Technology is a central theme that runs through all business and sporting operations at Bundesliga club TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
Thus, on closer inspection, what might first appear to be just another match day in Germany’s primary soccer league is actually the result of sophisticated interaction between innovative IT solutions.
Soccer evokes emotion, passion, and excitement. And when fans think of their favorite sport, technology isn’t usually the first thing that springs to mind. TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, now firmly established in the Bundesliga ‒one of the world’s most competitive leagues ‒ for a decade, has always focused on being an innovative club.
TSG managing director Dr. Peter Görlich is therefore especially proud to have SAP as a long-standing partner with a similar thirst for innovation. Thanks to its holistic approach, SAP enables TSG to deploy technology from a single source in all areas of the club’s operations. And they share one view in particular: Software must be simple.
Connected fan experience in and around the stadium
Match days begin long before the game itself kicks off: Not just for the players, but for club staff and for many fans, too. SAP software is at the heart of the action. In the merchandise store, for example, TSG personnel benefit from the SAP Customer Checkout solution, which not only helps them handle merchandise sales efficiently, but also facilitates sales figure reporting in real time and the integration of special offers and loyalty cards.
So, while fans can buy their team scarves and shirts quickly and easily, Dr. Görlich and his colleagues have greater transparency on revenues. In addition, the cloud-based omni-channel commerce platform SAP Hybris seamlessly links TSG’s online and mobile shops, offering fans direct, personalized interaction and an end-to-end shopping experience across all channels.
It’s nearly time for the kick-off: Fans are moving through the turnstiles and their tickets are being scanned. This is where the SAP Event Ticketing solution comes into play. It allows the club to handle all of its ticket sales for the entire season ‒ flexibly, easily, and securely ‒ to trigger marketing campaigns, inform fans about special offers, and manage subscriptions and season tickets via any channel, whether it’s the stadium ticket office, call center, Website, or a mobile device.
Through integrated campaign management and budget monitoring, the software also enables TSG to specify each step of its individual ticket marketing activities and to analyze fans’ buying patterns and preferences in detail. This all helps the club identify the relevant factors for improving its fan services and driving revenue.
Finally, having supplied its supporters with tickets and merchandise, the club also needs to provide refreshments. It goes without saying that TSG’s stadium catering service uses SAP Customer Checkout to process sales of beer and sausages.
All this data needs to converge in a central location. At TSG, that’s the job of SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (SAP ERP) – one of the fundamental SAP solutions.
The focus here is on end-to-end, real-time internal and external financial accounting, with SAP ERP forming the central accounting interface for all the software solutions used. Alongside SAP ERP, TSG Hoffenheim uses the cloud-based CRM solution SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer (SAP Hybris C4C) to manage fan-related communication and processes ‒ including sending smartphone messages to fans at the stadium inviting them to attend shirt-printing events, autograph sessions, and similar activities.
By contacting them directly in this way, the club can build up valuable personal relationships with its fans.
As is customary with SAP software, all the solutions are interconnected and offer an end-to-end overview. So, whenever TSG’s managing directors, Dr. Peter Görlich and Frank Briel, check the system, they know they’ll see that SAP software is keeping everything running smoothly, both inside and outside the stadium.
Software for sporting insights
Let’s now visit TSG Hoffenheim’s training ground, where the squad has gathered to prepare for today’s match. The influence of technology is strong here too. Because Peter Görlich knows that, in the modern game, success depends as much on the interaction between managers, coaches, and medical personnel as it does on player performance. Software can make this interaction a whole lot easier.
TSG’s central solution here is SAP Sports One. From team management, training planning, player fitness, and performance analyses through scouting and talent-spotting, it manages all of the club’s coaching operations, starting with the U19 squad and going all the way up to first-team level.
While coaches and physiotherapists gain detailed visibility into each athlete’s training status, physical condition, and match performance, the players themselves receive personalized training and health plans and tips for optimal match preparation. Together, staff and players can develop winning tactics, assess in-game and training situations on the fly, and adjust their strategies accordingly.
So, when the referee finally gets the match underway, motivated fans get to watch a perfectly prepared team play. Which is exactly what the TSG philosophy is all about: garnering all-round success by combining effective structures, simple financial accounting, and smooth logistics with strong sporting achievement.
SAP software has given TSG 1899 Hoffenheim the key to more control, more marketing opportunities, greater effectiveness, greater revenue, and more success. Not just at today’s match, but in the future too.