Today, the Staples Center in Los Angles implemented a new techie fan experience with HD Digital Video Solutions developed together with Cisco and Verizon. Fans at tonight’s St. Louis Blues vs. L.A. Kings NHL hockey game will be the first to interact with the new customizable Solutions that are truly Transforming the Game. The owners and operators of the Staples Center, AEG, wanted their facility to continue to be world class while leading the way for the next generation sports fan who loves to engage with technology.
It was a thrill to speak on a briefing call and discuss sportsbiz directly with Todd Kline, Vice President of Global Partnerships at AEG, and James Timmons, Vice President of Global Enterprise Sales, Verizon Communications, and also, David Holland, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Sports and Entertainment Solutions Group, Cisco.
Todd explained that, “this is their 13th year in operation and the Staples Center needed a technological makeover.” By having the flexible Network infrastructure in place, Social Media CRM, mobile tech, and apps such as Twitter, will all play a pivotal role with improving fans engagement opportunities via their new scalable Solutions.
The goal is to provide a more ‘Connected’ Sports and Entertainment experience for their loyal fans to be part of before, during, and even after the game. The Staples Center fan is considered tech savvy and many have already upgraded to using mobile devices such as smart phones that enable full multimedia capability that their facility now delivers.
One very exciting new multimedia option is Cisco StadiumVision™, an innovative digital video and content distribution system that centrally controls and delivers targeted high-definition video and highly relevant digital content to guests. James shared that fans will be able to customize and control camera views and angles from their luxury suites touch screen control interface using the 375 new Panasonic HD video displays and 175 Full HD3D screens.
If you want to change the channel, simply use the Cisco touch-screen Unified IP Phone with Verizon VOIP service and find other HD content. The new collaborative technology will soon allow for Mobile concessions and the purchasing of merchandise right from your seats as well as being able to push stats, game info, and targeted messages and coupons, directly to Staples Center fans.
The bottom line in sportsbiz is positive revenue and these new techie Solutions by Verizon and Cisco offer sponsors and partners the opportunity to engage with fans at a high ROI. Earlier tests of the new technology Solutions with the L.A Kings and L.A. Sparks showed increased revenue from deployment of the dynamic menu board and by promotions.
Dave talked about the reasonable budget their Corporate partnering totaled, and he said that the implementation time-frame of two to three months was a good fit for all parties.
Dave and Todd further emphasized that Social Networks are a big part of their new Live entertainment Stadium package. Loyalty awards will be used to further engage Staples Center fans and allow them to virtually redeem points.
I asked them if we might see a new sportsbiz business entity grew out of this exciting partnership between AEG, Verizon, and Cisco, in order to help other venues and facilities upgrade their technology? They said that not at this time. In terms of IT though, this is a big deal in and by itself. Cisco’s customizable networking solutions are playing a critical role in enhancing fan experiences and creating unique and more dynamic marketing and sponsorship activation opportunities throughout the venue.
I wanted to know more about the O2 arena in London. According to David, “The O2 arena and Staples Center are considered the number one and two venues in the AEG portfolio.” The O2 does not have an anchor tenant but fans who attend the many concerts and events there have the same customizable screens that are now in operations at the Staples Center.
James emphasized that, “the tech foundation and core business model of each company is improved by delivering these new technological Solutions.”
Much of this new Ultimate Fan Experience has already been in use at the Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand. The WC Finals are this weekend and David was pumped up about it.
Here is a link to the press release that explains the Staples Center new tech facelift in more detail: STAPLES Center Transforms Fan Experience With New High Definition Digital Video Solutions – via PRNewswire.
No question, sportsbiz and technology go hand-in-hand. This new tech marriage between AEG, Cisco and Verizon is awesome for Sports Techie everywhere because before you know it, your hometown venues might have the same Solutions as the Staples Center does today and well into the future.
Big thanks to Zoey Farooq, Global Public Relations at Text 100, for arranging this briefing. http://www.text100.com/.
Verizon Communications: http://www22.verizon.com/about/
I will see ya when I see ya, Sports Techie.
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