(ECHUCA, VIC (AUSTRALIA))

IBM and Campaspe Shire Council (CSS) today announced a strategic partnership to develop a game-changing fan experience at the state-of-the-art new Echuca multi-purpose sports hall set to open in 2019.

This will enable CSS to provide highly advanced, interactive technologies for sporting events including Echuca Under 13s Basketball and Indoor Volleyball League games as well as concerts and other marquee events such as Thursday Night Over 70s Bingo.

Today’s sports and entertainment fans demand better event experiences from the moment they leave their home. With IBM’s Smarter Stadium Network technologies delivered via the cloud along with design and development expertise from IBM Interactive Experience, CSS expects to offer fans a truly immersive event day at the new Echuca multi-purpose sport hall from start to finish.

“We know that creating the ultimate fan experience means meeting fans where they are, providing them with the platform to interact in a seamless way, and introducing them to new offerings that exceed expectations,” said Lee Watson, Mayor of the Campaspe Shire Council. “IBM understands the commitment we are making to our residents and will help us reset the bar in terms of fan experience, technology and sustainability for sports and entertainment complexes globally.”

IBM’s decades of experience transforming the fan experience at major global sporting events such as Wimbledon, French Open, Australian Open, Masters Golf Tournament and the U.S. Open golf and tennis championships will help CSS define and create a unique, engaging environment for visitors of the new multi-purpose sport hall.

“Tech savvy consumers count on their devices to enhance their day-to-day lives whether at work, shopping at the mall or attending an event,” said Jerry Molton, CSS Chief Technology Officer. “By partnering with IBM, we will ensure our ratepayers and guests an unparalleled interactive and engaging experience, helping to make the new Echuca multi-purpose sport hall the marquee sports and entertainment venue globally.”

CSS will team with IBM Interactive Experience to leverage the power of mobility to create a highly contextual, more personalized game day experience for fans, all through the integration of analytics, mobile, social, security and cloud technologies to make this a reality.  IBM is the Official Lead Integrator for the Echuca Mutli-Purpose Sport Hall.

IBM’s Smarter Stadium Network will provide CSS with leading-edge wifi infrastructure that will enable guests of the new stadium to enhance their event experience. CSS will also operate within a “Smarter” Stadium environment where  IBM’s system integration will enable the operations team to be connected to, and communicate with, numerous stadium amenities including the new 360 degree, 63,000 square foot HD Video Halo Board, 2,000 video displays and concessions experience. This includes a more future flexible network, space savings within the stadium, power and cooling savings that will lower the carbon footprint while increasing operational efficiency.

“A live event is no longer about sitting in a seat and watching a game or concert, but a convergence of physical and digital experiences for today’s fans who are looking for the best way to get to a game or view highlights from their mobile phone, for example,” said Bridget van Kralingen, Senior Vice President, IBM Global Business Services. “For the new Echuca multi-purpose sport all, IBM is helping CSS reinvent the experience enjoyed by fans, guiding them through the sport hall while bringing them closer to what’s happening on the field.”

In addition to powering fan experiences, IBM will provide an integrated suite of physical security capabilities which can include traffic management, cameras, managed doors, and video intercom systems that will leverage the same wireless infrastructure. CSS also plans to incorporate IBM’s Intelligent Operations Center, Intelligent Video Analytics and IBM’s Flash Storage capabilities.

Behind all wireless capabilities will be an infrastructure that includes Wi-Fi, sophisticated and secure digital operations and security, and the creative use of digital displays that will be incorporated into the foundation of the new facility. The Wi-Fi services will be delivered via a single fiber-based Passive Optical Network (PON), Distributed Antenna System (DAS), and an IP based digital signage and media distribution solution. IBM’s services will be employed to design, plan, deploy and facilitate the management of this infrastructure with CSS and its chosen partners.

Local residents were understandably concerned over the potential costs of the mutli-sport hall technology fitout.

“Y’know, we’ve had a pretty good badminton sports hall that the kids were able to use for basketball, netball, indoor volleyball, indoor soccer, and a bunch of other sports played by kids not good enough to play footie (sic). I dunno how useful all this fancy gizmo tech is going to be given the hall can only hold 100 people.” said sports fan “Kev”.

“I reckon the mayor is just doing it so he looks fancy and can get one of those city council jobs. We don’t need all this stuff. Parents can yell at their kids playing, and that’s all the technology we need.”