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Acronis MSPs Winning With Pro Sports Customers

Diana Blass

‘When we made a pivot a number of years ago to driving our growth through the MSP channel, we recognized there was a little misalignment [in our sports marketing strategy], so we had to make a pivot in terms of these investments in weaving our partners into the branding,’ said Acronis’ Ryan Davis of the company’s #TeamUp program, which is pairing MSPs with professional sports organizations in 16 states.

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[Video Transcript]

CRN: Hi everybody. Welcome to Acronis #CyberFit Summit in Miami. I’m Diana Blass, here with CRN. It’s been about a year since Acronis launched its #TeamUp program, and we’re learning it has quickly become the No. 1 sales engine for the company. Here to tell us more is Acronis’ Ryan Davis.

Ryan Davis, Director, Enterprise Sales: Thank you very much for having me, Diana.

CRN: Thanks for your time. So provide a refresher for us on the opportunities here for the MSP.

Davis: Sure. So Acronis has invested in sports marketing, going back many, many years. We started in Formula One back in 2014. And when we started the program, it was all Acronis branding. Acronis was everywhere, on the cars, in the baseball stadiums. And when we made a pivot a number of years ago to driving our growth through the MSP channel, we recognized there was a little misalignment, so we had to make a pivot in terms of these investments in weaving our partners into the branding. And so rather than Acronis being on the outfield wall at Petco Park, for example, now we have our partner Evotek out there. And now it’s not about just getting the Acronis brand out there. It’s about getting our MSPs and weaving them into the story.

CRN: Talk about the profitability standpoint for a partner, how they’re able to add more services to these solutions.

Davis: Absolutely. So I typically see two pillars in terms of the ROI for our partners. So the first piece is using the marketing branding to be able to drive net new customer sales.

Michael Goldstein, President, CEO, LAN Infotech: So the #TeamUp program paired me up with the Florida Panthers hockey club. So we’ll be able to do events at the arena,signage, TV time, and the team really wanted to be part of it. They just didn’t want another sponsor, they really wanted that a partnership.

Davis: The other piece that we don’t really talk about nearly as much is these organizations are large. So Hendrick Motorsports is a really, really good example. So Hendrick Motorsports is a large organization in and of itself. And so they use us for cyber protection and disaster recovery. You talk about [artificial intelligence] and [machine learning]. So that’s a lot of consumption. But also [Hendrick Motorsports Owner] Rick Hendrick has a large business conglomerate of dealerships and other business interests that our MSPs get access to, and then they can evangelize their services to the broader business hierarchy of these professional sports organizations.

CRN: Later, we spoke with Hendrick Motorsports.

Talk about your relationship with your MSP, how is this company helping you to get even more out of your Acronis solutions?

Matthew Cochran, Director, IT: They have a tremendous amount of knowledge and wealth of knowledge bringing in experiences across the different industries. And so now we can actually learn from them and come up with different solutions even outside of Acronis.

CRN: Among those solutions, an artificial intelligence application that analyzes the massive amounts of data collected from the cars on a track.

Cochran: We get a ton of photography during the course of a race. We also get a lot of audio. The photo analytics report back what the individual car numbers are and really quickly forward on that information.

CRN: The Acronis #TeamUp program is now active in 16 states with the hope to expand nationwide as Acronis signs up more sports teams. And the #TeamUp ecosystem won’t just include MSPs, but distributors too.

As you continue to grow will distributors be playing a bigger role here?

 Davis: I actually see two angles to it. We have distributors that actually participate in the program as #TeamUp partners, so that’s one angle. It’s a great way to get their brand and their awareness out there. And then it’s also a great way for a distributor to recruit partners to their platform.

CRN: Climb Channel Solutions is among the distributors working with #TeamUp, actively recruiting MSPs to work with the sports teams.

What are some of the key questions that MSPs may have for you ahead of getting involved in something like this?

Tim Popovich, President, North America, Climb Channel Solutions: Can I afford it? The costs can vary depending on who the organization is and what level #TeamUp partner you are. But it’s more than just some kind of marketing gig for an MSP. They can move their customers, they can earn more customers, and they can put them all on Acronis, which helps pay the marketing tab for the information they’re getting back throughout the stadium.

CRN: For more coverage here from Acronis #Cyberfit Summit in Miami. Be sure to follow along on Until next time, I’m Diana Blass.

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