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IBM to launch global sports and entertainment venture

US technology and consulting corporation IBM has announced that it is to launch a new Sports and Entertainment Consortium in an effort to create, design and build the “ultimate” fan experience.

The new venture will utilise IBM’s experience in sectors such as construction and design, network infrastructure, wireless and telecommunications. IBM said the consortium will offer clients an “integrated capability” spanning design, strategy, technology and data to drive both growth and profit across all sports enterprise businesses.

The Sports and Entertainment Consortium will launch with support from a host of founding partners. They include: HOK, AECOM, Whiting Turner, Alcatel-Lucent, Anixter, CommScope, Corning, Juniper Networks, Ruckus Wireless, Schneider Electric, Smarter Risk, Tellabs, Ucopia, Zebra Technologies, YinzCam, Zhone, AT&T, Verizon Enterprise Solutions, Level 3, Zayo and IBM itself.

IBM will also form the new Sports, Entertainment and Fan Experience consulting practice, an entity that will be headed up by Jim Rushton, who is to join the firm after serving as chief revenue officer at NFL American football outfit the Miami Dolphins and the team’s Sun Life Stadium.

The new entity will formalise the experience design delivered by IBM Interactive Experience, a hybrid digital agency and consultancy that has served major sports events such as golf’s Masters and grand slam tennis tournaments the US Open, Australian Open and Wimbledon. The practice will deploy over 100 specialists worldwide in experience design, mobility, marketing and data analytics, with support from a global network of 20 digital design studios.

The Sports, Entertainment and Fan Experience practice will also serve as the integrating front end of IBM’s various sports capabilities, spanning personalised fan engagement, data management for team performance and the optimisation of stadium infrastructure for venues such as the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the future home of NFL team the Atlanta Falcons.

“Sports enterprises and venues need to look at ways to get to know their loyal fans as individuals, and convert that fan loyalty into new revenue streams – not just on game days but 365 days a year,” Rushton said. “It’s an ongoing experience that starts when a fan purchases tickets, travels to the venue, attends an event; and it continues well after the event is over.”