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How To Choose a Winning FP&A and Extended Planning Solution for Your Professional Sports Team

February 16, 2022 Lisa Van de Ven  
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Professional sports teams need to be agile, both on the field and in the boardroom. But as sports teams pivot to capture new revenue opportunities—including new digital media channels, virtual experiences, VIP programming and more—their finance teams end up with more data and data sources to manage across planning, reporting and analysis. And with increasing pressure to demonstrate growth, nobody wants to drop the ball. 

But can your Excel spreadsheet alone connect multiple data sources, consolidate financial and operational data in real time and manage version control and workflows between multiple departments in a way that’s meaningful and adoptable by your organization? To solve these data challenges, finance teams are turning to modern FP&A and extended planning solutions to gain the agility needed to drive proactive, informed business decisions. 

With that in mind, let’s look at some best practices for modernizing FP&A and extended planning to help your professional sports team choose the right platform:

Best Practice #1: Integrate Systems To Streamline the Data-To-Insights Pipeline

Between financial, ticketing, payroll, POS, sponsorships, suites and fixed-asset registers, finance teams in professional sports spend a lot of time trying to gather accurate, timely data from a variety of separate systems. To stop chasing after numbers, start integrating them all into a single source of truth. This single, central data model should contain all the data you need to facilitate financial and extended planning, analysis and reporting processes in one place. When you can finally take a breather on gathering data, you can focus on uncovering winning insights. 

Find out how the Arizona Cardinals turned 10 days of work in Excel into five seconds with Vena.

Best Practice #2: Automate Budgeting and Reporting Processes To Enhance Workflow Efficiency

It’s not simple to create accurate budgets and plans when you have to do it manually—it’s easy to fumble the numbers, causing a lot of extra work. To guide your team to success, automate data collection and integration by distributing pre-configured templates and locking down data entry to secure areas for each user. With the right templates and workflows in place, it will be easy to pass around accurate data for budgeting, forecasting and automated reporting on a monthly or quarterly basis (in addition to on-demand and daily/weekly updates).

Best Practice #3: Create a Game Plan for Any Scenario To Make Quick Pivots

For winning finance-led and extended planning, finance teams need plays and strategies for whatever gets thrown at them, from new revenue streams to player injuries. For fast reaction times, planning can’t be complex and spread across many disconnected Excel spreadsheets. Teams need agile, game-specific scenario planning capabilities to be able to make changes to revenue streams and see the immediate impact on margin and profitability across the organization. To quickly adjust forecasts, integrate data sources and implement scenario planning templates so your team always has the numbers they need to make the right play.

Learn how the Kansas City Chiefs used Vena for Professional Sports Teams to speed up their reporting by 95%.

Best Practice #4: Use an Industry-Specific Solution for Professional Sports Teams To Cover All Your Bases

With diverse and difficult-to-predict revenue streams, league and player profit-sharing deals, high salary capital costs and personally invested team owners to report to, professional sports teams have unique planning and reporting needs—but most planning systems aren’t built with professional sports teams in mind. An FP&A and extended planning solution pre-configured for sports teams can give executive leadership, financial teams, department heads and the league a clear picture of the numbers for strategic financial decision making. Pre-built planning templates, reports and dashboards for the custom needs of the sports industry help professional sports teams make the right investments and stay on the offensive.

Best Practice #5: Choose a Solution Your Users Will Love To Maximize Engagement

Planning is a team effort and all members need to contribute to help increase accuracy and accountability. To get everyone engaged, use an FP&A and extended planning solution that connects the dots across your people, departments, processes and source systems and enables you to work the way you think. If onboarding and change management are too complicated, your team won’t trust the solution or use it, and will resort to using their own offline, disconnected Excel models. Maximize engagement and ROI by selecting an FP&A and extended planning solution that is user friendly, intuitive and something your team will get on board with.

Streamline your financial and operational planning with Vena for Professional Sports Teams, a dedicated platform designed specifically for professional sports teams.

More FP&A and Extended Planning Criteria to Consider

In addition to these five best practices for FP&A and extended planning solutions, here are a few more features and tips to consider to make the right choice:

  • Presentation Power: Review dashboards and decision-ready reporting capabilities to ensure you’ll have all the insights needed to make quick and accurate decisions.
  • Onboarding Process: Make sure you can get the FP&A and extended planning solution up and running quickly—without a lengthy setup process—and that it’s easy for your users to get the ball rolling.
  • Ability To Scale: Choose a system that can grow with you as you add new revenue streams, business processes and use cases. Beyond just planning, what else can the platform do?

Learn more about how Vena delivers on all FP&A and extended planning best practices and grows with your team. Book a demo today.

 

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