SAN FRANCISCO and CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—December 12, 2023: LAVA, innovator of the real-time data experience platform for brand engagement, and Wicket, the leading facial authentication platform provider for sports and live events, are partnering to create a smooth, fast and touchless experience for fans at sport and entertainment events – from the turnstile to the concession stand. The partnership includes both technical and go-to-market collaborations that connect Wicket’s biometric identification capabilities with the LAVA RealtimeAI™ platform to streamline a wide variety of experiences within the stadium.
The Wicket facial authentication platform is a privacy-first solution that enhances fan, guest, and employee experiences by enabling frictionless touchpoints that delight users and strengthen security for live events and facilities. Once a fan’s identity has been authenticated, the Wicket system notifies the LAVA loyalty platform, which can automatically personalize the game-day experience for that fan in a variety of ways.
Technology from Wicket and LAVA has already enhanced the experience of fans who attend home games at the Cleveland Browns Stadium. This season, LAVA and Wicket teamed up with the Cleveland Browns to create a seamless concessions experience for fans that leverages the latest biometric and point-of-sale technology to make concession lines shorter and faster.
The new Express Beer service provides a completely contactless purchase experience that replaces traditional beer concession lines with sleek (and fast) self-service locations where all you need to buy a cold one is your mug (that is, your face). Express Beer uses the same facial authentication technology that powers Express Access facial ticketing, a Wicket-powered service that dramatically reduces the time it takes for fans to enter the stadium, and where LAVA’s system can alert them to special offers and discounts that recognize their loyalty.
“We are fortunate to have great partners such as Lava, Wicket, Tapin2, and Aramark collaborating to pioneer the Express Beer concept. This innovative concession experience has resulted in exceptionally fast service times and an elevated experience that our fans enjoy using to bypass lines and get back to their seat so they can enjoy the game,” said Brandon Covert, VP, Information Technology, Cleveland Browns.
“Nobody likes lines — especially once the game is underway — and fans hate to miss the action on the field while queueing for a beer. The combination of Wicket’s biometric identification and LAVA’s real-time personalization gives loyalty managers new ways to make game day more enjoyable,” said Jeff Boehm, CMO at Wicket.
“Fans at the Browns’ home games are really enjoying the new Express Beer service, which has already delivered an excellent ROI for the team,” said Wen Miao, LAVA’s chief executive officer. “Serving up the right offer, to the right customer, at the right moment increases engagement, deepens brand loyalty, and boosts spend. We see enormous potential for this blend of instant biometrics identification and real-time personalization.”
Wicket (www.wicketsoft.com) is a computer vision AI company with offices in Cambridge, MA, and Doylestown, PA. Wicket develops and delivers software products that enable a sensational event experience for some of the largest sports and credentialed venues in the United States. With a portfolio of issued and pending patents, Wicket’s Facial Authentication platform includes products for facial ticketing, credentialing, access control, and payments.
LAVA is a next-generation real-time data experience platform for brand engagement. Its deep integration capabilities and business-user friendly no-code configuration technology turn real-time enterprise data into actionable insights using RealtimeAI™ and empowers businesses to create moments that matter for their fans. By connecting world-class brands with their customers ‘in the moment,’ LAVA helps sports, entertainment, gaming, hospitality, and retail companies create personalized experiences that enhance fan engagement, deepen brand loyalty, and generate incremental spend. For more information, visit lava.ai.