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Southampton Football Club Signs Veeam for Premier League Success

Data is an unsung hero in football, so Veeam protects it on and off the pitch

London, UK, 23 October 2019: Veeam® Software, the leader in backup solutions that enable Cloud Data Management™, announced that Southampton Football Club (FC) has entrusted its matchday data protection to Veeam Availability Suite™. Veeam has already improved recovery time by 94%, and thanks to Veeam DataLabs™ automatically verifying the recoverability of backups and replicas, the club has saved more than 500 hours annually and enhanced business agility.

Southampton FC is a progressive and ambitious team in the Premier League, the top tier of English football. It signs outstanding players, develops quality youth players, hires experienced coaches and uses IT to gain a competitive edge on and off the pitch. Data is a driving force in everything a modern sports team does, from recruiting and developing top players to supporting stadium performance and fan engagement on matchday. According to the Annual Review of Football Finance 2019 from the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, the European football market was worth a record £25 billion in 2017 and 2018. The Premier League led the way with revenue exceeding £4.8 billion, and Southampton FC reported a revenue of nearly £153 million. So, any data loss that affects matchday fan experiences can have a devastating effect on clubs.

Protecting data was a challenge for Southampton FC as its legacy backup was unreliable and recovery was slow.

“If the servers supporting turnstiles in the stadium fail, we might not be able to put on a match,” said Phil Simmonds, converged infrastructure engineer, Southampton FC. “That could lead to huge penalties from the Premier League in the form of fines and points. If we received a 10-point penalty deduction because we couldn’t put on a match, the impact on the club could be bad, possibly causing the team to leave the league.”

Recognizing this, Southampton FC replaced legacy backup with Veeam Availability Suite.

“We replaced our legacy solution with Veeam, and now backup is 100% reliable, recovery is 94% faster and we save roughly 500 hours each year in troubleshooting time,” Simmonds said. “That’s a massive improvement over our previous tool. Veeam’s interface is a massive improvement too. It’s so easy to use that everyone in IT — whether they’ve used Veeam or not — can recover data in minutes. That’s the kind of peace of mind we need on matchday.”

The data Veeam protects for Southampton FC is extensive. It supports not only stadium performance and fan engagement but also player development. Player data correlates statistics for ball possession, passing and scoring with density of the pitch and intensity of player movement so the club can adjust training regimes to optimize fitness and finesse.

“Developing players is directly related to generating revenue, so this information is mission-critical. Data is an unsung hero in football and Veeam not only protects the data that is invaluable on matchday, but also the data that keeps the club running. If we lose a critical server, we must be able to recover it quickly, and knowing we can recover in minutes with Veeam is brilliant,” Simmonds said.

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