49ers enhance Executive Huddle with sustainability features

Images: San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers have revealed sustainability-focused upgrades to Executive Huddle, the first-of-its-kind venue management solution the NFL franchise developed in partnership with software company SAP.

Executive Huddle has been enhanced with new capabilities allowing the team to monitor Levi’s Stadium’s utility usage. The new feature aims to further empower efforts to maintain Levi’s Stadium as one of the world’s most environmentally friendly sports and entertainment venues.

In partnership with SAP, the 49ers will install six 3D-printed water and gas meter readers that feed data directly into the Executive Huddle. Inside the Huddle, stadium operations and business strategy staff can monitor automated data visualisations that display how utilities are being used throughout the building. By seeing this information in real-time, staff can make more informed decisions on new conservation practices.

“Even as we approach the 10-year anniversary of Levi’s Stadium, continuing to innovate and improve our venue operations is still top-of-mind,” said Jim Mercurio, 49ers executive vice-president and Levi’s Stadium general manager.

“We are one of just a few stadiums to be recognised twice for achieving the industry standard for sustainable design and construction. We are proud to have staff, partners and ownership that are equally dedicated to ensuring our building becomes even more eco-friendly for years to come.”

First unveiled in 2018, the Executive Huddle tracks 10 unique data sources including 200 concessions POS terminals, 250 parking and ticket scanners, and 100 fan satisfaction terminals. Through real-time data visualisations, staff can detect and respond to fan experience issues within 10 minutes. Previously, game day satisfaction feedback was largely measured via postgame surveys, which took several days to produce meaningful data.

Executive Huddle claimed the Venue Technology prize in the TheStadiumBusiness Awards 2020and the 49ers later disclosed to TheStadiumBusiness.com how preparations were being made for its next phase of operations.

Yesterday’s (Thursday’s) announcement marks a second way in which the 49ers and SAP are using the Executive Huddle to benefit more than just Levi’s Stadium. Last season, the two organisations announced that the space would be added to the 49ers Foundation’s 49ers EDU presented by Chevron curriculum as a way for local high school students to learn about data science.

This year alone, 49ers EDU expects to bring 450-plus students through the Huddle for lessons. Additional lesson plans involving sustainability are in development.

“Creating the first real-time analytics control room used on NFL game days was an outstanding accomplishment for us back in 2018, but true innovation never rests,” said Moon Javaid, 49ers chief strategy officer.

“We are extremely pleased to add a new layer to the Executive Huddle, especially one that has potential impacts on not only our building, but our local community and the globe as a whole.”

Adding to the technology’s benefits, the Executive Huddle’s ability to monitor concessions data has also been vital for the 49ers’ innovative Member Inclusive Menu.

Last season was the first in which the team offered core food and beverage as part of all season ticket member packages – requiring a major overhaul of concessions operations.

Through the Huddle’s ability to pinpoint issues at individual concession stands, the 49ers were able to solve issues faster, allowing them to surpass pre-pandemic 2019 fan satisfaction high-marks in more than 50% of all 2021-22 home games.