IBM and LAFC announce a new strategic partnership that focuses on leveraging IBM’s innovative converged technology platforms to deliver a world class fan experience at LAFC’s new 22,000-seat Banc of California Stadium. This will be the first MLS soccer-specific stadium partnership for IBM and one of the first professional sports venues to commit to developing such an advanced platform.
IBM and LAFC are working together to reinvent what it means to be “connected” while in the stadium. This collaboration will provide an enhanced fan experience and will be flexible enough to adapt to new and evolving mobile technologies that seamlessly deliver via the cloud the most innovative and efficient operations for the team, stadium management, business shareholders, fans and others. Set to debut in 2018, the new development, which will bring more than $350 million in private investment to South Los Angeles, will be the first open-air stadium built in Los Angeles in over 30-years.
“We are thrilled about forging this partnership with an iconic international technology leader like IBM,” said LAFC President and Owner Tom Penn. “This partnership underscores our Club’s commitment to leveraging innovation for a best in class fan experience. With the pace of technological evolution, this partnership will set us up to provide best-in-class connectivity in the Banc of California Stadium, not only in 2018, but also as we look into the future.”
IBM will be responsible for the design, procurement, installation and commissioning of the converged technology infrastructure components, providing wireless coverage and an optimal digital experience for the more than 22,000 attendees inside the stadium as well as sharing with those beyond. The integration of various systems will deliver this world-class experience to engaging fans and partners.
“The explosive growth of an immersive fan experience has elevated people’s expectations when they attend any large venue event,” said Peter Lorenzen, General Manager of Networking Services at IBM Global Technology Services. “Today, stadiums such as LAFC’s new facility are embracing new and innovative solutions that answer the call and in doing so are helping to re-invent the game-day experience.”
Additionally, the Wi-Fi infrastructure will include sophisticated and secure digital operations and security. The Wi-Fi services will be delivered via a converged fiber-based network, including an IP- based digital signage and media distribution solution. This partnership will also optimize the venue with an integrated monitoring and security infrastructure that can identify issues involving the stadium’s ingress and egress before they have an impact on fans. This will help create a secure stadium that utilizes advanced physical security systems.
“LAFC’s relationship with IBM is completely aligned with our organizational commitment to forge strategic partnerships that provide a first class fan experience and to maximize the technology do so,” said LAFC SVP, Corporate Partnerships Jamie Guin.
IBM’s decades of experience transforming fan engagement, team performance, and venue optimization at major global sporting events such as Wimbledon, French Open, Australian Open, Masters Golf Tournament and the U.S. Open golf and tennis championships, and new venues like AMBSE’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, MLS’ Atlanta United, Super Bowl LIII and concerts and other marquee events, will help LAFC define and create a unique, engaging environment for visitors of the new stadium.
Together LAFC and IBM are taking a fan-centric design approach that will integrate infrastructure, data-management, and personalized digital/mobile engagement through Transformative Sports Enterprise Architecture. This infrastructure design will help ensure a seamless integrated fan experience.
On August 23, LAFC together with club supporters, city and county leaders and representatives from Major League Soccer hosted its stadium groundbreaking ceremony and announced Banc of California as the official naming rights partner for the stadium. Earlier this year, LAFC proudly unveiled the new crest and team colors, and secured unanimous approval from the Los Angeles City Council on its Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and other environmental and entitlement agreements, scoring a tremendous victory for the Club, its fans and the people of Los Angeles.