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Volume 23 No. 14
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Australian deal is a first for Sporting Innovations, its Fan360

Sporting Innovations has signed a five-year deal with the Sydney Cricket & Sports Ground Trust to install its Fan360 platform at two stadiums in Sydney, Australia’s largest market.

The deal is the first international agreement for Sporting Innovations, a spinoff of MLS’s Sporting Kansas City. Sporting KC and the Utah Jazz have integrated the Fan360 platform into their facilities.

The tech additions are part of Sydney Cricket Ground upgrades.

The Fan360 software system is designed to improve the fan experience by providing discounts for concessions, on-demand video replays and live streaming video on mobile devices. It generates revenue for teams by linking their sponsors to Fan360’s interactive features, and captures valuable customer data tied to the concessions and ticketing features.

The platform was to be in use at Sydney Cricket Ground for the April 13 home opener of the Sydney Swans, an Australian rules football team.

The technology upgrades are part of about $800 million in renovations planned for the two facilities over the next 10 years, including the cricket ground, a 48,000-seat stadium that originally opened in 1848.

The cricket ground recently replaced one of its three grandstands, a $150 million project. The two remaining grandstands, both built more than 100 years ago, will be upgraded in the future, said Paul Yeomans, a consultant working on the tech upgrades.

The second building, Allianz Stadium, opened in 1988. Allianz Stadium is scheduled to undergo a complete refurbishment in the coming years, said Phil Heads, a spokesman for the trust, the entity operating both venues.

Together, they host about 100 events a year, drawing 1.5 million people to watch several local and national teams play cricket, rugby, Australian Rules Football and Twenty20, a shortened form of cricket. Baseball has been played there, too. Last month, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks played a two-game series at the cricket ground. Both games drew more than 38,000 fans.

For the native sports such as rugby and cricket, though, it can be a tough road drawing fans to events, and the spotty connections they have experienced on their mobile devices made it even more difficult to fill the stands, officials said. They hope Fan360’s features, powered by a new Cisco high-density wireless network, will resolve some of those issues.

Stadium sponsors Coca-Cola and Carlton & United Breweries have their brands connected to concession specials and mobile ordering as part of the Fan360 system, Heads said. Telstra, a communications partner, brands the MatchDay Live components tied to the platform.

The cost of the Fan360 platform will run in the seven figures. All the tech upgrades, including the installation of the Cisco network, will total about $8 million.