SUSIE GHARIB: Well, imagine a business that’s open one day a week and
70,000 customers come through the doors, expecting an experience to
remember. That’s the business of any NFL team at its home stadium. The
business of running a stadium has to compete with high-definition
television in your home. The Miami Dolphins hope to step up its business by playing smarter at
its home field. Tom Hudson reports.
TOM HUDSON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR (voice-over): Fans come
for the football, but teams know in the competition for their entertainment
dollars, they have to step up their game off the field.
TERY HOWARD, CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER, MIAMI DOLPHINS: We have a lot
of complex systems in place when you look at the transactions that we have
to process on within a four-hour period. We have 24,000-plus cars that we
need to park. We have, you know, 70,000 to 72,000 people that can
potentially be within our stadium walls at any give time.
HUDSON: Getting thousands of excited fans in and out of it’s team
owned Sun Life Stadium is one of the places the Dolphins call pain-points –
– places where fans run into crowds, slowing down their experience, and
possibly how much they spend at the stadium. So, the team has brought in technology from IBM to collect data from entry gates and stores and eventually parking lots. Finding the west 25
parking spots, for instance, looks easy in an empty lot, but the technology
aims to help customers find it quickly when kick-off nears.
MICHAEL LITTLEJOHN, VICE PRES., IBM SMARTER CITIES: By better
controlling the flow of information across those different systems —
system of systems — what it enables you to do, it enables you to provide
better value and to extend out of that.
HUDSON: It takes a lot of work to fill up a stadium this
size each and every Sunday afternoon. But the Dolphins hope with their new
partnership with IBM will make the business run more efficient, allow the
people to find their seats faster, get their concessions faster, spend some
money, and get back to enjoy the game. This technology is called business analytics and
optimization, gathering hundreds of thousands of pieces of data, looking
for correlation and offering action plans. Think of it as gathering real
time supply and demand information — the supply of popcorn at one
concession stand versus the demand for hot dogs somewhere else.
IBM’s vision is called Smarter Planet. And through the first nine
months of last year, the business’ revenues were up 50 percent, thanks to
projects in telecommunications and retail industries.
For Dolphin fans, more data may mean a better experience, but it
still cannot guarantee a win.
HOWARD: It’s unfortunate that we can’t control the outcome on the
field, what happens with our teams.
HUDSON: Tom Hudson, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Miami.