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We visited with Sports Travel & Hospitality (STH) Japan, a group tackling hospitality, especially in light of the upcoming 2019 Rugby World Cup to be held in Japan.
At STH Japan’s office overlooking Meiji Jingu Stadium, we met with three key players: Brendan Delahunty (President and Representative Director), Tomoyuki Shimada (Head of Marketing), and Angus Brown (Commercial Manager).
The Best Sports Hospitality in Japan
STH Japan, a joint venture between JTB Corporation and STH Group in the UK, was founded in 2017 in order to consolidate the sports hospitality business in Japan and develop new markets. A primary pillar of their work at the moment is promoting various projects in preparation for the Rugby World Cup 2019™ in Japan.
In a meeting room with a nice view of the outer garden, we first spoke with Mr. Delahunty.
“In Japan, sports hospitality is not as widespread as it is in Western countries. Sports hospitality not only provides tickets for games and sports events, but also offers various supplementary services and experiences at the venue. It is a service that helps people better enjoy the very thing itself.”
“For example, we offer a dedicated hospitality area three hours before the start of the match where guests can enjoy high quality entertainment such as talk shows, fine wine, and excellent meals. Since this hospitality area can be used even after the event, it makes a great place to relax and wait for the crowds to die down before you leave.” (Delahunty)
Excellent Flexibility, Great Support, and Ability to Match Cost Requirements
STH Japan started using PBXL’s cloud phone system from the very beginning. Why was that?
“We chose PBXL for three main reasons. We felt that its flexibility, responsiveness, and cost management were great.”
“Because sports events are sometimes held irregularly, we have an ability to quickly change things on the ground on a project-by-project basis. As the size of the project changes, communication needs can also expand or shrink. However, PBXL’s service provides exactly the flexibility that allows us to easily manage it.”
“Even when we needed a new phone number for business, PBXL responded in a matter of hours.”
“Since we move and change on a project-by-project basis, the financials of the company will, of course, also change accordingly. It is important to reliably control monthly costs.
PBXL’s service is a fixed-fee structure for each number, so it is easy to budget communication costs without worrying about the distinction between domestic and international phones.”
Anytime, Anywhere with Smartphones
Currently, STH Japan uses various services, such as PBXL’s Polycom Phone and UC-One Smart Phone client.
For marketing and sales teams on the move, the smartphone application is an especially convenient way to communicate. We next turned to Mr. Shimada (Head of Marketing) and Mr. Brown (Commercial Manager).
“One of the most useful things is that you can call from a mobile phone with a fixed phone number.”
“Because I tend to work outside of the office, I used to call from my personal smartphone number. Now I can use the smartphone app to call from my office number, allowing me to keep my business and private life separate and stress free. Moreover, the sound quality is in no way inferior to a fixed telephone. You can expect the same quality that you used to with your smartphone.” (Shimada)
“At work, I often use the phone to interact with customers as well as other employees or staff. I can easily communicate at any time and from anywhere and still keep costs down. With PBXL as a foundation, I can move forward on a project with confidence.” (Brown)
Finally, what are your thoughts about PBXL?
“In terms of mobile apps, it’s easy to sync your own phone contacts with the app.
Over the next few years in Japan, the Rugby World Cup 2019 and the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020 and other big sports events will be held. The Rugby World Cup is an especially good opportunity to show the value of STH Japan’s planning ability and sports hospitality in Japan.
“We were fortunate to meet PBXL in the first stage of creating a new business. Using the momentum of the evolving cloud market, we hope to create excitement about the business of sports.” (Delahunty)
“I think it is a very convenient service at the business level. Because sports hospitality is also in the world of B2B, part of our work is connecting companies and business people. PBXL is in a different field than we are, but in the sense of ‘connecting companies to companies’, we were able to create a cutting-edge business. I am looking forward to the future.” (Shimada)
“The chat function on the phone, makes it very convenient to immediately get in touch even if you can’t make a call. The lower cost is also an attractive point. I am very excited about how sports will change in Japan from now on and very grateful for PBXL’s support of our activities.” (Brown)
The wave of globalization related to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games is accelerating, and the communication that connects Japan and the world will also need to increase as a result. PBXL’s cloud solution is one of the best global tools to enable smooth communication regardless of location or time.
As the IT world and sports hospitality industry continues to grow, we cannot afford to take our eye off the ball.
Please take a moment to watch the STH Japan Case Study video!
*** STH Japan ***
Established February 2017, STH Japan is a joint venture of JTB and STH group of UK, focusing on creating the highest level of sports hospitality and contributing to the growth and development of the sports business market in Japan.