Racing with Rob

02.12.19 10:16 PM By STEP CG

On November 1st, 2019, thanks to our partner Scansource, I had the opportunity to drive a McLaren 720S and it was truly incredible. I’ve never attended a Formula 1 race and knew very little about the sport as a whole when I traveled down to Circuit of the Americas. However, I am a sports enthusiast and have always enjoyed sporting events. I wasn’t fully prepared for how great the McLaren racing experience was going to be. I began to understand the sport and the more I was educated, the more exciting it was. It blew me away to hear the budgets for these cars. Looking at the average cost raconteur in 2015 of the car parts, not even the full team and everything else that goes into the team, it was around $7.7 million for parts alone. To manage a car for one season costs about $203 million. What is absolutely spectacular is the data and analytics that go into creating a winning racing team. The team is far more than the driver and pit crew. They have teams all over the world tracking vehicle analytics and racing patterns all while providing real time data to the team on the track and in the pits.

This got me thinking about my own personal fan experience and how calculated of an approach there must have been. Fan experience is such a vital part of any business’ attempt to connect to their audience, but how is it achieved? An answer to this issue can be found in one of our cutting edge solutions, STEP CG Network Engine. Imagine this, you are sitting in the stands of a massive arena watching these cars zoom by and when you log into an app on your phone, you can get real time updates on everything that is happening in the car you’re rooting for. This is just a nearer possibility of what this incredibly powerful network engine would be able to do. 

This event also got me thinking about the possibilities in the future for advancement in retail network analytics, stadium insights and analytics, practical uses for hospitality analytics and anywhere else that people are on their phones. With this new digital age there is a lot to look forward to and connectivity seems to be a trend that is more relevant now than ever. Being connected while I was at the race was important because I was posting Instagram stories, sharing pictures on Twitter, and sending pictures to my family and friends, all while watching the man to my left live stream the entire event. Connecting with your audience and helping them connect to one another is the most important factor for fan experience in this new age.

The point is, we run into the issue of limited network availability. This is important to keep top of mind if your space can hold a large amount of people. Assuming there are enough access points to sustain a large capacity, our Network Engine provides multiple uplink control and traffic shaping. This means each person has the ability to create their own lane in the network and also gives the end user the ability to use the network seamlessly. At the race, it was much easier to use mobile data instead of connecting to the wifi. The key here is to get users to connect to your wifi. Why? With the built in location services platform on Network Engine, it provides information and can even generate revenue.

Have you ever viewed your wifi as another revenue stream? There are endless possibilities and here are just a couple ways to look at this new idea. The location services platform gives you the ability to track where your end-user is and target them accordingly. For example, everyone that enters a certain restroom gets offered a $2 off coupon to the nearest concession stand. Or even better, you can keep someone on your normal wifi and incorporate a custom splash page that allows users to have a self service wifi experience. For example, if they donate $2 to an organization they can be granted an upgraded wifi package. The possibility to make money from your wifi has truly never been more accessible. Imagine telling yourself 10 years ago that there could be an ROI attached to your wifi... 

My racing experience was ideal because of the strategic research and development of the McLaren race team, specifically how they utilized important data to fine tune the performance of the car. If every stadium, hotel and retailer took data as seriously as these racing teams did, it would be amazing to see what could happen.

I’ll probably never be a professional F1 racer, but having the opportunity to drive a McLaren 720S around the curvy Austin country roads was an opportunity of a lifetime. Good thing we had a GPS; we may not have made it back.