Customer Success Stories

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Turnkey Sports & Entertainment Brings the Ultimate Sponsorship Management Tool to Market Faster with SendGrid

"SendGrid’s flexible APIs provided the tools to integrate our two platforms in a way that protected our customers’ private information and ensured maximum email handling."

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The Customer: Turnkey Sports and Entertainment

Market Intelligence & Executive Recruiting

For almost two decades, Turnkey has been a recognized, respected and trusted brand for smart, actionable business intelligence in sports, entertainment and media. Turnkey specializes in services and software that help properties and sponsors monetize insights for improved business performance. Clients utilize Turnkey’s software and services to make better-informed business moves involving sponsorship, marketing and sales.

The Challenge

Turnkey’s new product – Activator – needed sophisticated email functionality in order to go to market with a pressing new feature.

Turnkey Sports and Entertainment helps properties and brands better manage their partnerships through their pioneering new product, Turnkey Activator. As a cloud-based web application, Activator helps marketing partners and their agencies efficiently communicate about and execute their sponsorship deals, manage deliverables and contracts, and share proof of performance metrics, ensuring maximum ROI and continued renewal.

Activator uses email to send secure communications between sponsors and partners. Messages (or “Posts”) originating in Activator are stored on the platform and made perpetually available for users to share, reference and comment. Activator users utilize Activator to respond to questions, send files and secure approvals, all in real time.

To foster strong adoption of Activator, Turnkey needed to include a key usability feature that would facilitate secure email communication between sponsors and partners within any email client. They did not want to require users to login to Activator to view or comment on messages. However, their current in-house email system could not support such functionality, and building it with their small team of developers would take several months, given the needs of their entire product suite.

The inbound email routing implications of ensuring these important communications reached each intended recipient led Turnkey to search for a solution that could not only support the backbone of their new platform, but also scale as their needs changed.


SendGrid proves to be the most adaptable and scalable solution for Turnkey’s long term growth strategy.

After looking at several providers, Turnkey selected SendGrid because they felt the company was best-positioned to provide the key functionality Turnkey needed to launch their planned email integration enhancement to market quickly and simply. Turnkey was confident SendGrid could provide a secure solution that would preserve the privacy and integrity of the partnerships being managed on Activator – a quality that could not be sacrificed in the build and execution of the platform.

To make it all work, Turnkey used SendGrid’s parse API to create a tight integration between the two systems. Through the parse API, Activator deploys an email to specified recipients whenever an action such as a new message, request or approval is initiated on an Activator “wall.” The user receiving the email can simply reply to the email, and that message is in turn logged on Activator as a thread of the original message. This same type of functionality can also be isolated to select sponsorship deliverables and recipients.


SendGrid’s APIs and easy integration saves months of development time.

With SendGrid, Turnkey was able to bring their featured enhancement to market within a month of integration, much faster than originally anticipated. Their development team is now able to focus on making other enhancements to the platform and finding new and interesting ways of using both inbound and outbound mail to spur adoption and extend Activator’s usability and reach.

Client Feedback

David Stys, Senior Vice President, Product Development

"The backbone of our new Activator product is inbound transactional email. As such, we needed very specific functionality that could effectively route inbound email communications back to conversations taking place in Activator. SendGrid’s flexible APIs provided the tools to integrate our two platforms in a way that protected our customers’ private information and ensured maximum email handling. With SendGrid, we were able to bring our product enhancements to market faster, and achieve our goal of creating a tool that helps partners and sponsors maximize ROI."