Recently, I conducted a partner facing webinar entitled Industry Digital Transformation with a focus on Sports & Entertainment. This webinar was part of a series that our Partner Digital Transformation & Industries Team at Cisco has been hosting for the past year as we look to create enablement and knowledge transfer on industries and our key sales plays and solutions that align to those industries. I thought I would share a few of the key messages that we delivered that really brought to light some interesting feedback from the audience. So let’s start there!

First, we always try to highlight trends in each of the industries that are catalysts for change and new opportunities and in Sports & Entertainment the “Fan Experience” is front and center and really has been for the past 5 years as teams, leagues and sponsors try to bridge the gap between engagement, convenience and experiences and tie them all together. Gartner Research says that 90% of companies (or in this case teams) plan to compete on the basis of customer/fan experience. Accenture has data that says that 66% of customers will switch companies because of poor customer experience and American Express has tremendous data that states “75% of consumers have spent more with a brand as a result of positive customer/ fan experiences.” All of these are pretty powerful stats!

So how is Cisco trying to enable our partners to attack these business needs in Sports & Entertainment? Well, it’s simple but complex! We start with showing them the digital and connected solutions we are recommending in this Sports & Entertainment space. First is our Connected Stadium Wi-Fi architecture for High Density fan facing connectivity, secondly is Cisco Vision for Sports & Entertainment our best in class dynamic digital signage platform.  Both solutions  have an incredible track record of creative new levels of engagement and business value for our end customers and thus a great platform for our partners to be positioning and leveraging as well.  Plus you see these two solutions sprinkled in over 350 venues around the world that Cisco has been part of!

To drill even farther we simply want to give them the reason’s “why” they should position these solutions and the true ROI that they as partners can realize and the ROI that the end customers can realize. Here are a few supporting data points:

52% of fans recall what they see on digital signage (Nieslen research)

70% of fans say they are swayed by in venue messages (Nielsen research)

58% of fans are willing to spend more if presented with a good sale or offer (Cisco Research)

While these are great data points for our customers, here are a few nuggets for our channel to think about as we go to market with a common goal of creating value for our customers and the industry:

  1. Become a trusted technology partner to a major brand in the local market.
  2. Leverage Cisco’s Sports & Entertainment partner community for sports & entertainment cisco.com/go/separtner and collaborate on best practices around the world.
  3. Provide turnkey or managed services that add greater value to you as a partner and greater margin on the deals you are pursing like the ones showcased at cisco.com/go/sports
  4. Leverage skill content & digital marketing services from Cisco to complete the technical and delivery capacity that you as a partner might have, while differentiating you in the market and leading the renewals and larger deal sizes.
  5. Embrace the partner ecosystem that Cisco has created in Sports & Entertainment, with tools such as the Ecosystem Partner locater http://cs.co/epl
  6. Take advantage of our Industry Ecosystem Education series for Sports by registering at http://cisco.cvent.com/events/cisco-industry-transformation-ecosystem-education-series-sports-q3-q4-2018/event-summary-41f7922cb94940f0909237fd359e8451.aspx
  7. Listen to & register for upcoming recordings like this one entitled “Partner Industry Digital Transformation Webinar for Sports & Entertainment” go to http://cs.co/customerin and search under Webinars and Events for the recent recording and presentation materials!


So embrace the sports challenge head first as a partner….there is plenty of opportunities and enablement for you to be successful!


Bryan Bedford

Global Industry Director: Retail, Hospitality, Sports, Media and Entertainment

Global Partner Organization