Football success isn’t just about performance on the pitch – the current League One Champions have found it’s about using the latest technology behind the scenes too.
For Barcelona, read Bristol City. An unlikely comparison perhaps, but it’s where the South West club’s owner, Steve Lansdown, found the inspiration for Bristol Sport – the club franchise with a vision to turn Bristol into a nucleus for sporting excellence.
Using the Nou Camp’s multi-sport approach as its model, Bristol Sport looks after the interests of Bristol Rugby
Club, the Bristol Flyers Basketball team, Bristol Academy Women FC, Bristol Ladies Rugby and Bristol Sport Racing, as well as the newly-promoted Robins. It’s also responsible for managing Bristol City and Bristol Rugby Club’s home ground, the Ashton Gate stadium, currently undergoing a £45m rebuild to turn it into a state-of-the-art 27,000-seater venue ready for life in the Championship.
It’s a mammoth task, as Bristol Sport Chief Exec Andrew Billingham explained: “Bristol Sport is changing the way the industry works, modernising Bristol’s sports infrastructure and bringing various sporting clubs under one banner. To cope with the inherent complexities of that, we needed a best-of-breed technology infrastructure that was up to the job. Sage’s X3 is perfect.”
Sage X3 is the flagship solution from international business software company Sage, and includes a suite of integrated applications to manage and interpret data from Bristol Sport’s activities. The efficient and uniform centralised system for finance not only keeps month-end processing simple to get detailed reports out on time, but is also designed to keep pace with their plans for growth.
“For us, it’s clear that Sage is the backbone of our success with the kind of scalability we need as a growing company”, said Andrew Billingham. “As a long-time customer, we’re familiar with the strengths of Sage software.”
Of course, there’s more to installing such a system than simply downloading some software. So Bristol Sport turned to leading specialists Percipient, an accredited Sage Business Partner, who have a long history of ERP implementations and experience, together with the ability to rapidly deploy Sage X3.
Percipient have turned out to be the ideal partner; their experienced consultants have worked closely with Bristol Sport, integrating with their core team and helping to guide them through the entire process at a key stage of the sports franchise’s growth.
“As a business we’re delighted to be involved with Bristol Sport at such an interesting time in their growth strategy” says Chris Stock, Percipient MD. “Sage X3 will provide them with the functionality they need now and the flexibility to ensure they can continue to grow in the future, which we recognised was a key factor for them.”
Growth. Ambition. Forward-thinking.
Call it what you will, Bristol Sport has shown that a combination of a different approach, the latest technology and good old-fashioned teamwork can transform not only a club, but a city’s identity as a sports hub.
Will Bristol City FC go on to claim the Championship title in the 2015-16 season, and reach their ultimate goal of playing in the Premier League? Only time will tell. But one thing’s for certain: with the latest business system in place, you get the feeling that Bristol Sport is more than ready for it.
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