By Bryan Lick
On April 27th, an announcement was made that will have a resounding impact both locally (here in Philadelphia) and across the entire sports and entertainment industry: Comcast-Spectacor announced it will rebrand its three subsidiary businesses, Global Spectrum, Ovations Food Services and Paciolan to Spectra Venue Management, Spectra Food Services and Spectra Ticketing and Fan Engagement, respectively.
In addition to adding a sleek throwback name, Comcast can now seamlessly manage, develop and bundle their sports and entertainment assets under the Spectra moniker. As it stands now, all three businesses face steep competition in each of their respective spaces. Each was purchased by Comcast in the 90s and 2000s and, until June 2nd of this year (when the rebrand will begin), they have acted as separate businesses rather than one cohesive unit. Each company has made sound headway in their own spaces, but never had the benefit of marketing themselves as a seamless, fully-centralized package. Now, however, Spectra will be able to offer clients a fully integrated range of services from arena management to concessions to ticketing, all under one roof. This convenient variety of business solutions undoubtedly gives them an advantage on their competitors.
In addition, Comcast-Spectacor has partnered with Cisco Sports and Entertainment to create Spectra Digital Services, a technology arm that will develop mobile applications for major league and college teams, among other initiatives. With Cisco’s support, Spectra now has the ability to build wireless infrastructure in venues that require upgrades, and will be able to cross-pollinate their other business lines accordingly.
Comcast positioned itself well with the purchases of these specific businesses years ago, but it hasn’t been until now, with the investment in integrating these related solutions, that it will have paid huge dividends. With the uncertainty around the future of cable, Comcast has strengthened their position by developing a cutting-edge business in an environment that is constantly in demand: live entertainment.
This is more than just a rebranding initiative. This is a calculated evaluation of the industry’s needs, and an enormous investment into a more stable and more predictable industry.