Headquartered in Canton, Ohio, the Pro Football Hall of Fame is the place that every football player dreams to be in. It holds the busts of the most famous football players in history such as Walter Payton, Jerry Rice, and Lawrence Taylor.

The Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company is the owner of the Hall of Fame Village, a multi-use sports, entertainment and media destination centered around the Pro Football Hall of Fame Museum. 

Some of the company’s highlights include the yearly Hall of Fame Enshrinement ceremony (which saw a record 22,205 fans in 2023) and taking part in the production of a highly anticipated documentary called “The Perfect 10”, released in early 2023. The film featured 7 of the “Perfect 10” players in football history – those that received both the Heisman trophy (the award for the best college football player) and were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The documentary included legends such as Barry Sanders and Rogers Staubach. 

The problem: Wasting time dealing with countless Excel files and manual tasks

Eric Hess, VP Finance at the Hall of Fame Resort and Entertainment, and his team were facing several different pain points. These included the challenges of manually dealing with numerous workbooks and getting data to tie together, while also ensuring that the data was in a usable format for different departments and business verticals.

In the absence of an FP&A solution, it was proving difficult for the business to make decisions based on accurate numbers in a timely manner.

Hess also added that they needed an FP&A solution that helped turn numbers and “finance-speak” into a compelling story for the business. He was seeking something that acted “essentially almost like a translation tool”. 

The solution: A software that frees up finance from manual work and empowers strategic decision-making

Following research into FP&A solutions that could consolidate all the data needed in a complex business, and one which allowed for fast implementation and impact, Datarails was the obvious choice for the team. The benefits the team immediately saw were “seamless synergistic flow for their different entities” and “consolidation of different types of data”.

The Hall of Fame Resort and Entertainment team also saved time spent on budgeting and forecasting processes using Datarails. This allowed their finance teams to focus on quicker strategic decision-making.   

“Datarails creates additional bandwidth for our team,” Hess explains. “We’re able to do more analysis and provide more support functions to the different business leaders, helping them make quicker decisions versus us having to spend the time to compile spreadsheets and working through all of those different components”

Datarails Dashboards: Superstar Quarterback in Finance Tech Stack

The Datarails dashboards are a star player according to Hess.

“The dashboards make it so easy to convey complex information in a simple way to the business,” he says. “Now business partners have the dashboards in front of them and they can see how the numbers are trending and where their forecasts have changed”. 

His team can create endless scenarios to highlight the different areas of the business and can easily show key drivers to all the relevant teammates to help them make decisions.

“The user interface, user experience makes it a lot more streamlined and easier than having to send over a bunch of Excel files to the team and having them try to digest them”.

—Eric Hess
VP Finance, Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company

The Impact:  How Datarails powers strategic finance decisions

Anne Graffice, Executive VP Global Marketing and Public Affairs for The Hall of Fame Resort and Entertainment Company works closely with the finance team as a business partner showing how wider business executives have benefited since the implementation of Datarails.

“We’re only going to be as good as the information that we have,” Graffice says. “And this is a tool that allows us to comprehensively assess the data and use it to make decisions we need to make strategically.”

The team notes in particular that numerous hours have been shaved off the company’s monthly forecasting process. Datarails has been powerful in seamlessly consolidating information and generating reports and materials ending days of manual work.

It is the same for their budget process.

“We always had Excel templates in the past and now we are able to pull in our data with our Oracle integrations,” Hess adds. “We’re able to scale it up easily as our business grows. It’s been not only a time saver but it’s also been one of the reasons why we chose Datarails; because of its large capabilities.”

“The impact has been significant and has been immediately felt. Especially for smaller, newer companies those significant benefits have a heightened impact, even more so than at a larger company.“

—Anne Graffice
Executive VP Global Marketing and Public Affairs, Hall of Fame Resort and Entertainment

What’s next for HOFV & Datarails

Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company sees untapped potential in working with Datarails in the longer term, not least by implementing new modules and integrating with different platforms to continue to build off the powerful solution.

“Not only is the Datarails customer success team extremely helpful in getting us to our plans for the future, but they also help to ensure we see the benefits of it where we are right now”, says Hess.

“They’re willing to help you tweak it to get the most out of it. That’s different from a lot of the different programs that we have out there. That’s been a game changer.”

—Eric Hess
VP Finance, Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company