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IBM to strengthen presence within professional sports

IBM announced a new Sports and Entertainment Consortium created to help design, build and deliver the ultimate fan experience.

They further announced the establishment of a Sports, Entertainment and Fan Experience consulting practice, which will be lead by Jim Rushton, former Chief Revenue Officer of the Miami Dolphins and SunLife Stadium.

Rushton explained that the goal for the two systems is to help sports enterprises transform their businesses and create a new business model, since fan habits have changed over time.

The IBM Sports and Entertainment Consortium is a first-of-its kind ecosystem that combines IBM networking services with some of the industry leaders in construction and design, network infrastructure, and telecommunications in sport, entertainment, and venue design.

IBM is looking to use their current partnerships with sporting events such as The Masters and Wimbledon to grow and create relationships with other sporting enterprises.

Meanwhile, he IBM Fan Experience will include a multitude of different interactive opportunities for fans both at the game and at home.

For example, with the help from IBM, a fan at the venue will be able to view all of the concession, merchandise, and restroom options that are available to them throughout the stadium. For someone sitting at home, they will be able to get up-to-the-minute statistics that can give them an inside look at just how well their team is playing.

Whether it is at home or in the venue, fan personalization that connects the team directly to the fan is the main goal for IBM here.

“Most businesses have millions of customers, but relatively few fans,” said Rushton.

“Sports enterprises have millions of fans connected through traditional media, but relatively few customers in comparison. We are looking to give teams the opportunity to build relationships with their fans to hopefully turn them into customers.”

It will certainly be interesting to see how these two new endeavors from one of the most globally recognized technology companies can attempt to carve out some business opportunity in a crowded global sports industry.

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