IBM Leads Digital Transformation in Sports

By: John Short


Today’s sports organizations are building customer engagement strategies to make sporting events more enjoyable for fans.

“Creating the ultimate fan experience means meeting fans where they are, providing them with the platform to interact in a seamless way and introducing them to new offerings that exceed expectations,” said Rich McKay, president and CEO of the Atlanta Falcons, in an IBM press release.

This has led many organizations to strive for complete digital transformation as they work to define technology’s role and impact on leagues, teams, media companies, sponsors and a wide range of other players in this ecosystem.

Designing the Right Vision for Transformation

IBM’s vision for sports enterprise digital transformation prioritizes fan experience, revenue growth and operational excellence. Our approach fuses strategy, design, data and technology across multiple lines of business to drive superior fan engagement, improve team performance and optimize venue operations. When this vision is put into play, the entire enterprise performs as one streamlined organization, measuring, tracking and responding to real-time data with analytics that drive every opportunity to personalize fan engagement and increase revenue.

Digital Transformation in Sports

To realize digital transformation, a paradigm shift must take place to reimagine the way venues are designed, constructed and operated to align with an integrated approach that addresses the fan experience and venue optimization trends. The success of delivering the right technology depends on:

  • Vision and experience-driven requirements development.
  • An information and communication technology (ICT) design team with an end-to-end view of the environment and design requirements.
  • A single systems integrator deploying a seamless and secure technology solution.
  • Integrated resource coordination to deliver on time and reduce costs.
  • Neutral ownership and control of infrastructure to enable revenue streams and service quality.
  • Integrated venue operations delivering enhanced fan experience and life cycle management.

Revolutionizing the Fan Experience

IBM meets the challenges faced by venue owners by using proven methods for large venues that provide a complete end-to-end solution. IBM’s Sports and Entertainment solutions, along with our Sports and Entertainment Consortium, leverage our experience in this sector over the past 25 years to prioritize fan experience, team performance and venue optimization. When partnering with enterprises, IBM focuses on co-developing a master plan and implementing a fully integrated architecture through our partner ecosystem. We establish a scalable, future-proof ICT infrastructure to support integrated systems that will deliver connectivity and data for the fans’ media of expression.

By partnering with you to innovate new ways to improve the fan experience, we can unlock the value of your ecosystem to convert fans into customers. We enhance team performance by coordinating the entire data stream to improve performance on and off the field. Finally, we provide venue optimization to drive higher revenues and improve the operation efficiency through both IBM and partner solutions.

Digital Transformation Life Cycle

This sector is ready to transform its business model to capitalize on the advantages of the digital age. The road map starts with identifying the transformation opportunities based on a thorough understanding of digital transformation in the industry. The path to transformation requires clear vision, the right skills in the right place, the tenacity to overcome any resistance and the ability to make decisions based on analysis across the extended enterprise. IBM Sports and Entertainment offers the winning team to equip you with what you need to succeed on this journey.

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About The Author

John Short

Global Business Development Executive, Sports and Entertainment, IBM

Mr. Short is in the IBM Sports and Entertainment Practice and has over 30 years of experience in the information technology services profession. He is focused on developing solutions for clients in the Sports and Entertainment industry that involve creating a single IT platform for Fan Experience, Team Performance and Venue Optimization in stadiums, arenas,... Read More