Sydney Olympic Park

How SOPA transformed to lift customer service and marketing to revitalise community engagement across the park.

Complex Service Delivery Made Simple​

Around 14 million visitors pass through the Sydney Olympic Park Precinct each year, most attending one of the 5,000 plus events held there annually.

Redeveloped for Sydney’s 2000 Olympics, the park remains a key sports and entertainment hub, with nine stadiums and sports venues, four hotels, 425 hectares of parkland, and a growing resident population. And building one-to-one engagement with each of these visitors may now be possible since the rollout of a new customer success platform by precinct managers, Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA). 

Head of Digital and IT at SOPA, Parth Gandhi, has moved service, sales, marketing, and communications functions to the cloud via customised Salesforce platforms. Following a ground-up redesign of the seven key websites making up SOPA’s initial customer and partner contact points, Gandhi moved SOPA to a CRM platform based on four linked Salesforce products: Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Sales Cloud, and Social Studio.

Trusted Expertise

With Simplus as SOPA’s Salesforce implementation partner, Gandhi’s team brought the new platform online in just four months. He credits the speedy resolution of this project on two things: trust and partnership.

“Simplus Australia were the digital agency that helped us implement this, and it was all done through engagement, bringing the business on the journey with us,” says Gandhi. “We didn’t do this to the business—we did this with the business.”

From area managers to partners, key staff from every section of SOPA were involved at every stage of the implementation, using discovery work and two-week sprints to keep managers across the business involved at every stage of the build and the User Acceptance Testing.

Putting a customer service
pillar in place

The whole project strongly aligns with the NSW government’s digital priority: to design policies, services, and decisions around data insights.

Before the new platform came online, gathering data was a gruelling process, with monthly reports taking four days to generate; now, data is available cross platform and in real-time. Previously, eleven different databases held a total of just 100,000 customer records. These have been cleaned up and amalgamated, giving a transparent and streamlined outlook to the growing data collection.

“We wanted a single view for each of our customers,” Gandhi explains. There’s a lot of complexity behind that simple aim, he adds. “Customers interact with us in so many different ways – and now on one screen, I can tell they’ve booked parking with us, or come out to the aquatic centre, or done an event with us, or booked a site,” he says.

Marketing and social has been finely honed. “We had Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, Aprimo, Hootsuite – many different tools for things that we now track through a single platform.”

Measures of Success

An opt-in marketing cloud expanded SOPA’s database by 15,000 customers within weeks, and Gandhi is confident that this will continue.

Customers can make contact via email, Twitter, Facebook, forms, or phone calls, and each contact is logged and responses go back on the same platform.

“It’s seamless. We communicate with our customers in any manner that they choose, and we do it through a single platform that fits all of those different use cases.” 

The system scales instantly, he adds. When the NRL Grand Final crowd descends on the Park, for example, the software can cope with the massive expansion.


What’s Next?

Phase Three, now underway, involves building a community within Sydney Olympic Park and creating a dynamic, two-way dialogue with customers.

Sydney Olympic Park is physically placed to become a vibrant urban and parkland hub. The focus is to provide that great customer experience for everyone coming or going through the park for any event.

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