On April 4, 2016, MLB baseball opening day, Mitel announced that the San Diego Padres selected Mitel to power their communications. After spending time getting to know folks across the Padres, I am now finding it almost impossible not to cheer for them (and I say that as someone who grew up as a die-hard Cubs fan). Though it sounds cliché, what really sets the Padres apart is the teamwork approach, which pervades their entire organization.
Whether on the baseball side or the business side, it is amazing to speak to people across the club and hear that they all understand the role they play and how they are interdependent upon one another. With the metro area of San Diego comprising just over three million people, the Padres have to compete much harder for fans, advertising and TV dollars and other sources of income to sign high-ticket players compared to larger market clubs. Being able to effectively communicate and collaborate on-the-go provides the Padres with a tangible competitive advantage across their organization as they work each day toward winning it all.
Newly converted Padres fan Wes Durow throws out the opening pitch
Where everybody knows your name
In most professional sports organizations, there’s a hard line drawn between the sports staff and the business staff—and that line has increasingly grown wider in most instances. That is not the case with the Padres. For example, the Padres customer service and inside sales staff reside directly inside Petco Park and they understand that the more season tickets they sell or the more sponsorship deals they procure, the more money they will be able to provide to their baseball-oriented colleagues to put the best team on the field.
For those of you who know much about professional sports, you recognize that these functions are far too often located in a strip mall 15-20 miles away where they are almost completely disconnected from the essence of the organization. Not with the Padres.
Instead, these roles are in close proximity to the executive suites as well as to the entrance of the player’s clubhouse. High-performing customer service and inside sales staff are commemorated in their very own hall-of-fame as acknowledged by custom bats emblazoned with their names. This unique approach helps the Padres 500+ staffers build an end-to-end culture of teamwork and performance.
Beyond the ballpark
Most Padres staff members start and finish their days on their smartphones and they expect those smartphones to have the same features and capabilities as their desktop environments.
As such, the Padres looked for a solution that provided business agility and a competitive advantage by helping ensure all locations could interact as one.
By choosing Mitel, the Padres have the ability to connect remote training locations, scouts, and other on-the-go staff members with Petco Park-based colleagues, so the entire organization can communicate and collaborate quickly and seamlessly. Whether a scout in their Dominican Republic facility, a strength training coordinator in their Arizona spring training facility or a customer service agent in San Diego, they all can stay connected.
By leveraging Mitel’s cloud communications technology, the Padres were able to clear out some server room space by removing their legacy IP-PBX and contact center hardware from Petco Park and cancel their prior hosted phone system at their spring training facility in Arizona to provide a holistic foundation.
One of the simple asks Padres CEO, Mike Dee, made to Padres’s technology chief Ray Chan was to enable four-digit dialing across the organization—whether on a desk phone or a smartphone. Like most customers, the Padres want to be able to use voice, video and collaboration tools in a simple and intuitive manner and we are working hard to make such an experience a daily reality.
Building an all-star fan experience
In addition to improving connectivity throughout the organization, the Padres also use our technology to enhance the fan experience with personalized contact center software features that let season ticket members connect directly to their dedicated service representatives.
As host of the 2016 MLB All-Star game, the Padres acutely recognize that their fans are increasingly mobile and looking for a more seamless customer experience.
And that goes beyond when fans call in to order tickets—it applies to any other requests fans might have during their visits to Petco Park.
With Mitel technology, the Padres can operate more efficiently and be more customer-focused by better supporting their tech-savvy, millennial-oriented fans. By taking advantage of cloud and mobile technologies, the Padres have a path forward with various permutations of software and workflow integration to benefit both employees and fans not just in 2016 but in seasons ahead as well.
Out in left field, and more
If you visit Petco Park or catch a Padres home game on TV, watch for the unique Mitel ‘Hit It Here’ sign on the historic Western Metals Supply Co. building in left field. When a Padres player hits the bullseye sign, we’ll make a donation to our customer, Make-A-Wish Foundation of America. But the Padres aren’t the only sports franchise to trust their communications to Mitel. More than fifty sports franchises, clubs, leagues and stadiums globally stay competitive with Mitel, representing teams across the English Premier League, NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB.
In a world where games are won and lost by fractions of an inch or second, we like to think that we provide a competitive edge to those who choose us.
Let’s go Padres!
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Tags: Customer Stories, Call Center & Customer Experience, Cloud Communications, Sports & Entertainment, Enterprise Communications, Mobility & BYOD