Boston Bruins Tap Wasabi, Data Innovation to Transform Hockey

May 14, 2024By Mike Welts

It’s a special time to be a Boston Bruins fan. “This is the 100th year of the Boston Bruins being in the National Hockey League,” said Josh Carley, Vice President of Technology for TD Garden and the Boston Bruins.  

As a storied sports icon with fans all over the world, the Bruins organization has a big reputation to maintain on and off the ice. While the organization celebrates a rich history, they’re looking forward to what comes next and seeing how data and technology can help them meet financial and cultural goals, while bringing the guest experience of the future to life in Beantown. 

TD Garden has been a subsidiary of global hospitality brand Delaware North since 1975 when they purchased the original Boston Garden and constructed its successor in 1995. “I like to consider us one of the crown jewels of the very successful Delaware North portfolio,” Carley said. “We are proud to be a leader in that space and it’s my responsibility to see that the technology we use continues to serve our guests in the greatest possible way,” Carley said. 

The Bruins see Wasabi as a key element of enabling that future. “Working with Wasabi has been great,” Carley said. “As we dive into some exciting visions for growth, we see that partnership growing with us.”   

Affordable, Reliable Data Archive and Retrieval  

“Wasabi’s price point was exactly where we needed it to be,” Carley said. “And where I found amazing value was not just with price, but with customer service as well. Wasabi is an excellent innovation partner, not only by remaining affordable, but also telling us how we can use their cloud storage services even better.” 

Cloud storage empowers businesses to not just store more data but to do more with their data, too. And the Bruins see their data as the launching point to grow the game.  

The Bruins use Wasabi services to archive its audio-visual data—all the historic moments on the ice that are featured on jumbotrons and in film reels eventually make their way into the Wasabi cloud. “It’s a massive amount of archive footage, which is especially important for our centennial celebration,” Carley says. “We’ve showcased so many moments from previous eras, and when our alumni come to games, they’re on the ice while we air footage from their time as a Bruin.” 

Wasabi’s reliable, affordable cutting-edge cloud data services are helping me innovate a guest experience that’s really going to wow our fans.

– Josh Carley, Vice President of Technology for TD Garden and the Boston Bruins

It’s not just archiving that’s going to propel the Bruins forward, however. “We have a lot of amazing opportunities to create value and excitement for the guest experience,” Carley said. “Wasabi’s cloud services and data applications are crucial to those offerings.” 

Cloud Innovation: The Sky’s the Limit   

As virtualization and cloud services grow exponentially, there’s no doubt that data and business success are inextricably linked in today’s digital world.   

“Everything revolves around data in the cloud, and if we can get access to it, we are going to be a better business,” Carley said. “If it's done in a secure and effective fashion, the sky's the limit for what we can accomplish.”    

That’s especially true for two cutting-edge approaches — frictionless entry and digital twinning — the Bruins are exploring for their own digital transformation, he added. 

Frictionless Entry: From Street to Seat 

Between long entry and security lines, wading through crowds to find a seat, and timing snack purchases without missing the action, visiting a large venue can feel more tedious than fun. But the sports entertainment industry is using frictionless entry to transform all that.   

“When we talk about competition in this space, we’re not looking at other sports teams and venues. We're competing with people's homes and the ease with which somebody can move about,” Carley said. “There are a lot of friction points when you come to a property of this size. I want a guest to be able to get here and simply walk in the building, to their seat.”  

A seamless network leveraging massive amounts of data and cloud computing reduces those friction points in ways that ensures security and elevates the fan experience. 

“I don't want guests to pull out their phone or show their ticket to anyone,” Carley said. “I don't want them to have to stop at any point on their journey. I want them to feel like TD Garden is a safe and secure extension of their living room.” 

The right technologies can create that kind of an experience, he added. “We are confident it's going to be a massive opportunity”  

Digital Twin: Watch the Virtual Become Reality 

Building the fan experience of the future means building the stadium of the future. With advanced modeling methods like digital twinning, virtual facility concepts can become a reality at TD Garden. 

“We like the concept of building a virtual 3D model of the facility to understand how it works compared to just looking at static or 2D drawings” Carley said. “With a digital twin, we can use analytics and predictive analysis to make truly informed decisions that don’t disrupt our operations or the fan experience.” 

“For example,” he continued, “if we want to reduce air conditioning in one area of the building for a specific time or move our labor to a different location, what does that do to our expense? Or if we relocate concessions to a new level, how does that impact the flow of people? I would much rather find out in a virtual space, rather than throw it out there and hope for the best.” 

Two of our technological pillars rest on affordability and service. With Wasabi, we have both of those.

The Bruins want to rely on advanced technology to build success. For that, the organization needs reliable partners. “In order for me to provide a magical guest moment, I need access to my data quickly, efficiently, and securely,” Carley said. Wasabi’s singular focus on reliable, affordable cloud storage services enables that innovation. “The data we hold in the Wasabi infrastructure can be utilized in ways that we haven't even thought of yet.”  

What’s Next for the Bruins: The Stadium of the Future 

Broadcast and entertainment technology are only going to continue to merge for the Bruins. “For example, I'm coming up with ideas about how to provide in-game analytics to viewers and guests right at their fingertips, touch of a button,” Carley added. “We want to present entertaining and meaningful player data. What’s that player’s shot count? How fast are they moving, where are they going? What's the probability of that shot actually scoring a goal?”  

With the NHL and Bruins already crunching that data, the question is how to use cloud systems to put it in front of the fans, according to Carley. “If I can implement a technology that helps people understand what's going on better, that just grows the game.”  

Additionally, technology helps bridge the cultural gaps, too, Carley said. “Wouldn't it be amazing if we can ultimately find ways to develop the games of basketball and hockey through different kinds of social media offerings and broadcast opportunities?”   

All the potential boils down to accessible data. 

“We have a lot of really awesome ideas for the guest experience that will depend on how quickly we can gather and use our data,” said Carley. “We’re going to leverage Wasabi’s expertise to help us achieve those ends.” 

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