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Accenture, NBA's Warriors to reimagine the fan experience

Andy Patrizio | April 7, 2017
A new arena is set to be the centerpiece of a vibrant and varied business plaza, an ambitious project loaded with high-tech elements.

More importantly, when they offer certain opportunities to fans, it aims to deliver an obvious benefit additive without getting creepy.

"We don't want people to raise an eyebrow because they know too much about me," Bowers says. "We want to do deep dives on customers to say whatever we are offering, we know it appeals to you and because you are a season ticket holder or attend a lot of events we are giving you access someone else may not get."


Data analytics and messaging strategies

This means some heavy-duty analytics, where the Warriors are building on the data that they already have by asking for more input from fans, so they can supply information voluntarily -- rather than simply having it extracted from them, according to Sutcliff. Accenture Digital is helping on this front through a project called Fannovate, a virtual reality viewer based on the Google Cardboard viewer. As part of the Fannovate program, fans can provide information on themselves that they are willing to share, which in turn helps the team determine what kinds of promotions to offer.

"We can add AI and analytics and data visualization to help fans get more information," Sutcliff says. "We believe that analytics will be a big part, but also how to visualize and understand those analytics in an easier to consume way."

The team is also building up databases, so when it wants to communicate a message to consumers, it can speak to the interests of a particular group. The organization is seeking to refine its communications so the messaging feels unobtrusive and indeed beneficial for the broad base of consumers who might traffic the plaza, which is designed as a multi-faceted space where businesses hope to flourish independent of the sports venue.

"The reality is the district itself is meant to be a stand-alone experience utilized morning, noon and night. The arena becomes icing on the cake. There may be people who interact with the district and don't set foot in the arena," Bowers says. "We want a comfort level that this arena becomes a home away from home and that's not possible if people feel it's not as natural to them."

Much of the technology Accenture and the Warriors want to implement is already well-established. Others the team is watching closely, like the development and cost of augmented and mixed reality. Bowers promised the plaza will be in a continuous state of improvement and upgrade, a far cry from your local coffee shop where the Wi-Fi is an aging 802.11g access point installed years ago.

"There are some elements available now. A lot of the next year or so is understanding where the future is headed and making decisions as late as possible so whatever we are integrating has a longer shelf life," Bowers says. "We don't want to make investments today that in two-and-a-half years feel antiquated or in five years is extinct."


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