Google on Friday announced it has a multi-year deal to provide its cloud services to SoFi Stadium and the Hollywood Park campus.
Google hopes these sorts of sports deals will help it gain traction against Amazon and Microsoft. In March, Google agreed to a partnership with Major League Baseball to operate its stat-tracking system, Statcast, and provide digital infrastructure for everything from team websites to online ticket sales. But, it still lags far behind Amazon and Microsoft, with about a 4% share of the market according to Gartner.
Google’s cloud services will help power all of the data passing through the state-of-the-art SoFi stadium and will provide a new personal concierge app that offers real-time metrics on gameday. Some of those metrics will appear on the new 360-foot 4K Oculus scoreboard, the largest scoreboard in professional sports.
“The big impact that people are going to see when they go to SoFi Stadium is the Oculus,” Anil Jain, Google Cloud’s managing director, media and entertainment, told CNBC in an interview on Thursday. Jain said Google hopes to provide augmented reality experiences, too.
Augmented reality allows devices, such as phones and tablets, to overlay digital content on top of the real world that a user can see while looking at the screen. Covid-19 has accelerated Google’s efforts to provide these experiences Jain said.
Jain hopes Google can provide exclusive video replays to fans and other supplementary experiences. “These are all things that come together in that future reinvention or re-imagination of the fan experience,” he said.
The $5 billion complex, developed by Rams owner Stan Kroenke, is set to open Sunday when the team hosts the Dallas Cowboys.
“We couldn’t have picked a better partner to manage our technology needs,” Skarpi Hedinsson, chief technology officer, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park, said in a statement. “Incorporating Google’s solutions into critical areas of our business ensures we can usher in a new era of innovation in sports and entertainment, raising the bar on what the ultimate fan experience looks like globally.”
Google Cloud headquarters sits in Sunnyvale, California.
The partnership will extend beyond NFL games played in the stadium. The complex will host massive sporting events starting with the 2022 Super Bowl, the college football national championship in 2023, and the Summer Olympics in 2028.
“Our goal is to continue to be an innovator in the space and partner with broadcasters, sports leagues and the broader ecosystem to help drive innovation but put it to the strengths that we’re investing in – cloud computing, data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and more,” Jain said.