As I stood in London today in the O2, one of the 2012 London Olympic venues and one of the great arenas of the world, I was in the middle of the Cisco Sports & Entertainment Global Innovation Summit, the third annual gathering of hundreds of sports and entertainment executives from around the globe.
Executives from teams such as Real Madrid, venues like Eden Park (that have managed global events like the Rugby World Cup) and Wembley Stadium, arena/stadium management groups like AEG, and so many more were here to discuss, share and plan how technology will shape the future of sports, and most importantly how it will impact their interactions with their ecosystem: media, sponsors, advertisers, and at the heart of it all “the fans.”
A central aspect of those discussions was about live connectivity. It is the starting point, the origination, the alpha moment, also considered AIR for a fan. This animated video explains simplistically how connectivity changes everything.
“What they are doing for our fans – on a daily basis, at every one of our games, be it during the day or at night – is truly remarkable. We are able to create a better experience for our fans using this technology. Our only wish is that we had done this a little bit earlier.” Todd Goldstein, President, AEG Global Partnerships
Cisco recently upgraded the digital capabilities at STAPLES Center, one of the premier sports and entertainment venues in the world that hosts four major sports franchises (LA Lakers, LA Clippers, LA Kings, and LA Sparks) and more than 250 events a year (Grammy’s, concerts, etc.), so the venue could better service its fans.
The result? Over the past year AEG (the operator of the facility) has been able to deliver a more engaged fan experience and is seeing a strong return on its investment from the digital and dynamic menu boards at concession stands. For example, AEG saw a 9 percent increase in revenue (year over year) from concessions for Los Angeles Kings games. Even more impressive was the 400 percent increase in revenue (year over year) from select promotions offered this past season (2011).
Cisco delivered a Connected Stadium environment, including Cisco StadiumVision, an innovative digital video and content delivery system that transformed STAPLES Center and provides fans with a more memorable experience. All of this was done over the course of just a few months and AEG never missed a beat in hosting world class events at the venue.
Today more than 30 marquee properties are operating new business and revenue models with Cisco digital sports technologies at the center. From Real Madrid to the Pittsburgh Penguins to Sporting KC to Eden Park, Cisco is transforming the sports and entertainment environment around the world.
I witnessed the transformation earlier this year at the Grammy’s…and I just might have sat next to a couple of celebrities – well, that was where my friends told me I was going to sit!