Philadelphia_Eagles_LogoThe Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia, PA

Solution: Microsoft Dynamics GP

Most people know the Philadelphia Eagles as the professional football team in southeastern PA with three NFL titles and two Super Bowl appearances. But what many don’t realize is how expansive the Eagles organization is and the breadth of what it’s involved in to provide value to season ticket holders, fans, and the public.

With over 200 full-time and approximately 2,200 seasonal and part-time employees, the Eagles’ management of Lincoln Financial Field (home field for the Philadelphia Eagles) goes beyond the ten home NFL games played on its field. Eagles’ staff members organize and execute a multitude of events at the facility. From concerts by Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, and One Direction to the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse National Championships and comedian Kevin Hart, the field hosts an array of entertainment and sporting events.

The Eagles also support hundreds of non-profits in the Greater Philadelphia area through year-round community-relations efforts. The organization joins forces with non-profits (“Eagles Care Partners”) in season-long strategic partnerships to provide access to the Eagles brand to leverage awareness, financial contributions, and other resources. By working together, the Eagles and the non-profits increase the positive impact they have on the community they share.

In addition, the Eagles charitable off-wing, Eagles Youth Partnership, serves over 50,000 low-income children in the Greater Philadelphia region each year by taking health and education programming directly to kids at their schools and in their neighborhoods.

To successfully coordinate so many varied divisions under the Eagles brand, it requires intense administrative effort—and the right technology.

Obstacles In The Flight Plan

According to Eagles’ Director of Financial Operations Greg McDonald, in 2000, the Eagles were in the process of transitioning all operations from their long-time home at Veterans Stadium to their current location in the NovaCare Complex. At the same time, plans were in progress to finance, construct, and operate Lincoln Financial Field, a $512M project that started in 2001 and was completed and opened in 2003.

“As we began those ventures, we recognized our challenge in the finance department was how to manage multiple locations and companies, handle complex reporting requirements, and control various operations,” explains McDonald. “We needed a technology partner who could help us structure our ERP solution so it could give us the business intelligence, inventory management, accounting, and payroll capabilities we needed.”

The Solution: Microsoft Dynamics GP—Customized and Implemented By Cargas Systems

As the Eagles were going from a small organization with a limited chart of accounts to one with tremendous growth and expansion, Cargas was recommended as a resource to help them navigate the change.

“When we initially rolled out the GP solution (which wasn’t yet a Microsoft product at the time), Cargas was not involved,” shares McDonald. “We knew that GP could meet our needs for expanding our databases and chart of accounts, accessing data across multiple entities, and managing the finance and reporting process with league, private, state, and local agencies.”

But with the complexity of the organization’s operations, the Eagles needed a partner with the expertise to customize the solution to their unique requirements so they could take full advantage of its capabilities.

Cargas came onboard in 2003, when the Eagles were embarking on running the new stadium, complete with its retail operations, ticketing processes, and new revenue streams.

With the help of Cargas, our GP solution was tailored to accommodate the rapid growth and change we were experiencing within the company, the team, and the league,” explains McDonald. “The Cargas team demonstrated superior technical expertise and was engaged in our story. Cargas came onboard as a partner set on helping us achieve our objectives during this time of expansion.

Greg McDonald, Director of Financial Operations at Philadelphia Eagles

A Big Win

According to McDonald, Cargas understood the Eagles’ operational and reporting challenges and was able to structure the GP solution to meet their specific needs.

“They knew how to handle everything we needed to tackle: expanding payroll functionality across players, staff, trades, and game-day employees; running over seventeen retail locations within Lincoln Financial Field and three year-round retail stores; and organizing our general ledger for multiple third-party requirements while maintaining simplicity for our users. They had a firm understanding of how the operations side of Lincoln Financial Field impacts our organization’s financials.”

Cargas also helped the Eagles organization implement a program to fulfill its green initiative, making their payroll operations paperless.

Part Of The Team

“In Cargas, we’ve gained a partner in our growth. We have someone who understands the capabilities of the Microsoft solution and the complexities of the Eagles organization,” shares McDonald. “They’ve done a great job of establishing a foundation around the Microsoft Dynamics GP solution and bringing in third-party products that will support and enhance it.”