Spalding Scores Big Gains with Salesforce: A CRM Elite Customer Awards Case Study

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Anyone who’s ever picked up a basketball knows the Spalding brand. In fact, the company produced the first official basketball for James Naismith, the sport’s founder, in 1894.

Spalding has been an integral part of sports culture for more than 125 years, and the manufacturer of basketballs and other sports equipment wants to remain so for another 125 years, says Matthew Day, Spalding’s director of digital marketing and e-commerce. “We know that people are involved with sports for their whole lives. We wanted a way to help them. We’ve always looked at our marketing proactively.”


To better reach modern consumers and keep up with the changing times, Spalding executives knew the company needed to connect better digitally. That, invariably, meant implementing a mobile-first strategy, supported with a robust cloud infrastructure and excellent artificial intelligence (AI).

“We wanted more personalization and customization, as well as the ability to predict what customers are looking for,” Day says. “We wanted to be able to put the right products in front of the right people; that way we could get them to what they are looking for much faster.”


So Spalding’s selected an array of solutions from Salesforce.com, including Commerce Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, Community Cloud, and Einstein AI.

As a result of the rollout of these Salesforce products, Spalding experienced massive results during the 2018 holiday season—a 96 percent increase in revenue per user, a 30 percent increase in average order quantity, and a 51 percent increase in mobile site traffic.

And the results have continued, with a 270 percent increase in e-commerce revenue year-over-year, a 66 percent increase in average order value, and 100 percent site up time.

Spalding now has a true 360-degree view of all of its customers, whether they buy directly from the company’s website or from a retail store. It is also delivering a fast customer experience, complete with intelligent shipping alerts, higher first-contact resolution, and the ability to prepare for peak service moments, like the start of basketball season.

Using Marketing Cloud, Spalding built the Spalding MVP community, which launched this summer, to improve its customer relationships, further personalize their experiences, and engage with customers wherever they are. Spalding MVP members receive perks such as access to exclusive product launches like the limited edition 94 Series line, free shipping, and the opportunity to review new products. A loyalty rewards program is on the horizon.

And because customers want more personalization than ever before, Spalding is delivering with Commerce Cloud and U Design—a program that lets customers create their own custom basketball designs.

With the power of Salesforce’s Einstein AI, Spalding has automated time-consuming tasks, including merchandising and analysis. Spalding customers experience intelligent shopping at its finest, complete with tailored product recommendations and predictive sort and search functionality.

The AI engine also optimizes e-commerce efficiency, enabling Spalding to focus on building deep, long-lasting customer relationships as well as expanding revenue. In the first half of this year, e-commerce revenue had already surpassed all of 2018, and it’s still months away from Black Friday and the holiday shopping season.

“Delivering a fast, easy, and unique Spalding brand experience to the highly engaged basketball community is crucial to our customer-first strategy and our quest to establish Spalding.com as the Ultimate Basketball Store,” Day explains. “With Salesforce, we are able to deliver just that, saving our customers time and making it easier than ever for them to discover products and engage with our brand wherever they are—all while exponentially increasing our B2B and direct-to-consumer e-commerce business.”

“Spalding is a truly customer-first brand that has transformed their online shopping experience by putting the customer at the center,” said Mike Micucci, CEO of Salesforce Commerce Cloud, in a statement. “The growth and scale that Spalding has experienced with Salesforce is remarkable, and we’re thrilled to be a part of this journey with them.” —Phillip Britt


2018 Holiday Season:

  • A 96 percent increase in revenue per user.
  • A 30 percent increase in average order quantity.
  • A 51 percent increase in mobile site traffic.

Since Then:

  • A 270 percent increase in e-commerce revenue year-over-year.
  • A 66 percent increase in average order value.
  • 100 percent site up time.

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