“When we pivoted a few years ago to drive our growth through the MSP channel, we recognized there was a small misalignment [in our sports marketing strategy]so we had to pivot in terms of investments by bringing our partners into the branding,” said Acronis’ Ryan Davis of the company’s #TeamUp program, which matches MSPs with professional sports organizations in 16 States.
NCR: Hello everyone. Welcome to the Acronis #CyberFit Summit in Miami. I’m Diana Blass, here with CRN. It’s been about a year since Acronis launched its #TeamUp program, and we learn that it has quickly become the company’s #1 sales engine. To tell us more, here is Ryan Davis from Acronis.
Ryan Davis, Director, Enterprise Sales: Thank you very much for inviting me, Diana.
NCR: Thank you for your time. So give us a refresher on the opportunities here for the MSP.
Davis: Sure. Acronis has therefore invested in sports marketing for many, many years. We started in Formula 1 in 2014. And when we launched the program, everything was under the Acronis brand. Acronis was everywhere, on cars, in baseball stadiums. And when we pivoted several years ago to drive our growth through the MSP channel, we recognized that there was a little misalignment, so we had to pivot in terms of investments to bring our partners into the brand. And so rather than Acronis being on the outside wall of Petco Park, for example, we now have our partner Evotek there. And now it’s not just about building awareness of the Acronis brand. It’s about getting our MSPs and making them part of the story.
NCR: Talk from a cost-benefit perspective for a partner, how they can add more services to these solutions.
Davis: Absolutely. So I generally see two pillars in terms of return on investment for our partners. The first element, therefore, is to use the marketing brand image to be able to generate net sales from new customers.
Michael Goldstein, President and CEO, LAN Infotech: So the #TeamUp program matched me with the Florida Panthers hockey club. So we’ll be able to do events at the arena, at signage, on TV time, and the team really wanted to be part of that. They just didn’t want another sponsor, they really wanted a partnership.
Davis: The other thing that we don’t really talk about as much is that these organizations are large. Hendrick Motorsports is therefore a very, very good example. Hendrick Motorsports is therefore a great organization in itself. And so they use us for cyber protection and disaster recovery. You talk about [artificial intelligence] and [machine learning]. So that’s a lot of consumption. But also [Hendrick Motorsports Owner] Rick Hendrick owns a large business conglomerate of dealerships and other business interests that our MSPs have access to, and they can then evangelize their services to the larger business hierarchy of these professional sports organizations.
NCR: Later we spoke with Hendrick Motorsports.
Talk about your relationship with your MSP, how does this company help you get even more out of your Acronis solutions?
Matthew Cochran, Director, IT: They have a huge amount of knowledge and a wealth of knowledge bringing experiences in the different industries. And now we can really learn from them and come up with different solutions, even outside of Acronis.
NCR: Among these solutions is an artificial intelligence application that analyzes the massive amounts of data collected from cars on a track.
Cochran: We get a ton of photographs during a run. We also get a lot of audio. Photo scans show individual car numbers and convey this information very quickly.
NCR: The Acronis #TeamUp program is now active in 16 states with the hope of expanding nationwide as Acronis recruits more sports teams. And the #TeamUp ecosystem will not only include MSPs, but also distributors.
As you grow, will distributors play a bigger role here?
Davis: I actually see two angles. We have distributors who actually participate in the program as #TeamUp partners, so that’s one angle. It’s a great way to build brand awareness and awareness. And then it’s also an excellent way for a distributor to recruit partners on its platform.
NCR: Climb Channel Solutions is among the distributors working with #TeamUp, actively recruiting MSPs to work with sports teams.
What are some of the key questions MSPs might have for you before getting involved in something like this?
Tim Popovich, President, North America, Climb Channel Solutions: Can I afford it? Costs may vary depending on the organization and level of #TeamUp Partner you are. But it’s more than just a marketing job for an MSP. They can move their customers, they can win more customers, and they can put them all on Acronis, which helps pay the marketing tab for the information they pick up all over the stadium.
NCR: For more coverage here from the Acronis #Cyberfit Summit in Miami. Be sure to follow on CRN.com Until next time, I’m Diana Blass.
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