What does SAP and SUSE have to do with American Football?

The San Francisco 49ers: What do SAP and SUSE have to do with American Football?


The San Francisco 49ers are a professional American football team located in the San Francisco Bay Area that competes in the National Football League. Fans love them for their performance in games and of course, for their players. To enhance their fans’ game day experience, the SF 49ers decided to do something that no football team has ever done before: They built an intelligent stadium that was able to process real-time insights for optimal fan experience.

But why build an intelligent stadium?

During a game day, fans come across different systems: parking, tickets, food and beverage, merchandise, fan sentiment, weather etc. And fans probably know that if you have ever been to any sports game, it is not always the most pleasant experience. The SF 49ers knew about that problem as they needed in average two to three days to consolidate all the data and produce game feedback – way too late to take any actions or fix any problems. Therefore, in order to maximize the game day fan experience, revenue opportunities and operational efficiencies, the 49ers needed to be able to:

  • Consolidate the data from the systems
  • Produce management insights and benchmarks to easily identify problems
  • Act on these insights
  • All in real-time

SAP to the rescue: SAP Leonardo

In order to achieve an optimal fan experience, the 49ers decided to create an ‘executive huddle’ – a high-tech stadium digital boardroom focused on virtualizing insights from real-time data. In this, three SAP Leonardo technologies were used:

  1. SAP Cloud Platform Integration Services which are used to get real-time data from different systems and to send push SMS notifications
  2. SAP HANA Database as a Service which consolidates and stores the virtual data models
  3. SAP Analytics Cloud which – in combination with the Digital Boardroom – is used to visualize and present the data.

And the result is quite impressive! Since implementing the intelligent stadium, the 49ers helped optimize fan experience by enabling staff to react to pain points and issues in parking lots and security gates. Productivity of staff could be improved as with the real-time data, it is possible to pinpoint exactly where issues lie. Furthermore, there is an overall increase in efficient use of hardware and facilities as well as in IT. The SF 49ers are the first in industry to be able to compare data in real time across multiple sources, resulting in being featured at League Meetings for best practices around Fan Experience.

Learn more

The San Francisco 49ers run their SAP solutions on SUSE. Are you in the process to update or migrate your existing SAP landscape? Are you beginning a new deployment of SAP HANA? Deciding on cloud or on premise?

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