Varsity Brands

"Salesforce helps us grow sales — and that’s something to cheer about."

Tammy Pilgreen

Varsity Spirit takes cheerleading from the sidelines to center stage with Salesforce

Every cheerleader knows that the best performances depend on communication, teamwork, timing, and trust. Varsity Spirit — the company behind the nation’s most popular cheerleading uniforms and accessories, training camps, and cheer competitions — applies that same philosophy to its own business. The company, which is credited with jumpstarting the phenomenal popularity that cheerleading enjoys today, uses Salesforce to connect with customers and help employees work together to sell, service, and market successfully.

In the United States, more than 1 million athletes participate in high school, college, or All Star cheerleading teams each year — and most use Varsity’s products and services. “Salesforce is the one source of customer data across our company,” says Tammy Pilgreen, CIO. “Now we know customers better — and our revenue is growing.”

Prior to Salesforce, Varsity was dependent on a 25-year-old IBM system that was weighed down by a variety of custom apps that had been bolted on over the years. Data was siloed, and it was difficult to adapt tools to address changing market conditions. “We needed a single platform powerful enough to bring together customer-facing information from all of our divisions and geographies — without sacrificing flexibility,” explains Pilgreen. “Salesforce outshone the competition.”

Data from all of Varsity’s business lines is consolidated in Salesforce for improved forecasting and planning. More than 500 sales reps and managers use Sales Cloud to manage accounts and opportunities at the squad level, and monitor campaign effectiveness. A custom design tool, integrated with Salesforce App Cloud, lets them work with individual schools to create unique looks — with their school colors, logos, and mascot — and automatically include design and activity information in Salesforce records.

With Salesforce’s mobile capabilities, reps can work from anywhere, at any time, and take advantage of workflows to keep deals moving forward quickly. Instead of spending hours trying to keep up with administrative paperwork, reps can spend their time helping customers make buying decisions. Pilgreen says, “Salesforce helped to free up our sales team so they could spend more time selling.”

Varsity Spirit also uses Marketing Cloud to listen and engage with customers. Pilgreen explains, “We’ve always known that connecting with customers on social channels was important — we just didn’t have the technology tools to empower our marketing group.” The company monitors social media — including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and others — and participates in conversations around cheerleading topics and the Varsity brand. And, apps built with App Cloud let consumers purchase fanwear and fundraise from customized micro-sites built individually for each customer.

Cheer as a connected team

Varsity knows it’s also important to keep everyone in the company — from the warehouse to the front lines — connected and focused on customers. Chatter lets every team from sales to marketing to manufacturing work together in real time. Users can follow accounts and documents through the system, and quickly access customer information. And, with, Varsity brings more consistency to its sales efforts. Coaching and daily recognition keeps sales reps motivated to continue to improve their performance.

“Cheerleading is the most social sport of all. Salesforce help us keep everyone at our company aligned, in sync, and energized to take care of our customers.”

Varsity Spirit
Varsity Spirit