collegiate properties.

Learfield provides customized sales presentations with consistent brand messaging to more than 126 collegiate properties with the Digideck.

The fight for revenue is intense across every sector of the industry right now—whether in sponsorship, ticketing, premium spaces, or advertising across any number of digital platforms. The Digideck gives marketing and sales pros a competitive advantage they’ve long sought. It provides them a cutting-edge brand experience, ensures brand control, creates internal efficiencies and most importantly—increases revenues.

Sportsdigita – which was founded in 2011 by Angelina Lawton, formerly the Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for the Tampa Bay Lightning—works with clients ranging from individual teams and leagues to Fortune 500 corporations to create a master deck of slides and presentation materials, establishing a cohesive brand identity and design. For branding and sponsorship purposes, Digideck can include 360-degree panoramas and 3D rendering of future suites, arenas, and stadiums.

It is, Lawton says, “PowerPoint on steroids,” and the execution of a vision that Lawton had herself in 2010. Sitting and watching yet another bland, off-brand sales presentation, the light bulb went on for Lawton.

With Tampa Bay, Lawton was responsible, she says, “for everything with the logo on it.” The pitches were all well and good, but the presentation, using decades-old software, then the standard of the industry, was drab, incoherent, and lacking. Looking back, she just remembers thinking there must be a better way. She went looking for a different solution, and found none, so she decided to launch Sportsdigita as a digital agency. Before long, the Digideck product became that solution, and Sportsdigita transitioned into a software company, providing agency-like personalization on a broad platform.

She landed her first two clients—the Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Red Wings—and Sportsdigita was off and running.

“The first step was giving teams a platform to showcase their brand in a more interactive way,” Lawton said. “They have so much to offer. Now they can show their sizzle videos, activations, charity programs, testimonials, and player thank-yous directly in their presentation—basically a movie-trailer for their brand. The Dallas Cowboys documented their whole year, put it right into their Digideck, and boom, the year-in-review was done, instantly. Typically, it takes months. Now you can just upload it by the boatload.”

For Andrew Silverman, Chief Revenue Officer for the American Airlines Center, which hosts the Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars, and almost nightly major events, Digideck has been revolutionary. He has three premium decks—one for the Mavericks, one for the Stars, and one for the building—and it has changed the way his sales personnel does business.

Andrew Silverman says the Digideck has changed the way his sales personnel does business.

“There are a ton of presentations, and do you always want your teams creating them from scratch? Do you want them sitting there for an hour or more changing the fonts around? No. I can walk you through a premium deck and have it down in under five minutes. On the premium sales side, it makes your reps look like they know what they’re doing. You still have to sell, right? But back in the old days, you’d fax something over, or you’d send a brochure. This is a professional way, and for sponsorships, I don’t know how they can survive without it.”

Silverman, a former SVP of sales for the Miami Marlins, said he appreciates the flexibility that the Digideck provides.

“I can go in and make one change, and everything is updated on all presentations in the organization,” he said. “We’re the fourth-busiest field in the country. I can go in and change our calendar, and it’s live across the board very quickly.”

Back at Learfield, Taylor said that the Digideck addressed the two biggest challenges in her role: the perilous workflow that can sometimes see one presentation go through the hands of several different members of the sales team, and the task of streamlining and conforming sales presentation design and packaging.

“It was so aesthetically superior. From a marketing standpoint, I love great imagery, I love the capabilities it offers in terms of design. The last thing I wanted was for someone to ask me why Alabama’s (presentations) look so different than another one of our schools? We like that there’s now consistency in our creative. We’re giving all our schools the tool used by the best in the business.”

Lawton says Sportsdigita is in a stage of rapid expansion for both the sports and enterprise sides. In the sports realm, the company has a simple value proposition. “We’ve proven we can help business work smarter and sell faster,” she said.

Even with skyrocketing rights revenues, teams are more budget-conscious than ever before. “They’re money-balling with the players, and that’s happening on the sales side too. The Digideck provides sales intelligence and management reports that integrate directly with any CRM to facilitate smarter business decisions,” she said, adding that the sales-enhancement business is expected to grow to a $5 billion industry by 2020.

For Taylor, the Digideck has become an invaluable resource for both her sales and marketing teams.

“It’s already a game changer,” she said. “Right now, what Sportsdigita is doing on this front is really shifting our industry. You look at the portfolio of teams and leagues who are on that platform, and that speaks volumes. They’ve really managed to develop an end-product to move with the speed of change.”

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