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Customer Snapshot: Overview

~45% Growth of fantasy football platform since 2010

Even though the National Football League (NFL) technically owns the data behind fantasy football, they weren’t the fan favorite. By recruiting SAP to help deliver new statistics, better insights, and fact-based projections, fantasy enthusiasts have a new star player.

National Football League (NFL)

Customer Website

Line of Business

SAP Solutions
SAP HANA Cloud Platform, SAP BusinessObjects Lumira Cloud

New York, New York, USA

Number of Employees

Sports & Entertainment

Visionary Themes


Customer Snapshot: History

Becoming America’s Most Popular Sport

After nearly a century and a half, a college soccer game between Princeton and Rutgers has evolved into a multi-billion-dollar league of 32 professional teams, millions of fans worldwide, and an annual championship that is arguably the last totem of American mass culture. The National Football League is already the most lucrative professional sports league in the world and continues to seek ways to engage fans and raise revenues.

Customer Snapshot: Business Model

Advocates for the Fans, Teams, and Players

The National Football League is organized as a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit organization that acts on behalf of their 32 member teams. The money generated by merchandising, licensing, sponsorships, broadcasting, and ticket sales is taxed through a for-profit organization owned by the 32 teams, called NFL Ventures, not the NFL League Office. This revenue is split among the teams and players.

Customer Snapshot: Success Strategy

Data for Defensive Backs, Armchair Quarterbacks, and the Back Office

The NFL continually seeks ways to attract new fans and expand engagement of existing fans. Technology helps drive initiatives from brand development and fan engagement to developing customer-facing products. The league also uses data to improve the performance of their corporate team, aligning worker goals with organizational goals through automated tracking and feedback.

The Challenge

Fielding the Best Teams

Despite generating and owning the Big Data that powers fantasy football, the NFL has not been the top destination for fantasy players. That’s why the league set out to leverage all of their player and game data in a way that provides unique value to fantasy football enthusiasts. Specifically, the NFL wanted to create an indispensable player comparison tool that provides real-time recommendations based on more than 100 statistics from each player.

Big Data for Fans.

All 32 professional teams and millions of fantasy team owners manage talent with data. Developing talent within the organization that runs the league is just as important, so the NFL wanted to use SAP Cloud solutions to boost their own team performance. This included HCM solutions from SuccessFactors, an SAP company.

Winning with Talent.

Enter SAP

Teaming Up

The NFL and SAP partnered in a new multi-year marketing sponsorship that makes SAP the Official Cloud Software Solutions, Business Software, and Business Analytics Software Sponsor of the NFL.

Enter SAP: The SAP Experience

Going Deep for the Win

Fantasy football fans are more broadly and intensely devoted to the game than most others because their experience goes beyond following their favorite team from week to week. With help from SAP, the NFL is going deep into their data to provide them with fantasy football experiences that are more engaging. Using the SAP HANA Cloud platform and the SAP Lumira Cloud platform, and enlisting the help of the SAP Services organization, the NFL built the Fantasy Player Comparison Tool.

Helping Fantasy Users Succeed.

To better manage their own team, the NFL implemented the SuccessFactors HCM Suite to provide the NFL with up-to-date tools and data to meet all workforce challenges. Just as teamwork is vital when coaching football players, these HR cloud solutions help coordinate compensation and human resources responsibilities and ensures everyone works from the same playbook.

For a CIO, integration is everything, and so with integrated suites of products like the SuccessFactors solutions that can integrate with compensation and HR, my job is simpler and our employees can easily participate.

Better Business

Tracking the Stats

The Fantasy Player Comparison Tool lets NFL fans and fantasy team owners instantly track and analyze more than 100 stats from each player, ranging from passing percentages to tackles, and from turf type to wind direction at kickoff for statistical models of what any player is most likely to do in any situation. As a result, many fantasy team owners are as engaged in developing player and team content during the off-season as they are in the fall.

One of the main reasons that the NFL chose SuccessFactors solutions is because of the mobile capabilities. Many NFL employees are on the road several days a week, especially during the football season, so they need a tool they can access securely through a web browser.

Better Business: Benefits

Real Increases in Fantasy Engagement

Last year, more than 27 million fans participated in fantasy football. This year, with help from the player comparison tool, that number is exceeding 33 million, greatly fueled by the new players attracted to the NFL fantasy website.

Building Fandom in New Ways.

Meanwhile, thanks to the SuccessFactors HCM Suite, the NFL is on track to reach their goal of 100% employee participation in talent development and management.

Prospering through Performance.

Better Business: Run Simple

MVPs on the Field, on the Sofa, or Behind a Desk

Having chosen SAP HANA, SAP Lumira, and SuccessFactors solutions for the cloud, the NFL now provides fantasy enthusiasts with performance not available on competing fantasy websites and maximizes the performance of league employees. Fan engagement and employee engagement are now at all-time highs.

A Winning Alignment.

Journey Ahead

External and Internal Developments Continue

For fan engagement, the NFL expects to continue developing new tools with SAP Services that leverage SAP technology. The focus is on learning how the NFL can customize SAP software with APIs and present them for product use cases that enhance fantasy football experiences.

For employee development, the NFL is continuing to fine-tune their HR processes to ensure that the right people are doing the right work and that the league is clearly communicating and measuring meaningful outcomes.

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