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49ers claim first with innovative venue management solution

NFL American football team the San Francisco 49ers has enhanced its partnership with software corporation SAP by introducing what it claims is a first-of-its-kind venue management solution called Executive Huddle.

The solution is designed to enhance the in-venue sports and entertainment experience at Levi’s Stadium by providing its business strategy and analytics team with real-time data and visualisations spanning a range of data sources.

The data will be used to track, sense and respond in the moment during games to optimise operations on game days and ultimately enhance the fan experience.

The 49ers said the team has introduced the solution as a means to enable the stadium operations team to make more informed decisions, address potential issues and seize opportunities during games and events.

Moon Javaid, the 49ers’ vice-president of business strategy and analytics, said: “Our organisation has taken the directive from our leadership to identify new technology innovations that increase our operational efficiency and enhance the fan experience at every level to ensure we are operating the best sports and entertainment destination in the western hemisphere.

“With the at-home experience being so great, we want to make sure that every piece of a fan’s journey from coming into the parking lots, entering the stadium and enjoying concessions and retail is all a first-class memorable experience. We were determined to find a way to deliver real-time analysis and response capabilities to our valued Levi’s Stadium guests, and with an innovative partner like SAP, we knew it would be possible.”

Executive Huddle will be situated in a suite overlooking the field at Levi’s Stadium. The solution will be available through mobile devices and pull data from nine different sources. Areas such as attendance, parking, food and beverages, retail, ticketing, social media and more will be covered.

Team officials will see this data displayed on interactive screens and will be able to act on it and see immediate results. The solution will enable team management to drill down into specific areas of the stadium and compare real-time data against previous games and seasons.

Mike Flannagan, senior vice-president, SAP Leonardo and Analytics, said: “Around the world, SAP is helping professional sports teams and venues simplify their business operations to become more efficient, profitable and successful.

“Executive Huddle represents a transformative shift in the way that real-time data can be utilised by teams and venues to create value and impact in the moment. For the first time, the 49ers are able to access real-time data and insights and call audibles during games to optimise their operations while ensuring higher fan satisfaction at the stadium.”

Executive Huddle was tested during the NFL pre-season and has been fully operational for the 49ers’ first three home games of the regular season. The team said the initiative has already proved a success, enabling it to shift its operational approach “from reactive to proactive”. Areas the team has been able to study include ticket data and wait times for entering the stadium.Jim Mercurio, the 49ers’ vice-president of stadium operations and Levi’s Stadium general manager, added: “It takes a lot of coordination to operate a 1.85m square foot building that, on game days, employs over 3,500 individuals, many of whom are temporary part-time or seasonal workers.

“We leverage multiple platforms to manage parking and traffic solutions for over 15,000 cars, entry and egress through hundreds of access points for 70,000 fans, and concessions and retail stands with 600-plus points of sale, among other critical services. Having a single resource to aggregate all those data points is a valuable asset to our commitment to ensure all Levi’s Stadium guests have a great experience.”

Images: San Francisco 49ers