To maximize profits, stadiums need to fill seats, increase revenue and keep their costs to a minimum. If you’re searching for their golden ticket to success, look no further than the Internet of Things (IoT) and unified communications (UC). The marriage of these technologies delivers the positive ROI stadiums need to thrive.
Successful stadiums are finding that IoT and UC pack a double punch that increases revenue while driving down costs. It should be no surprise, then, that the smart stadium market is expanding to an estimated $12.5 billion by 2023. Major League Baseball® (MLB) is one of many sports organizations that has embraced UC through a standardized solution across all 30 MLB ballparks. In addition, individual teams’ IoT integrations have improved fan experiences.
The benefits, however, include more than just bigger crowds.
From security to operations to providing VIP treatment, IoT and UC improve the bottom line in more ways than one. Look closely at the play by play for IoT and UC in sports and it quickly becomes evident how they deliver financial benefits for organizations across all industries.
6 ways IoT and UC change the game for stadium ROI
Provide fans and players with a more secure site: People may take it all for granted, but a lot of work goes into running a secure stadium operation. From making sure overly eager fans don’t get into restricted areas to monitoring gift shops for theft, keeping the stadium secure for fans, players and staff involves a number of moving parts.
IoT and UC give security personnel X-ray vision into everything that’s happening. Communications-enabled IoT sensors detect open doors in a restricted area, as well as movement in places where there shouldn’t be any. Then, the sensors send SMS, desktop alerts and push notifications to alert appropriate personnel in real time so they can take immediate action. When it comes to security, time is of the essence, and real-time sensors coupled with instant alerts provide an unstoppable defense.
Respond better in an emergency: Real-time alerts and communications are just as critical when it comes to emergencies. In case of a fire, extreme weather, a lost child or a fight in the stands, security staff can communicate with each other via text message and voice—and the connection must be instant and reliable. With IoT and UC, a fire extinguisher being removed from its bracket triggers a notification to the right personnel. At the first sign of danger, mass notifications keep all staff updated and connects with emergency responders.
Make fans feel at home with cleaner stadiums: Overflowing trash cans, dirty bathrooms and long lines to exit the parking lot after a game are just some of the issues that could discourage fans from visiting a stadium. IoT and UC keep concourses clear via sensors that alert custodial staff when trash cans have hit an unacceptable level. An SMS or page notifies staff when a bathroom needs cleaning. Parking lot attendants communicate in real time via voice, text or page to redirect traffic from congested areas. Show fans you care, and they’ll want to come back.
Reduce costs with predictive maintenance: Save money on equipment repairs by addressing issues before they become nightmares. Monitor temperature, humidity and other information so alerts go out when specified thresholds are hit. Fix problems when they are minor rather than wait for an entire unit to break. That way, you’ll save money on maintenance and repairs.
Increase sales with stocked concessions and shorter lines: Here’s a losing combination: long lines and low inventory on hot dogs. Load and location sensors help avoid such troubles by sending alerts when concession stands and gift shops need to be replenished. Group SMS messages help identify high-traffic areas and redirect additional staff as needed. Keep fans well-fed and they’ll quickly return to the game.
Bring VIPs back with star treatment: All fans are important, but season ticket holders and VIP guests deserve special attention. Load sensors inform stadium operators which VIP seats are in use, so attendants can be properly deployed. Alert staff via text message when VIPs run low on beverages through weight sensors in their cup holders. Smart speakers and IP phones in VIP suites use Natural Language Processing (NLP) so guests can easily order food, request assistance or make special requests. By simply saying it’s their birthday, VIPs can have a cake appear and a message displayed on the stadium screen. You’ll have hit one out of the park.
Behind the scenes: How IoT and UC work together
IoT devices, sensors and endpoints throughout stadiums gather information on movement, inventory, asset health and more. This data is invaluable to stadium operators and personnel—if it gets to the right individuals in real time. Powerful and reliable, UC solutions take this information and route it to specific people based on analytics. The result: IoT and UC unite to make a stadium responsive, efficient, clean and secure.
These benefits carry over off the field and outside stadium walls. Industries such as field services, retail, transportation and others gain the same cost savings, increased security and improved customer experience from an IoT and UC implementation that gathers insightful data, analyzes it and delivers it to the appropriate people in real time.
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