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Global leading digital signage and IPTV manufacturer Tripleplay and leading provider of RAM venue management software Triple Jump Technologies (TJT) have developed a unique integration allowing stadium digital signage and IPTV screens to be used for real time fan information, product marketing and queue and crowd management.

Already deployed at Twickenham Stadium as part of its recent £80million upgrade, the Tripleplay and TJT solutions enable any venue to redirect ticket holders to quieter kiosks, towards underperforming target products and to promote special offers, linked in to live data from the TJT platform. This information is delivered via stadium screens and the Tripleplay Digital Signage solution.

Tripleplay CEO, Steve Rickless sees this integration and partnership as a major advantage for Tripleplay:

The connected stadium concept is about more than just linking the stadium to the world wide web or providing media to the fans, it is about delivering an enhanced match day experience for supporters, engaging your ticket holders and maximising return on investment, through connected stadium technologies.

Many IPTV and Digital Signage solutions look to stand alone in their environment, delivering a standard experience, by using the Big Data provided by the TJT platform we can now enable our clients’ spectators to spend more time in their seats supporting the team, less time standing in queues and more time engaging with content.

Roy Yaoz, Chief Commercial Officer at TJT added:

TJT’s RAM Platform enables venues to interpret data from a variety of retail systems and enable an overarching layer of financial, operational and marketing management – this enables the management teams in the venue to action decisions in real time.  This unique business solution creates enhanced fan experience and growth opportunities for our clients. 

The integration with Tripleplay is an extremely important layer of our Smart and Connected Stadium approach. Combining Tripleplay’s robust solutions and TJT’s data and business processes engine provides our customers a unified smart solution connecting business data and fan engagement with measurable returns. Utilising the integrated solution enables venues to fine tune fan engagement content through in context, real time data and real time digital communications to fans. Further more, this cooperation will enable the venues to create new fan journeys taking into account location, business performance, sponsorships and fulfilment – this is a game changer.

 

Stadium managers can use IPTV to display messages to fans, based on realtime data collected from around a venue.

Stadium managers can use IPTV to display messages to fans, based on realtime data collected from around a venue.

Tripleplay’s IPTV and Digital Signage solution is deployed at around 50 sports stadia and arena around the world, including Daytona International Speedway, Wimbledon Tennis, Chelsea FC, Spartak Moscow, Cape Town Stadium, Manchester City and Cardiff City.

TJT Technologies solutions are deployed at multiple stadia and arenas in Europe including Twickenham Stadium, Wembley Stadium, AVIVA Stadium, Southampton FC, Chester Race Company, Liverpool FC and Lords Cricket Ground.

The company behind the prestigious Leaders Sport Business Summit which took place this week, launched a brand new networking app. Created by mobile and web expert, RE:SYSTEMS, the app is designed to provide delegates and exhibitors with an enhanced event and networking experience. 

The app was put to good use at The Sport Business Summit at Stamford Bridge and it will now be rolled out across other Leaders events as part of a three year deal.

James Worrall at Leaders in Sport said:

The Leaders Sport Business Summit gathers the industry’s most influential people to share insights and spark discussions that will help shape the future of sport. This year is going to be bigger than ever before and so the networking app has been designed for use across our full suite allowing delegates to benefit from greater engagement not just at each event but before and after too.

The cross-platform app, available for iOS and Android mobile devices, is built around a bespoke Content Management System (CMS). This allows all information and assets to be updated and controlled internally by the team at Leaders, depending on the audience and event.

Key functionality within the app allows collaboration, personalised communications and smart networking amongst delegates, intelligently matching like-minded people, simply and intuitively. Users will benefit from making new connections, generating sales leads and accessing diverse content such as latest news, speaker information, schedules and maps, all seamlessly through one interface.

Movement Strategies to resell Crowd Connected’s Location Insight Platform

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Award-winning technology start-up Crowd Connected Ltd, developer of the patent-pending Colocator platform, today announced it has signed a major collaboration agreement with Movement Strategies.

Colocator is a smartphone-based ‘location as a service’ platform that is powering a new generation of location insight services. Intelligently combining multiple positioning techniques, Colocator provides real-time positioning data to unrivalled accuracy, delivering a completely cross-platform, ‘works anywhere’ solution. The leading-edge technology is compatible with iBeacons, but instead of using them to trigger proximity based marketing messages, it analyses aggregated signal strengths to enhance location accuracy, increase reach and maximise energy-efficiency.

Under the agreement, Movement Strategies will resell the Colocator platform, jointly develop its functionality and underpin the use of the platform with analytics and advice. This will provide Movement Strategies’ clients, including major sporting events, festivals, venues and transport operators, with access to pioneering smartphone generated location data insights.

