Sports Fusion is an IT consultancy that works with some of the biggest names in the business to deliver winning solutions to sporting organisations, events and venues. Founders Jeremy Kerner and Chris Thomas have been delivering compelling customer experiences since the late 1990s for the likes of Arsenal and the Football Association. They joined forces to create Sports Fusion in 2008 and have continued a winning run of form ever since, naming six Premier League clubs as well as Lord’s cricket ground and Wembley Stadium among a growing roster of satisfied customers.
The firm was recently retained by English Premier League club West Ham United as IT consultants for the migration from its old ground Upton Park to the London Stadium in Stratford. After a gap analysis audit in March 2015 across the entire organisation, Sports Fusion discovered multiple issues in the retail estate that needed fixing and decided to call in the experts: Retail & Sports Systems and partner Optomany.
Retail & Sports Systems has been a supplier to the sports sector for many years, focusing on omni-channel retail and stock systems. Its retail and ecommerce platforms feature Optomany’s single, fully integrated payment platform to deliver simplified security and PCI compliance, enhanced real-time customer reporting and insights on customer spend.
West Ham was looking for a single platform to manage e-commerce and face-to-face transactions, across its megastore and warehouse at the London Stadium, and stores in Romford and Lakeside. The football club’s board had identified retail growth as a major focus area, with the goal to be a market leader with a best-in-practice environment. It also set a target of a 40% increase in e-commerce sales versus Upton Park.
The club demanded a flexible, scalable and robust gateway solution, competitively priced and with the flexibility to create a commercial package to suit its specific requirements. It was also looking for a provider of proven industry experience with a team laser-focused on the customer, and with high availability and resilience.
Retail & Sports Systems and Optomany ticked all of these boxes. Previous customers all had the same glowing reviews, claiming the firm offered:
Optomany was hired to provide all payment gateway services across the West Ham United estate, including the deployment of 50 chip and PIN devices and an e-commerce payment platform.
“There were 42 workstreams implemented at the London Stadium and Optomany delivered with coherency and against a timeline,” says Mike Bohndiek, a consultant for Sports Fusion who has subsequently joined West Ham United as Head of IT. “They provided detailed documentation when asked and had a clear understanding of what was required, how that would be achieved and a clear pathway between the two.”
That’s not to say the project was completely incident free. After reporting problems of chip and PIN devices freezing in store, West Ham United was impressed by Optomany’s swift and comprehensive response. Our Chief Technology Officer was on site from day one and senior management kept the client informed of progress with daily update calls. After a detailed investigation it was discovered that a BIOS upgrade by the till hardware provider had caused the problem. Although this was not an Optomany issue, we remained involved throughout, even providing on-site support so that a full resolution could be effected.
A winning platform
In partnership with Retail & Sports Systems, Optomany has helped West Ham United to generate some impressive results as its retail business continues to grow: