How Cloud Computing Has Transformed Game Day
News Avaya Stadium and Levi's Stadium are keeping sportsviewing as green as their fields with sustainable initiatives that don't sacrifice experience.
The staff of Avaya Stadium and the VenueNext Team at Levi’s Stadium open up about the novel ways they leverage connectivity and cloud technology.
Mediaplanet: How do you leverage cloud technology for fans’ in-stadium experience?
VenueNext Team: Our business would not exist without the cloud. It’s where we house our services and resources like our backend services. It’s also how we integrate with technical partners to provide functions such as payment gateways and mapping and location service capabilities from Aruba’s Meridian.
Avaya Staff: Avaya is powering high bandwidth Wi-Fi services that ensure Earthquakes fans can surf the web, interact with the Avaya Stadium mobile application and stay connected to their social networks—to post selfies, share videos, text photos, etc.—without interruption, no matter the size of the day’s crowd.
"While cloud availability equates to faster, better fan engagement experiences, it also means a 'greener' stadium with less on-premises equipment and minimal on-site infrastructure."
The beauty of being a cloud-enabled stadium is that the Earthquakes, in conjunction with Avaya Labs (the research division of Avaya), can develop and implement new experiences faster, from new applications to on-site fan engagement walls.
MP: How has the stadium utilized this technology to operate differently than other stadiums across the country?
VN: Levi’s Stadium integrated all the amenities in a venue: tickets from Ticketmaster, security systems, point of sale (Micros) with food and beverage (Concessionaire, e.g. Centerplate), wayfinding, smart notifications, a loyalty program and developing the operational and logistical component in partnership with our technical partners and our customers.
AS: While cloud availability equates to faster, better fan engagement experiences, it also means a “greener” stadium with less on-premises equipment and minimal on-site infrastructure. As previously mentioned, the scale and flexibility of a cloud model allows us to develop and implement new applications quickly. It essentially lends itself to innovation on the fly. The stadium is a test bed for Avaya technologies where fan engagement proofs of concepts can be tested.
MP: Is there a particular app you make available in the arena that’s emerged as a fan favorite?
VN: Our paperless tickets are great for fans and for the venue owner. For example, in just one season, Levi’s Stadium expanded its unique visitor database from 17,000 to 203,000 fans. Fans also love the in-seat delivery and, at Levi’s, $1.25 million was gained from food, beverage, merchandising and parking.
AS: Our fan engagement walls are a big hit during games. These enable fans to immerse themselves in an interactive experience that takes them deeper into individual player bios, team history, stadium happenings plus live social media feeds of activity taking place in the stadium. All that is needed is a smart phone and the appropriate hashtags for each social media account so the fan wall will recognize and serve up the feed. Fans get a chance to see themselves on the big screen, akin to a large video display with user-generated content.
MP: What should your local fans be getting excited for in the future?
VN: This football season we released out an updated version of the Levi’s Stadium app where fans can treat their friends to food and beverages, transfer multiple tickets to friends and family for free with a few simple taps and you can now pull down the page to refresh tickets and parking. We also are introducing a feature that allows you to enter the stadium using an Apple Watch if you put your ticket into Apple Wallet.
AS: Without pulling back the curtain too much, next season fans can expect a more personal and unique experience: before the game, at the stadium and even after the game. They can anticipate receiving, on an opt-in basis, personalized content, promotions and other information that’s specific to their preferences.