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November 2016 Vol. 57

Patriots' digital transformation strategy taps mobile, social, AR

To get a front-row view of a digital transformation strategy, consider the New England Patriots, a sports franchise that aims to harness mobile technology, social media, platform business models and even augmented reality. The sweep of digitization permeates nearly every aspect of the club, from keeping fans happy and coming back for more to the broadcast deals the club will negotiate within the next few years. The recent "Thursday Night Football" game between New England and Houston illustrates the march of technology: The Sept. 22 "Thursday Night Football" game was live streamed on Twitter -- the second such broadcast on the social media outlet. "Now, the digital and traditional broadcasts are merging," noted Jonathan Kraft, president of the New England Patriots and the chairman of the National Football League's digital media committee. Kraft said when broadcasting deals come up for renewal in the 2021/2022 time frame, the model will be different from the current way of doing business. "We will ... do a lot of experimentation ...

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