Customers / Major League Soccer
  • Size
  • 200

  • Industry
  • Sports

  • Location
  • New York, NY

  • Customer Since
  • 2013

Benefits With PagerDuty

  • Rotations to give everyone off-call time
  • Alerts to the right person at the right time
  • Visibility into people and system health

MLS: Making Every Moment Available For Fans

Major League Soccer (MLS) is a professional American and Canadian soccer league. Founded in 1993, MLS has generated a large following of fans that rely on the MLS digital properties to get the latest information on their favorite players in the 19 clubs.

Always On-Call, No Incident Ownership

The MLS Digital team oversees 20 web properties. MLS experiences large traffic spikes across their web properties during matches that typically occur on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Fans expect these sites to be up to check scores and engage with one another during the games. Since matches are live events, there’s no rewind button for MLS Digital if there’s an issue.

“The cost of an outage during a middle of a game is incalculable.”

To ensure that every website was available for their fans the entire team was always on-call. Despite alerts being sent by every member of the team, no one knew if any incident was being handled. This caused many incidents to go unanswered and without any process in place to handle them, downtimes became lengthy. It was also unclear who on the team was responsiveness and who wasn’t. Even though everyone was always on-call the responsibility did not seem to be evenly divided. MLS needed to increase incident responsiveness and ownership to decrease website downtime and give their team some downtime.

“Before PagerDuty we had a best effort approach. If no one was around to handle an incident, no one did.”

In addition to their website, fans engaged with MLS through social media, YouTube, and their mobile app. As the demands of supporting mobile and social properties grew, MLS Digital needed a solution that would help with incident alerting and on-call scheduling across all their digital properties. They wanted to spend more time delivering amazing content for their fans rather than wasting time manually routing alerts to the right person.

Give Everyone On-call Time, Increase Responsiveness

To avoid burnout, MLS Digital turned to PagerDuty to manage their on-call schedules. They have set up rotating on-call schedules so everyone doesn’t have to be on-call all the time. They can hang out with friends and family without bringing their laptop along and have a stronger team spirit knowing the on-call responsibility is fairly shared.

“With PagerDuty on-call expectations are more clear. Our team members get time off when they need it.”

In addition to automating alerting for incidents detected by their monitoring tools, MLS Digital also uses PagerDuty for emergency game day incidents. Requests are sent to a dedicated engineering team email and are routed to the right on-call person via PagerDuty. With PagerDuty there is no need to memorize schedules or phone numbers again.

“As we scaled, we staffed to have someone always on-call. PagerDuty made this much easier for us.”

At MLS Digital, PagerDuty is the 12th man on the field to make sure fans can always stay in the loop.

“The cost of an outage during a middle of a game is incalculable.”

Justin Slattery, ‎Director of Engineering