Client Case Study: Looking after Hockey New Zealand


The Hockey New Zealand landscape

Hockey in New Zealand is a dynamic, year-round sport generating a constant stream of news, results and information from events and tournaments -- nationally and internationally.

Hockey is accessible to all and provides a gender-even participation platform, enabling all New Zealanders an opportunity to engage in hockey from ‘cradle to grave’ – hockey for life. More than 80,000 New Zealanders are involved in hockey – 51% Female, & 49% Male Participants.

Hockey New Zealand (HNZ) is the National Sporting Organisation for hockey in New Zealand. They foster all levels of the sport, responsible for leading 32 Regional Hockey Associations that empower the 300 + clubs throughout the country. They are committed to growing, inspiring and enriching the Hockey whānau to encourage more kiwis to see, experience and love hockey at all levels - from children and beginners right through to our elite national sides, the Vantage Black Sticks Men and Women.

“In 2021, HNZ went to market looking for an IT provider to support their aims to strengthen their business, help in delivering their strategic goals and ensure they are well positioned for future growth from grassroots level upwards.”

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From grassroots to international

The timing was perfect when Both Brains made contact with Hockey New Zealand to see if they might like a ‘chat’ about their IT provider requirements.

Office Manager Christina Tombs had recently joined the organisation and was in the process of looking to change their supplier.

“The timing was totally coincidental, but we were literally in the market at the right time when Both Brains got in touch,” says Christina.

“As a national sporting organisation we have to be very transparent around expenditure, which Both Brains understood from the outset, so when it came to asking for a Request for Proposal from them and a couple of others, a representative from Sport New Zealand was also involved.”

Christina says all suppliers tend to “look pretty much the same on paper” when it comes to service offerings.

“But when we talked to Both Brains it became apparent that they had listened to us, picked up on even the smallest points made in passing, and understood how we operate and what our needs are.

“That’s the gold, knowing it’s the extra things that count.

“Their proposal was in plain English, and they’ve continued to speak to us clearly in ways we all understand, without ever speaking down to us.”

Solutions and outcomes

“As a people-centric support, Hockey NZ is thrilled to work with a partner that enhances the work they do to enable them to strengthen their strategy.”

Both Brains provides full helpdesk support and managed services for Hockey employees and community managers throughout the country. While it is Auckland based, it needed reliable day-to-day national support to enable flexible working and create maximum productivity.

They also help HNZ with hosting the Black Sticks, HockeyNZ and Hockey Foundation websites, took them fully cloud-based with a suite of Microsoft 365/Azure products, set up and enforced multi-factor verification for all staff, set up conference rooms and supplied hardware.

“All of this helps us to support everything from school competitions around the country to national and international competitions,” says Christina.

“The foundation is the philanthropic arm of our organisation, supporting the wider hockey community and supporting teenagers looking to develop and grow their skills.


“We have staff who travel around the country and wherever they go they know their laptops are going to work well and access everything they need effortlessly, which means they can just worry about the hockey.

“Both Brains even came up with the idea of developing a fully kitted-out portable unit for our video analysts travelling with the Black Sticks that fits into a case. It has its own wi-fi router built in, which means they just wheel it into a venue and plug it in.

“Even if they’re travelling in Europe or Asia, they know they can call someone from Both Brains if they have an issue and they will get an answer!”