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For the Win: Why the Toronto Raptors Owners Choose BlackBerry

FEATURE / 05.03.14 / Eric Lai

Toronto Raptors, We The North Powered By BlackBerry

As we were all reminded recently, there are good sports owners and there are bad sports owners. Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. is firmly in the good guy camp.

MLSE, as they are better known in their home town, own the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL, the Toronto Raptors of the NBA, the Toronto FC of MLS, the Toronto Marlies minor league hockey team, as well as the Air Canada Centre that the Maple Leafs and Raptors both play in.

Founded nearly 90 years ago, MLSE today is a financial behemoth, as evidenced by its $1.66 billion value as recently estimated by Forbes magazine (MLSE is privately-held). Its teams are not bad, either. Though they didn’t make the playoffs this year, the Leafs remain one of the most storied franchises in the NHL, with the second-most Stanley Cup championships behind rival Montreal Canadians. The Raptors, meanwhile, are having a dream season, winning a record number of games this year. They are currently battling the Brooklyn Nets for the right to play the defending NBA champions, the Miami Heat.

In other words, MLSE knows how to win both on and off the court. Creating winners is a 360-degree effort, going down to choosing the best suppliers. For its smartphones and enterprise mobile management (EMM) software, MLSE has long relied on BlackBerry to enhance productivity and create secure collaboration.

Boosting productivity is key:

“I’ve had lots of phones, lots of BlackBerries,” says Dave Hopkinson, Chief Commercial Officer at MLSE, in the below video. The BlackBerry Z30 smartphone “is the first BlackBerry that synthesizes everything – your contacts, your calendar, your email, your dialogue and your conversations – and puts it at your fingertips.”

The BlackBerry Z30’s powerful BlackBerry 10 OS-based user interface gives him a “competitive edge…and makes me look a little smarter than I am,” Hopkinson says. So does the BlackBerry Z30’s long-lasting battery.

“I just can’t be chained to my desk. If I’m speaking the staff in the morning and going right through a lunch meeting and dinner meeting, I can’t be stopping in the middle of the day to charge my phone. I need 25 hours of battery life.”

“The fact that I can go all day on this phone is incredibly important to me,” Hopkinson continues. “If my phone went dead at 5 PM, so would my career.”

MLSE’s IT leadership also loves BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), the market-leading EMM platform used by tens of thousands of organizations to manage BlackBerry smartphones as well as iPhones, Android devices and, soon, Windows Phones.

“Managing security at Maple Leaf Sports is a must. So having a device that allows you to encrypt your data from point of origin to point of delivery is very important,” says Sasha Puric, VP of Technology at MLSE.

If you hadn’t heard, BlackBerry is offering its latest BES10 software for free as part of its EZPass program. This includes both users of older versions of BES AND users of other mobile device management (MDM) platforms, such as Mobile Iron, Good Technology and AirWatch. Check it out or ask your IT administrator to take a look. It’s a winning move – just ask MLSE.

About Eric Lai