This month, millions of Americans will flock to cavernous stadiums around the country to take part in the annual ritual of football games. Attracted by the sounds of bone-crushing hits and unmatched athletic feat, football has been in the American consciousness for the past half-century, bringing together everyone from Midwestern small towns to large metropolises.
The experience of a football game has changed over the past half-century as well, evolving from a regional sporting event to a global spectacle, watched by viewers in hundreds of countries. Furthermore, football has also been influenced by digital transformation strategies, with teams creating in-seat experiences, mobile applications, and customized content to further expand fan engagement.
One such case are the Atlanta Falcons, recently featured in IBM’s blog around their work with IoT, cloud, and DevOps. With a new stadium opening this fall, owner Arthur Blank has undertaken an innovation strategy built on IBM Cloud solutions to create the ultimate fan experience.
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While each sporting experience is different, the Atlanta Falcons are creating a blueprint for any entertainment venue to create something similar. Here are the common themes:
- Customization: Fans follow their team for a variety of reasons, including family legacy, regional fanfare, or recent championship success. No matter where a team is in their journey to the championship, customizing content provides the opportunity to make one’s fandom theirs. The Atlanta Falcons for example, use Watson Content Automation to personalize notifications and alerts fans receive, and offer exclusive content such as articles, videos, photo galleries, player statistics, and more.
- Cloud and DevOps: Though in the background, a cloud and DevOps infrastructure significantly improves the fan experience. The Atlanta Falcons use IBM Cloud, which is hosting critical operational applications for the stadium to ensure fans have a consistent, high-quality game day experience. Ultimately this enhances the video on the scoreboard, keeps applications running, and prevents downtime, especially in critical parts of the game.
- Customer Obsession: As we have repeatedly stated, customer obsessed strategies are the key to success in today’s connected world. The Atlanta Falcons have developed a suite of innovations, including fan applications, chat bots, and internet of things (IoT) integrations. By focusing on what drives customer engagement, the team turns a game into a holistic experience – no matter what the score might be.
In all, the entertainment experience is more connected than ever. When the clock runs out or when the show ends, fans will leave their seats, but remain connected no matter where they are. Truly, a Sunday experience becomes a yearly extravaganza.
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