By aggregating digital data from smartphones, the colocator platform provides real-time information such as heatmaps, itineraries and dwell times, as well as rich spatio-temporal datasets for post-event processing.

Commenting on the new partnership, James Cobb, CEO of Crowd Connected, said:

Movement Strategies is the leading firm in their field, and we’re delighted to be working with them. Anywhere there’s a crowd, there’s a constant battle to improve the customer experience and maximise operator revenues. The collaboration opens up some very interesting use cases for our technology, for instance using our accurate real-time data stream to improve the operation and design of stadia around the world.

Russell Yell, Director of Movement Strategies, added:

Anonymised location data collected from smartphones is enormously powerful, with a wide range of applications. We are very excited about our partnership with Crowd Connected, and the insights it will allow us to provide to our clients.

Behavioural and movement data captured by Colocator opens up valuable opportunities to optimise the way infrastructure is designed and operated. By blending this information with other analytics we could achieve significant improvements in customer experience, operations and crowd safety.

Verteda strengthens its sports and entertainment team with Peter Smith

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Peter Smith has joined Verteda Ltd as Workforce Management Sales Consultant focused on the company’s sports and entertainment clients.

Formerly Club Account Manager at Fortress GB, a role he held for eight years, Smith’s employment history includes Business Development Manager for sports CRM agency Goodform, Client Manager for PCS Technology Ltd and Sponsorship Manager at Arsenal FC. Smith commented:

Having worked for sports clubs and venues, and provided technology and services for venues and caterers alike, I’m in a fairly unique position of understanding what all parties are looking for in their relationships with each other and with stadium and venue visitors.

Smith’s role will focus on delivering workforce management guidance and the WMx solution to Verteda sports and entertainment clients, comprising of efficient and cost-effective staff scheduling – the right people in the right place at the right time – optimising staff productivity, customer service and profitability. Smith said:

Despite labour being an operator’s largest controllable cost, so many venues still use manual-based approaches, which are highly inefficient, inaccurate and can lead to costly errors. By contrast, we can optimise an organisation’s entire workforce capability, integrating it with the point of sale and other business IT solutions to deliver real benefits.

It’s particularly exciting to be in the industry at the moment, given the advantages technology can now deliver: from cashless and touch payments through loyalty-based services for repeat business, to delivering new and more profitable ways to use mobile technology and wi-fi investments to improve the fan experience and increase engagement. That’s what stadia and arena want, and that’s what Verteda can deliver.

Adrian Burns, Managing Director of Verteda Ltd, said:

Peter has genuine industry pedigree to meet the requirements of our sport, leisure and entertainment clients with a varied portfolio of sport business skills and a high level of technical understanding. He has a 360-degree view, and that expertise will assist our clients to better identify and capitalise on new operational and commercial opportunities.

Manchester’s Phones 4u Arena deploys the latest POS solution

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Manchester’s Phones 4u Arena (pictured above & below) has completed the final piece of the jigsaw for SMG Europe with the upgrade of payment technology in Europe’s largest indoor arena thanks to the deployment of the latest POS solution from Verteda, AURES and Barclaycard for integrated Chip & PIN and contactless card processing across its food & beverage operations.

 

A trio of payment technology specialists: AURES Technologies, incorporating J2 Retail Systems; its solutions partner Verteda (formerly Agilysys Europe) Ltd; and Barclaycard, have provided venue operator SMG Europe with the first rollouts of a new integrated POS solution.

 

The 21,000-capacity Phones 4u Arena in Manchester, one of the busiest live entertainment venues in the world, is now benefiting from support for integrated Chip & PIN payments and contactless credit and debit card processing across its food & beverage services.

The 21,000-capacity Phones 4u Arena in Manchester, one of the busiest live entertainment venues in the world, is now benefiting from support for integrated Chip & PIN payments and contactless credit and debit card processing across its food & beverage services.

 

Other SMG venues, such as Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena, the 13,000-capacity £60m new-build First Direct Arena in Leeds (pictured below) and Manchester’s The Bridgewater Hall, have also completed rollout of the solution.

First Direct Arena

Impressed by the providers’ pedigree in the stadium and arena sector, all four SMG Europe venues became Verteda clients two years ago. All venues are now seasoned users of both Verteda software and hardware from its partner J2 Retail Systems.

 

Trevor Roberts, Sales Director, Verteda Ltd, said:

The SMG Europe venues use our award-winning Agilysys InfoGenesis™ POS software and Eatec® inventory and procurement software.  Additionally, the Manchester and Newcastle operations equip staff who service corporate boxes with our Normandy mobile POS solution on iTouch devices, integrated with InfoGenesis™.

