Football Stadium Built for Fans


by Samuel Greengard

There are two type of companies: those that talk about customers and those that actually think like customers. I'd put Apple, Netflix and Amazon in the "think" category. The list of "talkers" is far too lengthy to mention.

What's thinking like a customer? Let's visit New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey. CTO Peter Brickman began exploring tech options a few years ago when the organization pushed forward with a new 82,566-seat facility for the New York Giants and New York Jets. "The idea was to offer the ultimate fan experience," he says.

Walk into New Meadowlands and you're going to feel as though you've entered a technology lab. The stadium is equipped with four massive high-definition (HD) video display scoreboards and more than 2,200 HD video displays. Stadium operators can program each screen to display the same content--messages, video, you name it--but groups of monitors can also display different messages.

In fact, because each screen has an IP address and everything is tied into a wireless POS system, it's possible to send fans individual messages, including a birthday wish. It's also easy to change menu items on the fly, make sold-out items disappear and offer incentives for slow selling food and merchandise. And individual tickets can be pre-loaded with offers and incentives.

A wireless network extends throughout the entire facility. Fans can use it watch instant replies and highlights. Click here for more.

Granted, New Meadowlands is an entertainment company with a big budget. But there's a lesson to be learned here--as well as from other industry innovators. IT systems should always benefit both the company and the customer. When these systems are designed well they create a seamless and synergistic experience. They make it a joy to interact with the organization.

Build great IT systems and deliver a first-rate customer experience and the revenues will come. It's really that simple.