IMG Sports Technology Group adds BI capabilities to platform


IMG Sports Technology Group, which provides services to over 46 sporting bodies and competitions, integrated Yellowfin’s BI and reporting capabilities into its existing technology platform to provide clients with analytics on a range of metrics.

Background to the project

Formed in 2004, IMG Sports Technology Group last year merged with News Corp Australia’s FOX SPORTS PULSE. The merged entity now partners with over 46 sporting bodies and elite sporting competitions including the AFL, NRL, Athletics Australia, Hockey New Zealand, Cycling Australia, World Bowls, thousands of grassroots clubs and a growing portfolio of local and international events including The Colour Run, London Triathlon, Barcelona Triathlon, Sydney Running Festival and Melbourne Marathon.

The group offers a total solution cloud-based platform which caters for the needs of national sporting federations right down to local clubs, enabling all levels of a an individual sport to manage and communicate with their members through a single interactive platform.

The database includes modules such as membership management, event registration system, ecommerce solution, online auction platform, ticketing solution, competition management platform and website development services.

Glen McGoldrick, CEO, IMG Sports Technology Group, said about two years ago, the company realised that the platform lacked strong reporting and business intelligence capabilities.

With different clients requiring different types of reporting, IMG required a flexible solution.

“In the case of the AFL, we provide the online stores, so it’s traditional retail product analysis – top-selling product, top-selling categories, time of day and the week that people are buying, trends over year-on-year, average price, average margin,” says McGoldrick.

“In our membership area, we look at things like age, gender, and heat mapping to see where we have concentrations within a sport. In event registration, an event organiser uses it to analyse who did last year’s event but hasn’t signed for this year’s event, how they are tracking with this event compared to the same time last year, what is the average yield on registration, what is the demographic, where do entrants come from by state and by suburb.”

The challenge

IMG undertook a three-month review of the available solutions. Some of the company’s key requirements were that it needed to be delivered within the user interface in its OneSport platform, as an extension of the existing product.

The solution also needed to provide real-time, multi-tier reporting, and to be simple to use for users at both the elite and grassroots levels.

The solution

IMG implemented Yellowfin around 15 months ago. For each of the four main products delivered by IMG, Yellowfin is used differently, guided by product managers, who defined the reporting parameters for their specific area.

“What we’ve done is we’ve delivered a raft of standard reports embedded in the system. Now what we’re finding is that some of our more qualified and better-resourced clients are saying, ‘Can we now access Yellowfin on its own?’ So we’re now providing clients with direct access to Yellowfin in its own right,” says McGoldrick.

He says most clients have found adapting the existing reports to more customised reports very easy.

The Yellowfin dashboards have full drilldown capability, such as heatmapping member distributions across the country using geospatial data.

“The beauty of Yellowfin is in a national database, we’ve got multiple points of entry. So we have a national administrator, a state administrator, perhaps an association, and in most cases, the lowest common denominator is a club administrator,” says McGoldrick.

“You go from 100,000 at the national administrator level, to 25,000 at state, to 1000 at association, to 50 or 60 at club level. We’ve got all three or four levels logging into the same database at their level. The club only sees their 50, but they’re getting the same analysis and the same metrics, whether they are at national or at club.”

For example, Hockey Australia can look at different levels of information at four different levels.

“They can view the same key metrics, regardless of whether it’s analysis of 56 members or 100,000 members,” says McGoldrick.

IMG’s clients also use the broadcast capabilities to send dashboards to managers by email, both at the management level and the user level.

“For AFL clubs, on a Monday, it automatically circulates the weekly sales report. It will give senior management statistics on the biggest-selling product, total revenue this week compared to last week, this month compared to last month and so on,” says McGoldrick.

An advantage of using Yellowfin is that they are able to generate a 360-degree view of members, bringing together information from four disparate systems.

“We have one member that sits at the heart of each of those disparate systems, and everyone in sport is trying to get that 360-degree view – whether it’s a participant, a member, a fan – and Yellowfin will sit there and draw from four different instances, all pared back to one single member,” McGoldrick says.

Looking at sport from a big picture perspective, IMG is now in discussions with the Australian Sports Commission about defining standard metrics across all sports.

“If you look at sport with a centrally funded model, they’re asking how is it best to measure participation, for example. They can give us some standard [metrics], and we’ll implement those as the standard reports embedded in the system.”