 

All public concessions at Phones 4u Arena initially accepted cash only, before moving to EPoS with Verteda. This latest move to more sophisticated card processing technology (and to the latest version of InfoGenesis™ to support it) is part of SMG Europe’s evolution of its technology provision.

 

Roberts added:

At Verteda, we’ve observed how the market is changing and we’ve integrated contactless payment into InfoGenesis™ POS to give our users a streamlined solution and distinct business advantage.  Contactless payment offers benefits all round.

 

Tony Sagar, Group Food and Beverage Director for SMG Europe, explained:

I was initially concerned that customers entering PIN numbers would lead to longer queues. I was also wary of card processing costs. However, having visited The NEC (a Verteda client), I was reassured and could see that the commercial case was strong. Customers clearly want to use contactless and traditional cards to pay for their purchases.  We’re confident of the return on our investment of moving to these new payment technologies.

 

Within three months of upgrading, the Phones 4u Arena has started to see an increased spend per head across its public food and beverage operations. With over 1 million visitors a year, food & beverage is a significant contributor to Phones 4u Arena’s profitability. There are operational benefits too, such as faster transaction times and quicker reconciliation of transactions after an event.

 

Sagar added:

The new payment solution is adding to customer service and convenience and we’re having no difficulty keeping queues moving quickly at pinch points such as intervals. Customers have taken to it like a duck to water.

 

Verteda’s Roberts continued:

We work closely with Barclaycard so were able to bring them to the table and introduce them to SMG Europe. Our tight relationship and the integration of our two solutions helped Tony Sagar to make his decision.

 

The two linked software solutions introduce efficiencies in both the front-of-house and back-office. They provide SMG Europe management with real-time business visibility, enabling them to analyse sales and trends both during and after an event. This knowledge leads to more accurate recording of waste and management of stock, all of which adds up to sound gross profits.

 

For the Phones 4u Arena and other SMG Europe venues, Verteda recommended one of the market’s most compact PC-based touchscreen terminals. Previously branded as the J2 225, this is now marketed as the Ninô More than 230 of these terminals are deployed across the four locations.

 

As Trevor Roberts observed, the J2 225 is a space-efficient machine with a small, neat footprint:

When it comes to future-proofing its investment, SMG also liked the fact you can attach a secondary screen to the units in the future for promotional purposes.

 

With its spill-proof and dust-resistant casing, the J2 225 is well suited to a busy food & beverage environment such as the Phones 4u Arena concessions. SMG is finding the machines very reliable and has the added reassurance of the manufacturer’s 3-year warranty.

 

As regards hardware to support card processing, Barclaycard has supplied its Fixed Connect Ingenico iPP350 Series PINpad terminal). This contactless-enabled unit processes transactions of £20 and less in an average transaction time of under 2 seconds.

 

The Barclaycard terminal is linked to SMG’s EPoS system, obviating the need re-key amounts twice through the till and the terminal. This is not only faster, but reduces the likelihood of mis-keying or of fraud. Because no customer cardholder data is stored, processed or transmitted via the till system, the Barclaycard technology limits PCI compliance to the local processes and controls needed for the physical management of the terminal. This gives SMG the confidence of addressing PCI DSS compliance easily.

 

SMG Europe’s Tony Sagar concluded:

We are now getting real revenue and service benefits from having integrated Chip & PIN payments and contactless credit and debit card processing.

 

Levy Restaurants launches E15 to bring next-gen analytics to venues

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Levy Restaurants today announced the launch of E15, a subsidiary that provides advanced analytics services to sports, entertainment, hospitality and retail organizations.

Having successfully used advanced analytics to improve food and beverage performance for sports and entertainment partners, Levy’s says that E15 extends this strategy to teams’ front-office capabilities to help fill seats, optimize pricing, profile fan bases, identify new potential corporate partnerships and improve the fan experience. E15 has also been engaged by current Levy partners to support draft selection and player asset management, helping teams improve their performance on the field. In addition, because of the increasingly important role of technology in capturing data for advanced intelligence, E15 works with partners’ technology teams to assess and effectively deploy emerging technologies. Andy Lansing, President and CEO of Levy Restaurants said:

Our vision has always been to go beyond the basics of analytical reporting dashboards and focus our efforts on truly driving qualitative and quantitative results for partners. The real value in analytics is optimizing forward-looking decisions that go beyond what happened in the business yesterday or last season. Doing that well requires collaboration, analytics talent and a variety of expertise typically unavailable in-house, full-time.

