Sun Life Stadium

Smarter Planet Leadership Series Video: Running a sports complex like a Smarter City improves efficiency and fans’ experience

Published on 11 Mar 2013

"Like a city, we have the challenge of coordinating a series of complex and often separate operations to maximize our revenue. What makes us different is that we have to compress that down to about 65 hours year." - Jim Rushton, Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer

Sun Life Stadium

Media & Entertainment

Deployment country:
United States

Big Data & Analytics, SmartCloud - Services, Smarter Planet

Smarter Planet:
Leadership Series, Smarter Cities

IBM Business Partner:
Flagship Solutions Groups Inc


As Chief Revenue Officer of Sun Life Stadium, Jim Rushton has a direct impact on the local revenue of a storied football franchise with a loyal fan base. He saw the opportunity to strengthen that loyalty by making the game day experience more convenient, personalized and satisfying for fans.

How Accomplished:
The fact that Sun Life Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins, sits on Don Shula Drive says something about the importance of tradition to one of the NFL’s most winning franchises. That said, the Dolphins have a clear sense of the challenges all sports teams face today in competing for eyeballs and loyalty with media options like HDTV and mobile devices. The Sun Life Stadium and Dolphins front office team recognize that solidifying that loyalty requires the team to redefine the game-day experience so that fans leave more satisfied than ever and resolve to come back for more.

Leadership is...The creativity of cross-industry thinking Stadiums aren’t cities, but they have similar challenges and, by extension, can have similar solutions. That was the premise that Jim Rushton followed in looking at the IBM IOC solution.

Lessons Learned:
Lessons learned...Want buy-in? Talk about it. Jim Rushton knew he had a mandate for change, but he knew that putting teamwork first was essential to getting all the essential players on board with the smarter stadium vision.

The expected benefits of Sun Life Stadium’s smarter stadium solution: • Increase process efficiency within stadium operations by more than 90 percent • Increase the ticket revenue and non-ticket revenue (such as concessions sales) • Reduce power consumption related to HVAC • Increase fan loyalty, leading to wider game attendance


Using a Smarter Cities framework, Sun Life Stadium analyzes data to relieve friction points like long lines to boost fan satisfaction and game-day revenue.

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