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Performance metrics represent outcomes realized by the AFL’s Richmond Football Club. Gross sales compares 2019 (pre-BigCommerce) to 2020 (post-BigCommerce). Peak user visits and total orders compare 2017 outcomes to that of 2020.
Since 2001, GameDay (formerly SportsTG), a Stack Sports company headquartered in Australia, has been providing grassroots and elite athletic organizations with integrated technologies to help them simplify and manage their sporting operations.
By offering competition, membership and event management as well as website development and ecommerce selling solutions, GameDay is revolutionizing the world of sports administration.
From Australia and New Zealand to the UK/Europe and Oceania/Asia Pacific, at least two-thirds of grassroots sports, including basketball, football, hockey, softball, baseball, rugby and cricket are being managed by GameDay-provided technology.
But, it doesn’t stop at the grassroots level. Not by a longshot. GameDay also provides sports technology solutions to premier clubs of The National Rugby League (NRL) and all the professional clubs of the Australian Football League (AFL). That’s right, all 18 AFL clubs. What’s more, BigCommerce is the engine that drives each and every one of the AFL clubs’ ecommerce websites.
Calling time out on old technology
Some things get better with age, but technology isn’t one of them and GameDay found that out. As more and more AFL clubs became clients, GameDay recognized the need for an upgrade.
“In the beginning, GameDay’s investment focus was elsewhere, which meant that the homegrown ecommerce system was ageing and becoming unreliable. Over time the needs of AFL clubs became more sophisticated and we knew a more modern solution was needed,” said Anthony Richardson, Director of Digital at GameDay.
Wanting to build a stronger relationship with the AFL, GameDay called a timeout on its in-house platform and looked to put in a newer, fresher player in the game. The search for a platform that would deliver more innovative technologies to clients while positioning GameDay as a trusted provider of ecommerce and digital marketing services began.
“Over time the needs of AFL clubs became more sophisticated and we knew a more modern solution was needed.”
BigCommerce enters the game
Working in the ecommerce space themselves, GameDay knew what to look for in a new platform. The company considered BigCommerce, Shopify, Magento and a possible rebuild of its own in-house solution.
“We really liked what BigCommerce offered. Like ourselves, it’s a SaaS-based company with very similar values. The growth and reach across the international markets was really appealing and the ability to scale at a rapid rate was super attractive to us,” said Cameron O’Riordan, Director of Sales and Marketing at GameDay.
The customers and partners GameDay has been able to attract because of BigCommerce’s prowess and performance were additional reasons the platform was chosen.
“We were able to demonstrate the value to AFL clubs of using our services, and the opportunities for building sales through the enhanced functionality of BigCommerce. They liked what we had to say and now we manage the sports technologies of all 18 AFL clubs, including their ecommerce needs with the help of BigCommerce,” said O’Riordan.
“We really liked what BigCommerce offered. Like ourselves, it’s a SaaS-based company with very similar values.”
“Roughly 10,000 concurrent users were on the site immediately after the Tigers won the 2020 AFL premiership. If the club would have still been on our previous homegrown platform the site would have fallen over. However, on BigCommerce, the site was still flying, even to the point of being able to process a half million dollars of sales in one hour!”
Running up the score
Today, GameDay is a BigCommerce Elite partner, creating online stores and impressive outcomes for its customers, including the AFL.
As a league, every club is experiencing:
Additionally, many clubs are successfully using point-of-sale (POS) and stock management systems for easy checkout and fulfillment.
“The clubs are taking full advantage of the increased performance through BigCommerce’s API. This includes superior promotion capabilities with different styles of coupons, discounting and bulk uploads of coupons and vouchers,” said Richardson. “We're talking tens of thousands of coupons getting created. This wouldn't be possible without the API being in place.”
Last, but not least is the speed by which AFL teams have been able to launch on BigCommerce. For example, both the Adelaide and Port Adelaide clubs launched on BigCommerce in less than three weeks.
Since its 1885 founding, the Richmond Football Club, known as the Tigers, has won 13 premierships. The most recent wins include 2017 and back-to-back wins in 2019 and 2020.
As you can imagine, website traffic increased significantly following Richmond Football Club’s victories. In 2017, gross sales were $2.6M and for 2019 and 2020, gross sales totaled $3.43M and $4.75M, respectively.
“Roughly 10,000 concurrent users were on the site immediately after the Tigers won the 2020 AFL premiership. If the club would have still been on our previous homegrown platform the site would have fallen over,” said Richardson. “However, on BigCommerce, the site was still flying, even to the point of being able to process a half million dollars of sales in one hour!”
Getting the assist with integrations
Apps and integrations have proven golden for the club as well. An integration with Ticketmaster enables the real-time verification of club membership and provides members with discounts — something they were not able to do previously. Then there’s a unique customization feature that enables fans to add their names to jerseys before purchasing to see what it will look like in real time.
Some of the club’s top-performing apps and integrations:
“The clubs are taking full advantage of the increased performance through BigCommerce’s API. This includes superior promotion capabilities with different styles of coupons, discounting and bulk uploads of coupons and vouchers.”
Planning for the future
The future continues to look bright for GameDay. 2021 will be a year of leveraging its AFL success to gain new clients from other sporting activities, including community and youth sports programs.
“Through a partnership, we are launching a retail store that sells all sorts of products, not just sporting products. The intention is to have a portion of the sale proceeds go to our grassroots sporting organizations,” said O’Riordan. “So, I think leveraging ecommerce and BigCommerce to deliver solutions not just in the elite space, but also grassroots is our next big focus.”