Supporting BPR for Cerezo Osaka sponsorship sales operations
~ Enhancement for business process by utilizing sponsorship sales support tool~

ABeam Consulting Ltd. (Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Tatsuya Kamoi, President and CEO) has supported Cerezo Osaka Co. Ltd. (Osaka, Osaka Prefecture; Hiroaki Morishima, President and CEO) in organizational business process reengineering (BPR) for its sponsorship sales team through the new development and implementation of a sales force automation (SFA) tool.
Through this support, we are helping to further elevate the value that Cerezo Osaka provides to corporate sponsors so that it can realize ongoing partnerships with corporate sponsors as part of its medium-term to long-term business growth strategy.


■ Project background

The general practice in providing value to the client through sponsorship is to engage in activation,1 which is activating the assets and rights provided by a sports league, team or federation. Quantitative evaluation of sponsor rights is difficult, since they are inatangible goods, and the objectives, targets, timing and content of activation differ for each corporate sponsor. This poses difficulties for appropriate rights management and medium-term to long-term PDCA advancement.

Moreover, sponsorship sales operations are characterized by a high degree of freedom in tailoring proposals to client needs and difficulty of business process standardization, which makes these operations more amenable to personalization.

At Cerezo Osaka, no system had been created to attain an organizational grasp of the circumstances and issues of day-to-day sponsorship sales operations. The result was that the operational know-how of each person in charge was not sufficiently resorbed by the organization.

Through the strategic sponsorship support services that ABeam Consulting has provided up to this point, we have provided support for achieving medium-term to long-term partnerships between new sponsor candidates and Cerezo Osaka. This project was part of these services.

■ Characteristics of Sponsorship Sales Force Automation (SSFA)

Through consistent, one-stop management of the whole sponsorship sales operations (menu development, sales and activation), we accumulate data and enable visibility throughout the entire business process to advance BPR through data utilization.

SSFA uses Salesforce Sales Cloud, the SFA support tool provided by Co. Ltd. (Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Shinichi Koide, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer).

Characteristic ①: One-stop management & visibility of each type of data involved in sales, including activation

In addition to implementing SSFA, we also designed evaluation viewpoint and indices (deals progress, activation performance, etc.) of sponsorship sales operations based on case examples of knowledge for sales operations BPR in the customer relationship management (CRM) field and sponsorship performance measurement.

This has made it possible to move business processes forward on an organizational basis, by setting common standards once we apply one-stop management and visibility to data generated throughout sponsorship sales operations including activation formerly managed on a personal, individual basis using paper and Excel.

Characteristic ②: Making business processes more enhanced through data utilization

With SSFA, we brought visibility to accumulated business process data (company and proposal counts, etc.) and utilized it so that proposals could be tailored to the activation activity results of corporate sponsors, thereby helping increase the value provided to them.

Specifically, we seamlessly linked data on sales and activation, and then utilized the accumulated data to enable customer-support appropriate to the needs and status of sponsors. The result was that we contributed to the achievement of ongoing partnerships through heightened sophistication of business processes across the gamut of sales activities (new sales, activation, renewal contract business).

Characteristic ③: Providing knowledge to boost skills and standardize business processes

Building a system for understanding the state of sponsorship sales has made it possible to return to the organization the business process know-how that each person in charge had previously been applying on a personal, individual basis.

Specifically, we increased standardization and raised the base skill level across the entire organization while enabling organizational PDCA cycle processing through the sharing in committee of success cases and know-how from sponsorship sales data accumulated in SSFA.

■ The role of ABeam Consulting

ABeam Consulting helped with the new development and implementation of SSFA enabling one-stop management of each type of business process data. This was accomplished by defining the business process requirements of the all processes involved in Cerezo Osaka's sponsorship sales operations, from menu development to sales and activation.

In implementing SSFA we built PDCA cycles including revision of meeting, designed business evaluation viewpoints and indices, produced operational and tool utilization manuals, and administered phased user training.

Through this project, we contributed to the achievement of BPR by making use of Salesforce, which benefits from sponsorship sales knowledge gained through the hands-on support it provides to sports teams in acquiring corporate sponsorship, a rich track record in helping to transform BtoB sales operations, and its Salesforce-certified personnel, which constitute one of the top ranking workforces of its kind in Japan.

Moving forward, we will continue to provide sports leagues, teams and federations with services to help them achieve more sustained partnerships with corporate sponsors.

■Comment by Hiroaki Morishima, President and CEO of Cerezo Osaka Co. Ltd.

Together with ABeam Consulting, over the past three years we have worked to acquire employee skills and an understanding of the whole approach to sponsorship that leads to solutions for the issues facing our customer firms and our hometown.

I am grateful that through this project, we were able to go face-to-face with ABeam Consulting in a way that embodied their Real Partner® management philosophy, receiving sometimes harsh advice on strengthening our club sponsorship sales as we backcast from the to-be state we aspire to as a team.

■Comment by Naoto Ihara, CMO of Cerezo Osaka Co. Ltd.

Amid the drastic decline in pro soccer club revenue brought on by the spread of COVID-19 infections, primarily from ticket proceeds, sponsorship revenue has become an all the more crucial source of income.

Through this effort, we have transformed the sponsorship business processes and information that had been managed on a personalized basis since the founding of the club. Doing so enabled us to build business processes and systems that solve organizational issues by advancing sponsorships.

Now that a half-year has passed since we implemented our sales support tool, the visibility that it brings to the status of our day-to-day work on new sales and our interactions with customer firms has helped us take action toward reaching business goals, reduce future contract cancellation risk, and rapidly incorporate mid-career hires as effective members of the workforce.

In our efforts thus far, we have been able to go beyond our internal club issues to also work on building relationships with customer firms and think together on ways of interacting with our hometown, which has led to tremendous learning and growth for our employees and our club. One result of this effort has been our receipt of the 2021 CRM Best Practice Award 2 from the CRM Association Japan, acknowledging our customer-centric perspective on returning to our point of origin, which is the value that we provide to partner firms. I am grateful for the support we have received which has enabled us to grow into an organization with a strong reputation among third parties.

  • 1. Activation
    Signage exposure using advertising rights, event hosting using event presentation/hosting rights, development of merchandising collaborations using player image rights, etc.

  • 2. CRM Best Practice Award
    In keeping with the association's goal of promoting "customer-centric relationship management," the award honors companies and government bodies that produce results in building relationships with customers from the perspective of strategy, operations and organization.

About ABeam Consulting

ABeam Consulting provides business transformation services that create strategic advantage, improve business processes, leverage technology innovation, and enhance organizational performance for leading multinational and domestic companies worldwide. ABeam partners with clients to diagnose and solve their real challenges with solutions that combine industry and operational best practices with technical expertise. Pragmatic approaches ensure that clients gain measurable value more quickly. Headquartered in Tokyo, ABeam’s 6,500 professionals serve clients throughout Asia, the Americas and Europe. ABeam Consulting creates the future together with corporations and other organizations. As a creative partner leading the way reliably through change, we contribute to industrial and societal change. For more information, please visit

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