Sporting Organisations

Sporting Organisations

The business of sport is relatively youthful, but has delivered stellar growth rates in recent years.

Charting a successful path through rapidly emerging challenges and opportunities is not always easy, and we can help to smooth that path.

Our unique methodologies are designed to deliver practical, user-friendly solutions which have an immediate and tangible impact on your business.

Case Study 1 – Charting the future for one of Ireland’s fastest growing sporting organisations.

The ClientIreland’s fastest growing sporting organisation had experienced exponential growth of 20%+ for the period 2008-2011 leading to in excess of 125,000 registered players within the Country. Faced with continued accelerated growth the organisation needed a framework that would enable them harvest all of the interest from new players by enabling the Volunteers and a small professional team to create a framework for success.

Pinta were engaged to create a Strategic Plan for the Organisation in Ireland and overseas for the period 2012- 2016.

The Approach  The approach was to build a comprehensive strategic plan that would embrace all facets of the organisation, enabling the volunteers and the professional staff to support an organisation in excess of 200,000 players by 2016.

The approach was deeply consultative, engaging with sponsors, the media, players, coaches, supporters and administrators at all levels in Ireland and overseas and by using an appreciative inquiry framework we charted a course for the organisation in every aspect of its operation.

This included workshops being held in Ireland and overseas involving over 2000 players, administrators and coaches. Their hopes, aspirations and dreams for the development of the sport were harvested and inputted in the thinking for each area within the plan.

The Outcome – A comprehensive strategic plan was published in the spring of 2011, this included macro initiatives that support the growth of the game; the re-branding and positioning of the organisation, the introduction of a merit based funding process between the National Governing Body and the provincial and county structure and the launching of a new strategy to embrace the opportunity for growing participation in Urban areas.

The Result  The organisation continues to grow and prosper in terms of the number of people participating in their games. Provincial and County units are now building their own plans based on the national strategy thereby ensuring that all the resources are aligned in optimising a framework for growth.

Under the guidance of Peter Hanan, the Ladies Gaelic Football Association researched, designed and produced their second ever strategic plan – Pathway to Success.

Case Study 2 – Mediation and Facilitation 

The Client A large sports organisation with over 130,000 members, primarily amateur-based with a small professional administrative core. In a sporting environment that was continuing to migrate from amateur to professional codes, this organisation believed that its success was firmly based on the preservation of the amateur ethos. It did however recognise that the welfare of its players was hugely important and that they should share in the success of the organisation as it develops. A player representative body had been established but both organisations were struggling with how they could operate together for their mutual benefit and the benefit of the constituencies. Pinta was engaged to facilitate a mediated agreement which would structure how the organisations would operate together and how the benefits of such cooperation would be reflected back into each organisation.

The Approach – A negotiation team was formed in each sport governing body and the players’ association. Pinta quickly established 4 working sub-groups covering areas such as Governance, Operations, Commercial and Funding. We facilitated each working group to reach agreement in as many areas as possible deferring the substantive issues or those where resolution was more difficult to reach to the main negotiation body. In addition, Pinta engaged each organisation separately to work on options or alternative positions that move the groups closer to common ground. As each element was agreed, it was sent through for legal drafting while Pinta continued to move between facilitation and mediation.

The Outcome Through numerous drafts of a potential agreement which were legally validated, the Pinta mediator brought both parties to a final agreement which was proposed to and accepted by their individual constituents. Press releases and internal communications were used to inform the members and the general public of the new agreement which continues to be in operation today. A mechanism was also developed for review and re-negotiation at key intervals over the life of the agreement.

The Result  The sporting organisation has preserved the amateur status of its players while significantly improving their welfare on and off the pitch. The players organisation has a framework within which it can operate for the benefit of its membership and the process Pinta used has ensured that both parties believe that they have achieved a working consensus rather than a reluctant compromise.

Case Study 3 – GAA Croke Park Stadium: Embracing a Customer Centric Culture that Drives Growth

The Client – Croke Park has been at the heart of Irish sporting life for over a hundred years. Boasting a capacity for 82,300 people, the stadium is the home of Gaelic games and the headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) and is Europe’s fourth largest stadium. The stadium also has other offerings such as the Croke Park Conference Centre, GAA Museum, Croke Park Suites and Príomh ticket holders.

The Challenge – Putting the Customer at the Heart of Continuous Business Improvement. Croke Park’s business is reliant on referrals and repeat customers created by positive customer experiences. In order to sustain their growth of over 1 million people visiting the stadium each year Croke Park needed to install a process that would allow it to keep its finger on the pulse of customer experiences.  They needed a process that could communicate directly with the customer and identify business improvement initiatives as a result. Each function in Croke Park operated in silos, each with their own performance metrics.

The Approach – Introducing the Net Promoter Program to Croke Park. Pinta engaged with Croke Park to provide a full solution with business consulting to ensure successful implementation of the programme. Pinta provided the framework to introduce the Net Promoter program on a phased approach across all functions within the stadium. The program began conducting data collection post conference and match day events. This framework enabled the regular collection of ongoing data after customer interactions. This data provides relevant, trustworthy customer insights to its executives, managers and front line employees in a simple format.

What is Net Promoter – Developed by Fred Reichheld in the US in the early 90’s. Net Promoter is a loyalty metric and an operational discipline for managing business. The Net Promoter Metric separates your customers into three categories based on their willingness to recommend your brand (on a scale of 0-10).

Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal customers who keep buying more and refer others.

Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic and vulnerable to competition.

Detractors: (score 0-6) are unhappy, impede growth and damage your brand though negative word of mouth.

To calculate your net promoter score, take the percentage of customers who are Promoters and subtract the percentage of Detractors. Simply measuring your NPS does not lead to success, however; what are important are the actions an organisation takes to improve the score. For the greatest chance of success companies need to drive improvements throughout the organisation, create more loyal customers and drive growth.

The Result – A culture of Customer First. Croke Park is able to identify the functions that are underperforming, which had previously remained hidden within successful departments. This includes identifying the drivers of loyalty by collecting information at key touch points. Croke Park uses the information to target initiatives at improving these particular areas. Croke Park now has an accurate and trustworthy voice of the customer.

The Outcome – Croke Park Stakeholders Take Customer Feedback Seriously. Croke Park distributes customer feedback and Net Promoter Scores to all employees and suppliers on a continuous basis.

Front line Employees – All front line employees are notified with customer feedback on performance and customer satisfaction on a monthly basis.

NPS Team Cross functional teams meet bi-weekly to review customer feedback, NPS vs goals and ensure plans are in place to improve results. This team identifies performance gaps, makes recommendations and elevates issues to the executives.

Executive Management – Executives, including the CEO are updated quarterly on overall results and improvements.