Australian Grand Prix Corporation accelerates CRM

Motorsport authority installs customer relationship management (CRM) system to attract and retain corporate customers with targeted F1, MotoGP events
Australian Grand Prix Corporation accelerates CRM

Motorsport authority, Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC), is using a new customer relationship management (CRM) system to entice Australia and New Zealand corporate Formula 1 and Motorcycle Grand Prix fans to sign up for entertainment packages rather than watching the events at home.

The AGPC manages two of Australia’s largest annual motorsport events; The Australian Formula 1 (F1) Grand Prix held during March in Melbourne, and the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) which takes place in October on Philip Island.

Speaking with CIO Australia, AGPC sales and commercial general manager, Jeremy Kann, said that 40 per cent of its revenue comes from the sale of corporate entertainment packages involving the F1 and Moto GP.

“We hold a range of customer events ranging from five star downwards and the Sage CRM system flags who should be invited to those events. For example, if the AGPC chief executive is hosting, than we want to invite CEOs and key decision makers,” he said.

“The CRM system also gives us the ability to store information such as what other sporting codes our customers follow and their birth dates."

From now until August 2012, AGPC is undertaking a F1 direct mail campaign -- using data stored on the CRM system -- which is aimed at most corporate businesses in Australia. In addition, it is holding a number of F1 events including one in New Zealand to entice punters to fly across to Melbourne.

These events are aimed at prospective customers to sign on for a F1 package and for loyal fans who purchased an entertainment package ,including corporate box tickets, last year.

Prior to the implementation of the CRM system on 1 May 2012, sales data and corporate contact information were maintained in a CRM software system that was unable to share data with AGPC's financial system.

Following the CRM implementation, AGPC installed an enterprise resource planning (ERP) Accpac system on 1 July this year.

Sales information can be entered directly into the CRM where it automatically flows through for invoicing and to update the general ledger in the organisation’s ERP system.

“The whole CRM system is automated so it eliminates time and energy in the manual processes that we had,” Kann said.

“The [sales] guys are more inclined to be out seeing customers rather than be tied up with the administrative process.” In addition, sales staff are using iPads and laptops to access customer data contained on the CRM while out on the road.

AGPC plans to use the CRM system across its entire business, rather than just for sales and marketing purposes, by December 2012.

For example, the CEO, operations team and entertainment division will have access to the system by this time. “As a business, we might have spreadsheets and financial outlooks so we’re going to centralise every single contact of the business onto the CRM system,” he said.

Turning to other technology projects designed to entice customers, Kann said the organisaiton was a heavy user of social media, especially in the lead up to the F1 and MotoGP events.

“We have approximately 30,000 Facebook friends and we’re using that site to generate discussion about the F1 and MotoGP. The fans come to share knowledge and talk about recent events such as [ Australian F1 driver] Mark Webber winning the British Grand Prix.”

Turning to Twitter, he said AGPC has 8,000 followers. It uses the site to monitor discussions about the F1 and MotoGP, including feedback from those all-important corporate customers.

Looking to the future when the F1 contract with Melbourne expires in 2015, Kann said the decision on whether AGPC took up another motoring event to replace the F1 would be up to management.

“All we can focus on is doing our best with F1 for the next three years,” he said.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow CIO Australia on Twitter: @CIO_Australia

Join the Computerworld Australia group on Linkedin. The group is open to IT Directors, IT Managers, Infrastructure Managers, Network Managers, Security Managers, Communications Managers.

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