TECH TALK: What you need to know about Digital Transformation

In this article, Ben Wells, Chief Commercial Officer at PTI Digital, discusses the 10 things you need to know about Digital Transformation.

One of the hot topics in our industry of 2021 – and it is sure to be as critical in 2022 and beyond – is Digital Transformation.

Ben Wells, CCO, PTI Digital said:

It is our view that our industry has not yet fully understood what this term actually means or what impact it could have on our industry and individual organisations within it. PTI are seeing more and more sports organisations come to realise that they cannot continue to re-iterate their existing commercial model and still expect to see a massive uplift in commercial return. There is a need to rethink the approach in its entirety and reimagine the art of the possible.

We fully understand that there is a degree of scepticism around the concept of Digital Transformation and also that the idea of wholesale change can be daunting so we have tried to make it more accessible with a myth-busting list of things we think you need to know:

  1. “Digital” is a means to an end, not an end itself. This is not about becoming a “digital business” for its own sake, this is about fully understanding and harnessing digital technology to drive long-term institutional value for all your key stakeholders.
  2. It connects your vision to your short, medium and long-term objectives. It demonstrates how decisions made in one part of the business influence other parts. It becomes a framework for decision making, providing clear insight as to what the next best actions are, building confidence in that decision making process, avoids inertia and helps the business move forward.
  3. “Digital” on its own is not a silver bullet: sports organisations are often siloed, colleagues don’t always speak and there isn’t always a clear, documented plan for how the business is planning to move forward. Getting the right technology in place is critical but it won’t solve underlying cultural challenges on its own.
  4. Digital Transformation needs to sit ultimately with the CEO but it needs buy-in across the entire senior management team. This is not something that can be run from within a silo, it needs a top-down approach and whole-business buy-in to succeed fully. The CEO – or even the SMT more broadly – need not be a technologist, marketer or digital expert but s/he needs to understand what possibilities the digital age can afford and to lay out a vision for achieving that.
  5. It is not an overnight process. Most of the roadmaps we create for our clients run over a 3-5 year period. Plans need to dovetail with financial cycles and contractual obligations, match an organisation’s risk profile and they need time to test and learn. Referring back to point 3, it also requires internal cultural change to ensure staff understand it and buy into it and are therefore able to execute it. This all takes time.
  6. Most organisations will want to approach this in bite-sized chunks with minimal risk. Quick wins are vital in proving the approach, building internal momentum and belief and helping to cashflow the next phase.
  7. It is not about ideology or dogmatism. Without a pragmatic approach, the process will fail. Whilst an ideal-state roadmap needs to be the starting point, life doesn’t tend to work quite so easily and so the roadmap has to flex around the obstacles in the way.
  8. It is not a destination but a journey. As technology changes, as customer behaviour changes and your business changes, your roadmap must be flexible enough both to adapt to that change and to be able to capitalise upon the opportunities that change presents. But without starting on that journey, nothing changes.
  9. There is no template for this process: every business will have its own challenges, opportunities and set of circumstances but by setting out to understand what Digital Transformation actually means and could mean for your business, you are already ahead of 90% of the industry.
  10. Digital transformation is not some new fangled idea. What we are talking about is good old fashioned change management, powered by the efficiencies that data can provide and the means to engage, learn about and monetise your customer base through digital technology. This enables a shift from a 20-30 day a year yield management model to one which generates higher-margin revenue all year round.

Lisa Knights, Chief of Communications, Ashton Gate Stadium & Bristol Sport, discussed the ever-growing role of technology in the stadia and arena marketplace with speakers Franco Segarra, Innovation Director, Valencia CF; Ben Wells, CCO, PTI Digital; and Patrick McMeekin, UK Licensee, SEATSERVE, in the panel session entitled Tech Talk: Delivering an Enhanced Fan Experience” during ALSD International 2021.

Ben added:

Key to realising all of this is having an understanding of data and digital technology and how that supports a broader strategic vision. PTI are specialists in digital transformation and are currently working with a number of sports organisations – big and small –  in understanding their visions and designing their roadmaps and helping them to bring them to life.

Our approach is holistic, looking at the business in its entirety and comes with a fully-costed P&L that both supports investment decisions but provides confidence in revenue forecasting in the short, medium and long terms.

We would love to hear from you if you are considering starting on your Digital Transformation journey.

Digital transformation pyramid

PTI’s digital transformation pyramid – which unifies its three core pillars of Venue Technology, Data & Digital and Commercial Strategy – lays the foundation for the holistic digital transformation of sports and entertainment organisations and venues. It is this integrated, efficient approach which begins with strategic intent and is informed by insight and powered by the right technology infrastructure, which creates significant commercial advantage over the long-term.

PTI Digital is a digital transformation consultancy, providing world-class expertise for its clients. PTI, on behalf of their clients, are now managing nine ticketing platforms across its portfolio of clients in the Premier League, Championship, Premiership Rugby and County Cricket, as well as at venues including Co-op Live and Swansea Arena.

PTI announced a five-year strategic global partnership with Oak View Group (OVG) back in early 2021 and more recently have been appointed by London Stadium and Wasps and the Coventry Building Society Arena, in addition to renewing contracts with Ashton Gate & Bristol Sport and the NEC Group.

PTI Digital is a longstanding VIP Sponsor of Sports Venue Business. For further information on their industry-leading solutions, click on the banner below…

Sports Venue Business organises ALSD International, EMEA’s leading event & 365 community focused on increasing revenue through New Builds, Renovations & Service Expansions via Premium Seating, Hospitality, F&B, Architecture & Design, Fan Experience and Technology on behalf of the Association of Luxury Suite Directors.

The 2021 hybrid edition was hosted by Liverpool Football Club and featured a high-level conference, an exhibition showcasing industry-leading products & services, as well as networking events at Everton’s Goodison Park and M&S Bank Arena. The 2022 event will be announced in the coming weeks!

#ALSDInternational – Europe’s leading event for the Premium Seat & Sports Hospitality sector

#ALSD – Leading the Premium Seat sector for the last 30 years

#sportsvenuebusiness – The leading platform for sector news, views & developments


Share This Article

This website uses cookies and asks your personal data to enhance your browsing experience.