E15 is led by Jaime Faulkner, who serves as CEO of the subsidiary. Her 15 years of consulting experience with KPMG and Arthur Andersen includes developing analytics services that are used by some of the largest organizations in the world. Faulkner leads a team of top industry talent from the fields of economics, mathematics, statistics, accounting and finance, psychology and behavioral science, and computer science.

E15 will continue to work with Levy Restaurants’ current partners. Charlie Mierswa, Executive Vice President of business operations and CFO of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center (pictured) – where Levy’s has just been rehired in a multi-year deal – said:

The more we worked with Jaime and her team, the more we realized they could provide valuable insights that complemented our current analytics team. E15 can help us expand our current analytics capabilities and share leading practices with us. It essentially has become an extension of our front-office team, providing deep thinking that helps bring the best products to our fans.

Jaime Faulkner said:

Everyone knows analytics is important. But figuring out how to solve problems without reinventing the wheel, having the bandwidth, resources and the skill sets you need, when you need them, is a challenge we see many of our partners and clients face. E15 brings the breadth of talent and depth of thinking required to meet the goals of next generation business organizations and thinkers.

 

Etihad Stadium hospitality installs smart kitchen comms

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The hospitality areas at the Etihad Stadium (home of Manchester City FC) are looking to reap the benefits of a smart kitchen automation solution this season, with dramatic improvement in service delivery times.

The expected improvements will be made possible by the installation of Call Systems Technology (CST) ConnectSmart Kitchen (CSK) system across the six hospitality areas to ensure quick and efficient service levels for all visitors to the club.

Neil Worcester, Venue Director at Fabulous FanFayre, contract caterers at the Etihad Stadium, commented:

The catering facilities at the stadium were in real need of modernisation and to be operational efficient. Now, with the help of CST and Verteda, we offer a superior quality service, that ensures quick and efficient service levels and in turn, customer satisfaction. The kitchen automation system is ideal for when the team are juggling lots of orders, something which is sure to increase with the recent approval for an extra 14,000 seats at the stadium.

CST worked alongside hospitality technology solutions provider Verteda to provide a flexible kitchen automation solution, replacing the stadium’s existing manual and printer paper operation. The overall project included the installation of the InfoGenesis POS solution and mobile ordering devices, with the aim of incorporating technology to streamline back of house processes, such as supplier orders, inventory control, cash management and Business Intelligence reporting.

Etihad has added smart kitchen comms in its hospitality areas

Etihad has added smart kitchen comms in its hospitality areas

CST was tasked with improving service delivery times, communication between front and back of house and order delivery in the kitchen. The system also had to deal with reducing labour by eliminating the need for staff to go to the kitchen to request orders.

The ConnectSmart Kitchen (CSK) system also provides operational data to help the stadium’s business managers learn about the kitchen operation so that they can continue to improve service delivery for every fan visiting the stadium in the future.

CST installed a 16 screen CSK system across the six different hospitality areas at the stadium, allowing the separate kitchens to work seamlessly together without the need for manual communication – leaving staff able to focus on service.

The CSK system helps the stadium’s chefs to determine which food items to focus on, taking into consideration preparation times of each so all items for the order complete at the same time. Screens at each chef’s station present staff with all the information they need when and where they need it. This ensures that customers receive their meals together, freshly prepared, even when cooking times vary.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars unveil US$63m stadium enhancement

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The Jacksonville Jaguars recently announced that they had agreed terms with the City of Jacksonville to undertake approximately US$63m in major enhancements to EverBank Field, including two new end zone video scoreboards that will be the largest of their kind in the world.

 

The plan also calls for a major renovation of the north end zone to introduce a world-class entertainment and viewing area for fans that will position EverBank Field as a destination on NFL game days and help attract and keep premier events in Jacksonville.

 

Jaguars’ owner, Shahid Khan, said:

We support Mayor (Alvin) Brown’s initiatives to bring new energy to Downtown Jacksonville and the city’s urban core and the enhancements to EverBank Field that we are announcing will help position Jacksonville as a home and destination for major events, now and in the future. This is indeed great news for Jacksonville.

 

Mayor Brown added:

This is about vision. We’re seeing a great example of Shad Khan’s leadership and the Jaguars’ dedication to creating the best, second-to-none fan experience right here in Jacksonville.

Enhancing our stadium is a positive step toward the strategic goal of downtown revitalisation, as well, and it’s an opportunity to play to our strengths as a destination for sports and entertainment. Beyond the Jaguars games, we can expect the stadium enhancements to engage the thousands of fans who come to Jacksonville for the Florida-Georgia game, the Gator Bowl and other major events at EverBank Field.

