SAP America, Inc., a subsidiary of SAP AG (NYSE: SAP), Sharks Sports & Entertainment, Inc. and the City of San Jose today provided the first look and announced plans to explore new and cutting-edge technologies to transform the fan experience at the newly named SAP Center at San Jose. At a spirited unveiling ceremony attended by hundreds of employees of SAP and the Sharks, officials revealed the new arena brand and outlined a vision to make the location a showcase of innovative technology to help bring fans closer to the games and events. Officials also demonstrated the partnership’s benefits to the local community, announcing plans to dedicate proceeds from the five-year agreement to the San Jose Sharks Foundation and staging a volunteer bike-building event at the ceremony to benefit underprivileged families in the San Jose area.
SAP and the Sharks organization share a joint vision to re-imagine the SAP Center and build on its standing as the premier sports and entertainment center for the entire San Jose community. SAP will team with the Sharks to evaluate and develop breakthrough technology — leveraging industry-leading SAP® solutions for big data analytics, mobile and cloud computing — designed to elevate the arena as a shining example of Silicon Valley innovation. The SAP Center will be another world-class platform to showcase how SAP is bringing its technology leadership and expertise to the sports and entertainment industry.
“The SAP Center is the sports, cultural and entertainment center for the entire San Jose community,” said Bill McDermott, co-CEO, SAP AG. “As we continue to grow our presence in Silicon Valley, SAP is honored to join the City and the Sharks in continuing the competitive spirit, special traditions and proud legacies that bring the arena to life. Together, we plan to create an innovative ‘think tank’ using technology to enhance the fan experience and help create memories that last a lifetime.”
Latest Technology Innovations to Transform SAP Center
With a fast-growing presence that now includes more than 3,500 employees, SAP’s operations in Silicon Valley are driving the latest technology innovations with big data analytics, mobile and cloud computing at the core. The SAP® Sports & Entertainment solution portfolio is anticipated to transform the SAP Center and help enable the Sharks organization to deliver a personalized game-day experience and connect with fans like never before.
In recent months, SAP conducted in-stadium research with hundreds of Sharks fans and based on this fan insight SAP is in exploratory discussions with the Sharks to evaluate building new technology solutions that aim to provide:
- Increased engagement, enhancing the fan experience with real-time news alerts, player and team insight and analysis, photo and video sharing among social networks.
- Greater convenience, empowering fans to enter the gate, purchase concessions and merchandise and access venue information — all from their mobile devices.
- Recognition of loyalty, rewarding fans with targeted promotions and unique experiences and activities.
Additionally, the Sharks are evaluating the new SAP® Scouting solution, which would give the Sharks scouting department a competitive advantage in evaluating player performance. The solution is designed to break down player statistics and analytics to give the Sharks management and the coaching staff a comprehensive and unique analysis of player productivity.
“Sharks Sports & Entertainment is pleased to be extending our partnership with SAP to include the naming rights of this magnificent sports and entertainment venue,” said John Tortora, chief operating officer, Sharks Sports & Entertainment. “We want to thank the City of San Jose for allowing us the opportunity to not only enhance the fan experience but for also ensuring that SAP Center will continue to be one of the premier sports and entertainment facilities in the world.”
Building a Stronger Community
As part of the SAP Center agreement, approximately US$375,000 per year will be directed to the Sharks Foundation, which is dedicated to enhancing the lives of youth and families in the community with an emphasis on education, health and safety and character development. The Sharks Foundation supplies emergency aid when appropriate, executes unique and relevant programming, supports the advancement of youth hockey and provides financial support and resources to organizations that enrich the lives of those in need. Since its inception in 1994, the Sharks Foundation has given more than US$6 million to more than 120 non-profit organizations.
To commemorate the partnership’s community focus, hundreds of employees from SAP and the Sharks Foundation joined forces in a volunteer event to build bicycles with Turning Wheels for Kids on the arena floor immediately following the ceremonies. The bicycles will be distributed to low-income families and children in need throughout the San Jose area.
“SAP’s long track record of innovation and extensive Silicon Valley roots bring an ideal brand to our world-class arena,” said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed. “Our partnership with SAP will not only help the arena maintain its standing as Silicon Valley’s premier entertainment venue, it will also provide ongoing funding for critical services provided by the City of San Jose and local non-profit organizations. We truly appreciate the investment that SAP is making in our community and look forward to a long and successful partnership.”
SAP will provide the City of San Jose US$1.625 million per year in support of critical services.
SAP, which opened its first office in the Bay Area more than 15 years ago, supports numerous non-profits, charitable organizations and other community partners in the Bay Area. Among the local organizations SAP supports are Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Breakthrough Silicon Valley, Computers for Youth Foundation, The Tech Museum of Innovation, Women’s Initiative for Self Employment and Junior Achievement of Northern California. These and other efforts support SAP’s global vision to help the world run better and improve people’s lives.