<< More customer stories
  • Tweet this Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Google+ Email

Explore how other customers are generating value with SAP technology.

More customer stories ›

Customer Snapshot

A Winning Team for German Football


teams and more than

6.8 million members

As a football fan, you don’t want to miss a great ticket offer for your favorite team’s next game. Instead of looking through different promotional emails from various ticket providers, imagine receiving an email on your mobile device from DFB, tailored to your specific preferences, allowing you access to the best possible seats to the next game—that you can purchase, anywhere, anytime.



German Football Association (DFB)


Frankfurt, Germany

Customer Website



Number of Employees

220 (with 6.8 million members)

Implementation Partners

SAP Services

Line of Business

Sales, Marketing, Information Technology


Sports & Entertainment

Featured Products

SAP CRM powered by SAP HANA, SAP Event Ticketing


A century of winning football


  • 1900Deutscher Fussball-Bund organized 86 football teams.
  • 1954World Cup Champions (men).
  • 1974World Cup Champions (men).
  • 1990World Cup Champions (men).
  • 2003World Cup Champions (women).
  • 2007 World Cup Champions (women).
  • 2013Deutscher Fussball-Bund organizes 25,500 member clubs that field 170,000 men’s and women’s teams, and boasts membership of 8% of Germany’s population, or 6.8 million members!

Business Model

A tight leadership team

DFB is made up of the German Football League at the professional level and five regional and 21 state associations at the semi-pro and amateur levels. The common goal across all levels of the association is to give organization, structure, and support to football players of all age groups and skill levels. That’s a lot of work for a staff of about 220, but DFB is up for the challenge.


DFB intends to access and serve its customers better through digital and mobile channels. It wants to offer products and services tailored to customer needs, improve customer loyalty, and build long-term relationship with the football public.


Both the men’s and women’s teams are currently ranked number 2 in the world by FIFA, and Germany is the only country to have won both the men’s and women’s World Cup (1954, 1974, 1990 for men’s; 2003, 2007 for women’s). Germany is also a consistent frontrunner in the UEFA Champions League with powerhouse teams like Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, and has a long list of all-star players and legends such as Fritz Walter, Uwe Seeler, Franz Beckenbauer, Lothar Matthäus, and Gerd Müller, who make German fans proud.


But Germany’s accomplishments on the field didn’t happen by luck. The engine behind all this success is the German Football Association or DFB (Deutscher Fussball-Bund). Headquartered in Frankfurt, DFB boasts more than 6.8 million members – that’s over 8% of Germany’s population – making it the largest sports federation in the world. Beginning in 1900 with 86 football clubs, DFB has grown to some 25,500 member clubs that field 170,000 men’s and women’s teams with over 2 million players.

Success Strategy

Fans and players are on the move

With mobile phone apps DFB will be able to inform fans about new events and ticket offerings. Social media features will also allow fans to see who is going to a game, where their friends are sitting, and facilitate travelling together to home or away games. A new ticketing solution will also give DFB much better insight into its customer data.

The Challenge

Football fans rule!

The company wanted to create a completely new fan experience with simpler communications, improved campaign management, personalized messages, and product offers. DFB had a mission to establish and leverage a consistent, real-time view of all fan information.


“Our vision is to become the best football nation in the world.”

- Daniel Gutermuth, SAP Implementation Project Manager at DFB

The SAP Experience

A promising partnership

The leadership at DFB is confident they have established a good partnership with SAP.


“We are glad that SAP is our partner and we are convinced this partnership will last a long time.”

- Stefan Ludwig, Managing Director of DFB Consulting & Sales Services.


Better Business

Selecting the right system to assure success

Deutscher Fussball-Bund conducted a detailed analysis of the top software vendors and selected the SAP CRM rapid-deployment solution powered by the SAP HANA platform, running in the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud. DFB positioned itself for a swift and simple implementation with the rapid-deployment solution. The company was looking for a solution that was quick to install, scalable, and preconfigured, and the rapid-deployment solution met all those needs. DFB was able to implement the SAP CRM application in about three months, thanks to a preconfigured solution and a clear roadmap laid out by the SAP Services organization.


Tickets to a World Cup...and more

DFB launched its first marketing campaign two weeks after going live. The campaign was in support of ticket sales for the DFB Women’s Cup final in Cologne, Germany. This is the first time they were able to design and execute marketing campaigns by themselves. DFB was able to create customer-specific offers, integrated with sales, because all its customer information has been contained in a centralized database.


Approximately 8,700 fans who live near Cologne received emails with special offers on tickets and links to the online merchandise shop. Nearly half confirmed they viewed their personalized email and 7% clicked through to the DFB ticketing site. This helped DFB connect with customers personally and increase sales. Agents and executives could see how customers responded to the offers and make adjustments for the future.

DFB has plans to significantly improve its ability to query and report on customer data using the advanced analytics and dashboards available with SAP BusinessObjects BI solutions.

Run Simple



DFB is using digital and mobile channels to better reach and serve customers, and the company believes this will ensure a great experience for every fan. The company is tailoring campaigns and promotions to fit the needs of their fans through the SAP CRM rapid-deployment solution powered by the SAP HANA platform and SAP Event Ticketing software. Sharp, effective campaigns can be developed in just weeks, and the DFB marketing team is shouting, “Goal!”

Journey Ahead

It’s all about the football, and the fans

DFB’s vision is to have its core SAP applications and SAP Event Ticketing software integrated and operational using SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud service to reduce costs and provide a scalable platform for additional functionality.


  • http://sapvideo.edgesuite.net/vod/2014/customer-journey/cj-dfb-journey-ahead-vidcj1061.mp4
  • 488
  • 275

A winning team: DFB and SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud!

“In five years I hope we still have one of the best national football teams in the world. And that we are able to offer our customers a completely integrated customer journey that is linked to our back-office systems.”

Daniel Gutermuth, DFB’s SAP Implementation Project Manager


Related Links