Printing the Whole Nine Yards
When it comes to filling a stadium with excited fans, football teams have to do more than win games. New York's Buffalo Bills are no exception. With a stadium seating 73,000 fans, the Bills organization's marketing team works ceaselessly behind the scenes to promote ticket sales.
And the work doesn't stop when the seats are full. Keeping fans up to date with the latest team information and promotions even while they're enjoying a game helps ensure they'll come back for another.
Communicating on such a large and regular scale requires the football team's marketing organization to manage extremely long and involved paper trails, and produce mountains of printing. It's a requirement that recently became too much to tackle.
The Bills marketing team didn't have the people or technology required to manage documents effectively. Marketing assistants were squandering hours duplicating documents, using aged machines that could be counted on to do one thing well: break down.
For large jobs that needed to be out sourced, Bills people were zipping back and forth to their printer to review proofs and baby-sit print runs. Nobody disputed the potential gains available through the use of personalized marketing collateral.
But the marketing team simply didn't have the bandwidth, practices, or technologies on hand to deal with standard print jobs, let alone move upstream to managing complex variable data publishing.
In fact, the time invested in day-to-day document output was having a negative impact on the marketing team's core responsibility; that is, attracting fans to fill the stadium and its suites.
Having wrestled with these issues for some years, the team's management decided to go outside for help. In March, the Bills management turned to the document experts at Xerox Corporation for help.
They signed a multi-year consulting and product contract with Xerox Services to help the organization build fan support, and improve communications with everyone the team touches, from the fans to the players and everything in between (Bills management won't say exactly how long the deal runs).