• Please introduce yourself to our readers.
I am Tony Davison, Commercial Manager at Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. The readers who do know me will be from my time as Commercial Director at Oxford United and as an enthusiastic B4 member
• What is your brand philosophy and how does it give you a competitive advantage?
“To Dare is to Do” is the Club motto and this manifests itself in the way we approach our dealings on and off the pitch. We are not afraid to try something different and approach every task with a positive mindset.
• What customer-centric strategies do you use and why?
Our ground-breaking SPVRS (Stadium Project Virtual Reality Suite) uses state-of-the-art technology to bring the premium options at the New Stadium to life and has been designed around the customer experience rather than the other way around. We needed to find a way of showing the future of Tottenham Hotspur yet still deliver an enjoyable and interactive buying experience which we believe we have delivered
• How does your business recruit and retain your employees?
We are an organisation going through massive change and we have put in place a pathway to recruit and train hungry, enthusiastic people so that as we grow, we have developed our team to be ready and able to move up through the Club. Being part of making history and a culture of excellence makes it a vibrant and exciting place to work, who wouldn’t want to be part of that?
• What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your business and how did you overcome it?
To grow 500 loyal, recurring, clients buying 2,000 seats to four-times this number in just two years. To achieve this, we have changed our approach from account management and upselling to proactive “New business” sales and marketing while giving existing clients priority
• What inspired the launch of your business?
Football clubs rarely describe themselves as the launch of a business! In our case Hotspur Cricket Club members Bobby Buckle, Sam Casey and John Anderson met under a lamppost on Tottenham High Road and decided to form a football club to give them something to do in winter!
• What is the number one factor in your business success?
Focus on people. I spend a great deal of time and effort recruiting and developing staff and hope to provide a culture where my team are encouraged to deliver 100% every day.
• Describe your business model and what makes your business unique?
“No excuses”. This is a motto you will see and hear everywhere at the Training Centre and is something we strive to deliver from a business perspective. This is all about delivering the right framework for our people to deliver their best work every day.
• Explain your growth-funding path?
The New Stadium will change the game as far as our ability to compete on and off the pitch is concerned.
• What technology has made the greatest difference to your business?
The SPVRS virtual reality marketing suite has enabled us to sell off plan and bring the New Stadium to life in a way which wouldn’t have been possible even five years ago. It has enabled us to engage clients to a degree where they feel confident in both buying long-term and referring the buying experience to their friends.
• What future advancements do you foresee in your market and how are you preparing for them?
It depends how you define our market. Football is only part of the story. We need to develop the New Stadium as a venue in its own right and not worry too much about what happens on the pitch. We can only control the controllables and a bad bounce or dodgy referee should not define your business outcomes.
• What’s your favourite business book?
“What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School” by Mark McCormack. Not the most imaginative choice for someone who worked at IMG but it is an enjoyable read and shows Mark’s common sense approach which gave birth to the sports marketing industry.
• How could you become a better leader?
Improved internal communication, I should make a special effort to cascade information better. In our current fast-moving and exciting environment it is easy to forget what team members do and don’t know!
• What will you discuss in your BIO2018 presentation?
I will be demonstrating the SPVRS experience live and discussing how important it was for the tech to follow the process rather than the process being driven by cutting-edge technology.
• Who is the Target Audience for your BIO2018 presentation?
It should appeal to people looking for practical uses of VR and AR technology. The presentation will also appeal to football fans looking for a glimpse at what will be the most technologically advanced stadium in Europe!