Flagship and IBM bring a new playbook to professional sports

By | 2 minute read | April 10, 2018

If you’re a sports fan, you’re exuberant when your team wins and miserable when it loses. That’s one reason sports executives work so hard to put a winner on the field. And in today’s connected world, they have an additional objective – to ensure that the fan experience is all that it can be.

I have an insider’s view on this because my company, Flagship Solutions Group, is an IBM Business Partner with a specialty in managed services and infrastructure solutions for the sports and entertainment industry. Here are examples of innovative solutions that are helping to transform the fan experience in the world of professional sports.

The Dolphins’ app makes it easier

Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida, is a 65,300-seat arena that is home to the National Football League’s (NFL) Miami Dolphins. Beyond the field, the Dolphins worked with IBM, my company and other business partners to implement connected solutions designed to improve the in-stadium experience.

The Dolphins’ official mobile app, for instance, assists fans at the game by delivering location-based notifications, such as directing them to their seats and to the closest food and beverage stands, open parking spaces and shorter concession lines. The team also deployed the IBM Intelligent Operations Center, a control-center dashboard that collects details about weather, parking, turnstiles and public safety in real time. Stadium managers use this information to make tactical decisions that optimize operations and streamline traffic flows.

NASCAR partners with The Weather Company

We recently engaged with executives from NASCAR, the world’s largest motorsports governing body, as they explored which weather platform could improve their weather-related decisions. This is critical to NASCAR because bad weather creates race management problems, and even good weather has nuances that can affect race operations, car setup and the competition.

NASCAR chose The Weather Company, an IBM Business, as its official weather partner. Deciding factors were the precision of hyperlocal forecasts drawn from 2 billion data points updated every 15 minutes, and a real-time presentation dashboard that we developed using our Infralytics methodology and powered by the IBM Cloud.

The solution, called The WeatherTrack, presents The Weather Company’s key performance indicators to NASCAR employees in an easy-to-digest format from any internet connection. In fact, NASCAR tracks are long enough that hyperlocal forecasts can predict varying conditions at different points on the track.

The new weather data will enhance the immersive experience that NASCAR fans have come to love as they listen in to drivers communicating with their pit crews during the race. Now, they’ll be able to track The Weather Company’s forecasts at NASCAR.com from the Wednesday before the race right through the waving of the checkered flag.

The WeatherTrack dashboard will provide NASCAR with a level of weather insight unprecedented in any sport. It’s our pleasure to contribute to a solution that will help improve NASCAR’s operations, increase safety and deliver a more engaging fan experience throughout the racing season.

Watch the video interview below with Mark Wyllie to learn more about sports and entertainment industry innovation from IBM and Flagship Solutions Group:


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