Houston, we have a solution

The Rockets started out handling all their travel in-house. One designated person managed everything and tried to stay on top of it. Booking, approvals, changes and after hours, they did it all. A heroic effort, but teamwork beats individual actions every time.

Bumps in the road were common. Travel management can be a complex game with 300+ travelers and frequently changing situations. As time went on, the Rockets wanted 24/7 support and access to additional savings. So when player injuries, unexpected weather, COVID protocols, and airlines' grounding flights popped up, as they do, the Rockets had the full support of a team.  

Corporate Traveler signage at rockets game

Teamwork makes the dream work

The travel management team, that is. Corporate Traveler was the right pick to handle the heavy lifting of complex travel needs so the Houston Rockets could focus more on their players and their games. Travel can occupy up to 20 days out of the month with four different cities in any given week. That's huge!

Sam, their dedicated travel consultant, handles all requests with the support of a stellar group of travel experts backing him up. The Rockets were surprised and excited at how much Corporate Traveler could streamline their travel.

"I think when we found out we were going to be working with an outside vendor for our travel needs, I expected a training session on how to log on with a portal or how to book things - things that weren't that much different than what we would have done on our own," says Gretchen Sheirr, President of Business Operations. "But what we've found is we have an extension of our own company which feels like a colleague, and a coworker and a partner in Corporate Traveler." 

Houston Rockets mascot waving flag with logo

Strategy saves the Scouts

"You have something that goes wrong at 3 am? You need to talk to somebody. The resource of Corporate Traveler, I can't tell you how valuable that becomes getting everyone where they need to get when they need to get there," says Larry Kaiser, Chief Financial Officer.

What could go wrong? A big winter storm hit the Midwest when the Rockets had several scouts traveling. The scouts are travel pros, but this was a tricky situation. Corporate Traveler heard the storm was coming and contacted the scouts with backup plans. Each of them got home that night or first thing the next morning by rerouting their rentals, re-booking hotels and whatever else was needed. A proactive approach, the right tools and waitlist bookings gave the team an advantage. Multiple options were created. 

All the scouts got home safely – the ultimate goal. Scout travel is the future of the team!

Let's Go Rockets sign

 

Blast off for travel

"Going over reports is fine, but it's really that relationship and that personal touch. When you call them, you feel that, and you know they've got your back," Larry sums up.

Frequent flyers are happy, too. "Corporate Traveler takes care of my travel needs by helping me book flights, so I don't have to worry about it. I just call them anytime that I need to book a flight. If I need to see some family, go to work, see my kids - anything like that, I can just call them." - Gerald Green, Rockets Legend.

A solid team and travel tools have made all the difference. After the first year working with the Rockets, Sam saw recurring trends in pricing and spending. He helped create a program that worked best for the Rockets without compromising what they really needed.

Over the years, conversations with suppliers built strong relationships, savings and support to lean on. The program has become quite complex, but it's a seamless travel program for the Rockets, with extra benefits they didn't have before.

After six seasons, Larry is thrilled with the seamless support from Corporate Traveler. "I would never go back to having it in-house. There's no way. I would recommend Corporate Traveler to anyone for any of their needs, whether they're a professional sports team, a big oil company, or a manufacturing company - they can handle you and take care of all your needs. I'd never go back to having it the other way," he says.

Ready for slam dunk service? Let's chat!

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