PTI Consulting is a sports and entertainment venue specialist that seeks to enable the business growth and efficiency of its clients through technology and people transformation.
Its partners include newly-promoted Premier League football club Norwich City, AFC Wimbledon (pictured) and Edgbaston Stadium. We caught up with PTI Consulting managing director Mike Bohndiek to discuss the current state of the sports and entertainment industry…
Q: In three words, sum up your industry…
A: Exciting, progressive and engaging.
Q: What’s the best thing about the industry you work in?
A: It’s a passion for millions of people and it’s a great buzz to be part of the teams that power their enjoyment.
Q: And what’s your biggest bugbear?
A: The view of technology as a cost centre, rather than profit making – the industry is slowly waking up to this as transformation case studies begin to prove the point.
Q: What’s the best experience you’ve had at a sports/entertainment venue?
A: Being part of the Ryder Cup delivery team in Paris for 2018 and seeing Europe whitewash the Friday afternoon session was spectacular, although as an Arsenal fan beating Real Madrid in the Bernabeu back in 2006 will take some beating!
Q: …and what’s the worst?
A: As a consumer, operational efficiency of queuing systems can be the difference between a good and bad experience and far too many get this wrong. As a sports fan, seeing your team lose a Champions League final has to be up there!
Q: What are the most important issues for the industry in the next five years?
A: What the next broadcast rights deals across the board will look like – football, rugby and cricket all have this to contend with over that period and the role of digital is one that is often misunderstood or unquantifiable, yet will have the biggest impact on these.
Getting fans off the sofa and back to the venue. We see TV packages coming down in price whilst the experience goes up – the Intel deal with Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City as an example – which makes for a strong value exchange compared to the physical venue, where ticket prices are perceived as high and the experience can be static.
Using technology front of house and back of house. The efficiencies and savings from an IoT connected stadium extend far beyond fan experience to saving on utilities, reducing head count and ultimately saving the costs that help to reduce the prices which draw those missing fans back.
Q: How do you expect the live experience for fans/spectators to change in the coming years?
A: Put simply, configurability. The challenge for most at present is that the general admission experience is identical, regardless of your demographic and preferences. Using mixed reality, emerging technologies and device-driven engagement models will turn that tide.
Q: What do you think will be the most important technological change in the industry over the next five years?
A: 5G will be sure to play a significant role to how we consider venue connectivity and the role of cellular versus WiFi networks.
Q: Prediction time: for this industry, 2019 will be the year of…?
A: Digital ticketing becoming ‘the norm’ rather than a consideration. This will open up a world of data capture, commercial rights increases and safety and security provision increases – a win across the business and the fan experience.
Q: If you could travel back in time and attend any historic event in the sports and entertainment industry, what would it be?
A: The last day of the Edgbaston test in 2005 – “Joooooones, Bowdeeeeeen………” What a moment, a rebirth of English Cricket as we know it today.
Image: AFC Wimbledon