 

Highlights of the agreement include:

» New video scoreboards in each end zone, each measuring 55ft by 301ft, making them the largest of their kind in the world

» Major enhancements to EverBank Field’s video capabilities

» New LED fascia board displays

» A new scoreboard control room equipped with state-of-the-art software

» A new platform area in the north end zone with pools, unique food and beverage offerings and interactive activities

 

The improvements complement the nearly US$10m in stadium upgrades that have been funded by Khan, including locker room upgrades, a new weight room, new training room and a renovation of the team’s administrative offices.

 

According to multiple reports in the local media, it seems likely that financial services firm, EverBank, is set to extend its agreement for the stadium naming rights. Formerly the Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, the 67,000-capacity NFL venue has been known as EverBank Field since the company signed a naming rights deal in 2009.

 

The original deal was reportedly US$16m and it is believed the new deal could be worth around US$43m over a ten-year term.

 

Source: NFL.com

Image courtesy: Jacksonville Jaguars

Bleep nets Brazil contract

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Bleep UK Plc has supplied over 500 TS-910 touch screen EPOS terminals to the retail stores supplying football fans at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

 

The Bleep EPOS system has been installed in the official merchandise stores at all twelve venues, in and around the new or redeveloped stadia, which are split across two time zones. These stores sell official and licensed goods, such as official match jerseys, clothing, scarves and footballs to the estimated 600,000 football aficionados who have descended on the country for this premier global footballing competition.

 

Following on from successful installs at the London 2012 Olympic Games (as pictured), Rugby League World Cup and the ICC Champions Trophy, the Bleep TS-910 all-in-one EPOS terminal is being deployed in the retail stores at each venue. The TS-910 has been selected due to its compact footprint and space saving design. Each terminal features a built-in thermal receipt printer, laser scanner and customer display to minimise the required space without compromising on functionality.

 

Bleep UK Plc Chairman, John Wellman, said:

This event is the highlight of the international footballing calendar and we are proud and honoured to be involved with this prestigious tournament. We were approached to supply this contract at very short notice, due in part, to our success supplying the London 2012 Olympic Games and our experience supplying EPOS solutions to the stadia and events industry.

 

Despite the logistical challenges of supplying an event in a country 30 times the size of the UK and the short notice in which we have had to prepare, we jumped at the opportunity to be involved. Securing this contract highlights our commitment to innovative point of sale technology and helps us to consolidate our position as the leading provider of EPOS solutions to the biggest and best sporting events across the globe.

 

‘World first’ witnessed at SportsVMT Summit

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Goodison Park, home of Everton FC, was the location for a ‘world first’ on Monday, as ADI ran a live demo from its HQ in Preston during the SportsVMT Summit.

 

The conference audience of club media managers and sport broadcasters witnessed the first use of Adobe Anywhere. With an ADI editor at Goodison Park and an Adobe editor at the conference, both worked on assets stored on the Adobe Anywhere server at ADI, and both contributed to the clip, including a live interview from pitchside along with selected archived footage. The end result was played out to the big screen in the corner of Goodison and viewed back at the summit, receiving plaudits from all.

 

This revolutionary system means all the assets – from high quality video and graphics to sponsor content – are stored in one place, allowing video journalists and editors to access the files they need. Under the bonnet, there’s a lot of clever stuff to allow transmission of files to various devices, including tablets for sign-off by execs, without losing quality. Users of ADI’s LiveVenue can use Adobe Anywhere simply by buying an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.

 

ADI has also developed LiveVenue with the help of technical partners like Nevion and EVS, and the VMT summit was packed with demos and best-practice information from these companies’ working around the globe. IMG Studios is a content partner which is offering clubs a secure and searchable video content archival service on ADI’s servers, both for in-house retrieval and for licensing to an international audience.

 

A discussion panel on commercialising content brought out the complexity of managing the marketing and monetising of video assets but also the potential for achieving fan engagement in and beyond the venue. During the panel session, Mark Ellis, COO at Middlesbrough FC, advised:

LiveVenue impacts a lot of people. Make sure roles and accountabilities are clear from the start.

 

Ellis also told PanStadia & Arena Management that stadiums need to carefully assess the wide ramifications of HD video production in the bowl, especially in relation to UEFA’s floodlighting requirements for the top divisions in Europe.

by Mark Webb

sportsVMT signage

Job Board: Technology Manager for England Rugby

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England Rugby 2015 is looking to hire a Technology Manager to work at Twickenham Stadium. Closing date for applications is 10 May. The purpose of the role is to lead the team responsible for the planning and delivery of all of the technology required to support the ER2015 operations and to stage a successful Rugby World Cup tournament in 2015.

Full details…