Ahead of TheStadiumBusiness Summit 2022, Darren Parker, IT Operations Manager at Southampton, discusses the Premier League club’s plans to enhance the fan experience at St. Mary’s.

Parker joined Southampton as the club’s IT Service Desk Manager in October 2017 and has held the role of IT Operations Manager since February 2021. He has previously worked at Ageas Group, Be Wiser Insurance and Markerstudy Insurance.

TheStadiumBusiness: What’s exciting you in the field of stadium/venue technology at present?

Darren Parker: Social media such as TikTok is having a real impact on how the younger demographic consumes sports entertainment and we’re now seeing a flood of new innovative ways to fully immerse fans in a whole stadium experience and make match day a truly unique experience for every fan whilst accommodating the craving for entertainment in 30-second bursts.

TSB: What’s on the roadmap for Southampton/St. Mary’s over the next six to 12 months?

DP: Digital transformation and fan experience are continually developing for us. We’re progressing with our own screen upgrade projects with the concourse seeing new solutions last year and the imminent upgrade of our scoreboards. Next we aim to deliver our solution for fans to connect mobile tech within the stadium, which we can then use to drive real-time content to screens, enable fans to interact with assets around the stadium, and use the club app to order food or purchase from our stores.

TSB: What are you looking forward to most about the Summit?

DP: I loved the shared experiences last year and seeing what Las Vegas (Raiders), Leicester and Fulham have and were looking to achieve. It will be great to see what happened next and see what else others are doing.


Stadium image: User890899/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size

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