Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment

With Salesforce, we’ve been able to stay customer-centric throughout the pandemic, offering better in-person and digital experiences to our fans and partners.”

Christian Magsisi, Vice President, Technology & Digital, MLSE


Million automated interactions a year


Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment takes the fan experience to the next level with Salesforce

There’s nothing like cheering on your favourite team – whether you’re a regular at a game or a spectator from a distance. Sport is about creating great memories with friends and family, so to Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), the fan experience is everything.

But with the global pandemic causing venues to close, sports organizations like MLSE have had to rethink how they deliver on those experiences.

“Over the last two years, we’ve combined the digital and the physical to create new and exciting experiences for our fans,” said Christian Magsisi, Vice President, Technology & Digital at MLSE. “Salesforce has been at the heart of our digital capabilities - with Salesforce, we’ve been able to stay customer-centric throughout the pandemic, offering better experiences to fans and partners in a more efficient way.”

MLSE brings the world to its feet, within and beyond its venues

The Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), Toronto Marlies (AHL), Toronto Raptors (NBA), Raptors 905 (NBA G League), Toronto FC (MLS), Toronto FC II (ALS) and Toronto Argonauts (CFL) are all MLSE teams. MLSE also owns and/or operates all the venues where they play and train, including retail stores and restaurants. Its slogan, ‘bringing the world to its feet’, encapsulates the company’s focus on its fans.

To support its lines of business, MLSE has the largest technology organization in sports, with over 100 people employed within its Digital Labs department. With COVID lockdowns, the Digital Labs team has been responsible for taking the fan experience online. “Sport is always better with friends, and our team has worked hard to make that possible digitally,” explained Magsisi. “Via our Digital Arena app called Game Time, we’ve created a strong digital community where fans can share and chat, with celebrities, alumni, and even team mascots joining in.”

Disparate systems make it hard to understand fan personas

One of Digital Labs’ main objectives has been to help MLSE gain a better understanding of a new generation of fans. “The world is changing, and sports supporters with it,” revealed Magsisi. “Our die-hard fans are still important, but we’re now looking to engage a more diverse demographic: people who may never attend a game in person as they live on the other side of the world, or who attend a game as a one-off to give their kids a new experience. We need to tap into these customer segments in order to grow our fanbase.”

With the disparate systems it had acquired over the years, MLSE lacked visibility of these fan personas. And while the company recognized that personalization is now key for any marketing organization to engage its customers, it struggled to send personalized messages.


With Salesforce, we’ve been able to stay customer-centric throughout the pandemic, offering better in-person and digital experiences to our fans and partners.”

Christian Magsisi, Vice President, Technology & Digital, MLSE

Data is more accessible with Salesforce

MLSE selected Salesforce to help it digitally transform its business, rolling out Sales Cloud and Marketing Cloud in 2019. “We chose Salesforce as it’s the industry leader and has made significant investments in its products and acquisitions,” explained Magsisi. “We could achieve our goals much faster by choosing Salesforce rather than with multiple point solutions or building systems ourselves."

“Now we are no longer limited by integration barriers, every new technology we implement, or any we consider, is already built with a Salesforce integration in mind. With Salesforce, we’ve also made data more accessible,” confirms Magsisi. “We’re empowering the lines of business by equipping them with the tools and data they need to support decision-making without having to rely on engineers, developers, or analysts. The Digital Labs team is there to support the business, but if we enable non-technical users to self-serve because of Salesforce products, it allows us to move faster in our transformation.”

Customer segmentation and personalization keep messages timely and relevant

MLSE's partnership and ticketing teams use sales Cloud heavily to manage leads and contracts, segment customers, and track partnership performance.

“With Marketing Cloud, MLSE is positioned in a way it has never been before in terms of personalization, customer journeys, and providing compelling holistic offerings at a scale of more than 50 million automated interactions a year. This change has been like a leap from the stone age into 2022,” revealed Magsisi. “We now send highly targeted content, keeping it timely and relevant to improve open and click-through rates.”

The integration between Sales Cloud and Marketing Cloud eliminates data and process duplication, which is critical given customers’ expectations of seamless experiences throughout their customer journey. These expectations mean the technology enabling Sales and Marketing teams has to work as cohesively as the people do, throughout the customer lifecycle. 

MLSE creates better fan experiences with a 360-degree view

MLSE now has a 360-degree view of its customers beyond the traditional boundaries of the stadium. “We can be as global as our fanbase,” explained Magsisi. “And we can identify what is and isn’t engaging, which enables continuous improvement in our sales and marketing activities.”

“With Salesforce, we’re changing our focus from transactions to experiences,” concludes Magsisi. “As that’s what sport is all about for our fans.”


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