Basque Soccer Friendly Pop-Up Store Stays Connected

CRADLEPOINT SOLUTIONS ENSURE POS RELIABILITY FOR NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION

SUMMARY

When the Boise State University Basque Studies Foundation and the Idaho Youth Soccer Association decided to organize a soccer “friendly” between La Liga’s Athletic Club Bilbao and Liga MX’s Club Tijuana to benefit Idaho youth programs, high on their to-do list was finding a commercial space where they could conduct both community and retail activities. With only a two-month window to sell merchandise, network downtime would have been a disaster for its Point-of-Sale (POS) system.

Since the planned exhibition soccer game would be a non-profit event, the organizers were able to get space and Internet access donated. When a local Internet service provider gave the Basque Soccer Friendly organization free access and a wireless router, the organizers realized that they needed more bandwidth than the ISP’s device could deliver.

As a result, they contacted Boise-based Cradlepoint for a solution. By combining the AER2100 platform and managing its wireless network using Cradlepoint Enterprise Cloud Manager, the soccer organization was able to sell merchandise, display major league soccer games, stream music into the store, and more.

Watch Keegan Dougherty, Headquarters Director of the Basque Soccer Friendly tell their customer success story.

 

CUSTOMER PROFILE

Holding “friendly” games is a long-standing tradition among soccer leagues, dating back to the late 1800s. Wanting to bring this tradition to Boise, the Basque Studies department at Boise State University teamed up with the Idaho Youth Soccer Foundation to create the Basque Soccer Friendly, a nonprofit organization that brought together two international soccer teams, Athletic Club de Bilbao versus Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente, for an exhibition game in Boise, ID. (Bilbao is the capital of the Spanish province of Biscaya in the autonomous community of the Basque Country.)

The organization also established a pop-up retail space in Boise’s popular BoDo downtown area, from which it sold soccer jerseys, team paraphernalia, and held soccer-related community events. As with other organizations created to hold these kinds of events, the Basque Soccer Friendly organization disbanded shortly after the exhibition game was played. The group’s pop-up retail store was in business for a total of two months.

BUSINESS NEEDS

The Basque Soccer Friendly had two goals for its pop-up store. First, it wanted to raise as much money as it could to help cover the store’s operating expenses and to contribute to Basque and youth soccer travel and scholarship funds. Second, it wanted to generate excitement around the exhibition game, and around soccer itself, by holding a number of activities at its storefront.

To reach its goals, it worked with civic groups to get a “pop-up” retail space. Once it had the space, the group’s marketing team knew that they would need a continuous, secure Internet connection to conduct POS transactions and to provide a temporary headquarters for the Basque Soccer Friendly staff. It also needed connectivity to power a separate wireless network that would provide in-store music and television, stream games to a PlayStation so customers could play soccer games on the store’s TV, and connect the store’s security camera system.

SOLUTION

Once the soccer organization secured its pop-up location and acquired Internet connectivity, it soon realized that the ISP’s consumer-grade router did not have the bandwidth necessary to run all of the network functions simultaneously. At that point, the organization reached out to Cradlepoint.

Cradlepoint provided an AER2100 with dual modems, along with NetCloud Manager, so they could manage their network. The organization was then able to create a secure, resilient network for POS transactions and another network for its other streaming and computing needs.

BENEFITS

Parallel Networks: With the Cradlepoint AER2100 capable of handling all of the store’s streaming, security camera, and Internet access needs, the Basque Soccer Friendly was free to use its ISP’s connection to create a separate network for POS transactions. With only a two-month lifespan, the organization faced a very narrow window during which it would be able to sell merchandise. As such, it needed virtually uninterrupted connectivity—at least for its POS network.

Failover: Working with the Cradlepoint IT staff, Basque Soccer Friendly configured the network so if the ISP connection failed, POS transactions would be instantly switched to the Cradlepoint cellular network on one of the AER2100 modems, ensuring no loss of sales.

Rapid Deployment: The Basque Soccer Friendly organizers knew this was a short-term business endeavor, and one that needed to take shape quickly. By choosing to create a wireless network based on cellular providers, all the organization needed to do was plug in the wireless devices and “game on.” The store was ready to process sales, display soccer games on the big screen, play music throughout the store, and provide its staff with secure Internet access.

“Having a secure cellular connection makes it easier for us to pull off what is a pretty complicated event with people from three continents.” – Keegan Dougherty, Headquarters Director, Basque Soccer Friendly

“Our pop-up location acts as our organization’s main office. With the ‘four-nines’ uptime Cradlepoint provides, our directors and staff can have meetings here and work on their laptops anytime, day or night,” says Keegan Dougherty.

Secure Connectivity: The ISP company provided a level of security through its wireless router, but given all of the news about network intrusions and stolen consumer data, the Basque Soccer Friendly wanted to make sure its customers’ credit card information, as well as staff communications, were highly secure. By running all of its transactions and communications through Cradlepoint Enterprise Cloud Manager, the organization took full advantage of Cradlepoint’s anti-intrusion and web-browsing security services.

Flexibility: Some organizations think having cable installed in their location is the only way to provide Internet connectivity. The Basque Soccer Friendly, like so many organizations, realizes the flexibility (and low cost) of wireless connectivity.

“With Cradlepoint-enabled network configuration, our staff could come in, set up their laptops anywhere, and know that they were getting a very secure, uninterrupted connection.” – Keegan Dougherty

“It was so much easier to add in a wireless solution because we could come in and place our cash registers, speakers, PlayStation controller, and flat screen anywhere we wanted to,” Dougherty says. “Then when it came time for us to close the pop-up, wireless made it a lot easier for us to just unplug our devices and go.”