Sports agent, Donn√© Commins, uses the BlackBerry solution to stay in touch with her clients, no matter where they are. Since she got a BlackBerry smartphone for herself and equipped her clients with similar devices, she has reduced her mobile bill by 40% in an average month.
Sports agent, Donn√© Commins, is counting on the BlackBerry solution to stay in touch with her clients, no matter where they are. Since she acquired a BlackBerry smartphone for herself and equipped her clients with BlackBerry devices, she has reduced her mobile bill by 40% in an average month. Commins, is the owner of Big Sports Management, a sports player management company that represents some of South Africa’s best-known cricketers. They include JP Duminy, Mark Boucher and the Morkel Brothers. All the players represented by Big Sports Management compete in national and international leagues and belong to the South African national cricket team. As a result they all travel extensively. To enable them to concentrate on their sports career, Big Sports Management handles a wide range of services on their behalf, including contract negotiations, endorsements and tax advice. The company even takes care of banking and property management for some of their clients. Big Sports Management prides itself on providing a 24/7, one-stop solution for all off-the-field requirements. Commins has to be in constant contact with the players. Over the years, she became very reliant on texting to ensure the high level of communications her players expected. But texting had two serious drawbacks. One was cost. Although cheaper than calling, sending and receiving text messages is still expensive, especially when the players are overseas. “As well as costs, when texting you don’t necessarily get a response to everything you ask. You can’t have a natural, flowing conversation,”” says Commins. And while texting is suitable for short messages, it is not suited for longer, more business-oriented communications. But the players didn’t always carry laptops with them, and when they did they couldn’t always use them to retrieve email, because of connectivity issues in some of the countries. If Commins sent them an email, chances were she wouldn’t receive a timely response. Commins bought a BlackBerry smartphone for herself and made sure all the players had one as well. Two features in particular sold her on the BlackBerry solution: the ergonomic Qwerty keyboard that made typing easy and fast and BBM‚Ñ¢ (BlackBerry¬Æ Messenger) helping Commins to stay in touch with the players she represents in a cost effective manner. According to Commins, the BlackBerry solution has completely and utterly changed her relationship with the players. She credits it with simplifying communications. ‚With BlackBerry Messenger, we don’t think twice about sending or answering a message,”” says Commins. “”We can converse naturally and instantaneously, no matter where each of us is,”” she continues. The BlackBerry solution is also helping Commins keep on top of social media. During a trip to India in late 2009, for example, she composed and emailed her blog posts directly from her BlackBerry smartphone. She also uses it to update her Twitter feed, access the Internet and navigate when travelling.
Commins credits the BlackBerry solution with making her hectic work-life schedule possible, by enabling her to consolidate all her professional and personal communications on one device. In doing so, it has freed her from the computer. “”I use it for Big Sports business, my legal practice and keeping in touch with my far-flung family members,”” she explains. “”I never feel out of touch and I’m free to work away from the office.”” BlackBerry smartphone has also solved the problem of responsiveness to email – with some impressive benefits. Recently, to receive payment of a contract in India, Commins needed two of her players to send her ID photos of themselves for the paperwork. The only problem was that they were playing in the West Indies at the time. She knew that it would be slow and expensive for them to find a local photographer and have the photos couriered half way around the world. “”Instead, they took pictures of each other on their BlackBerry smartphones and emailed them to us,”” explains Commins. “”BlackBerry saved us a huge hassle and brought the payment date forward by two weeks.””