Today, Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) announced their new naming rights partnership with Capital One for their arena in downtown Washington, DC. Effective immediately, the arena name will transition from the Verizon Center to Capital One Arena, home of the Washington Wizards. In addition to the Wizards & arena, MSE also owns The Washington Capitals. Monumental Founder and Chairman, Ted Leonsis (and fellow Greek, I might add), is a known philanthropist, entrepreneur, and an innovator -- and is committed to creating the best fan experience in the country. As such, in tandem with the naming rights announcement, MSE announced a separate, independent $40 million infusion into Capital One Arena.

Capital One Arena

It's all about the experience

Monumental Sports is employing some cutting edge technology to enhance the fan experience. Through their Monumental360 program, they'll be able to harness data and build out deeper fan profiles and insights, seamlessly allowing MSE to cater to their interest and needs. So, how? And what can it do?

  • Analyze who they follow on social media
  • Identify which platform was used purchase tickets
  • Map seat location purchase trends
  • Understand the fan's path to connecting to WIFI in the arena
  • Gaining insights based on fan's arena purchases

If you want to provide a cutting-edge experience, listening to your fans is the biggest opportunity -- MSE is then able to optimize and enhance that fully integrated experience everyone wants.

On the Capital One Partnership, Ted Leonsis shared on his blog today,

"A diversified bank that's been integral to our community since 1988, Capital One shares our commitment to economic growth, philanthropy and community here in the DMV."

With Capital One, it continues to affirm the continued expansion and growth of Monumental Sports and exponential success that can potentially be seen as a result.

A different lens on activating innovation

How often to you, a fan, give feedback on your sporting event experience? Personally, I don't think I ever have (other than a stale popcorn bag -- still ate all of it, never said a thing). That said, it can be hard to extract accurate, hard data that supports the 'why' behind deciding where and how to evolve the experience.

I want my arena experience to improve. I want more relevant products or food (looking at you, Dippin' Dots). I don't want to be proactive about it though -- I just want it to happen, and probably do too.

Personally, whether it's the Monumental360 program or not, it's empowering to know that your arena is actively trying to learn from you based on cutting edge tech wrapped around your experience (I get the '360', now). As a result, I feel more deeply activated as a fan knowing that know my actions while there are valuable.

Innovating the Nation's Capitol

Washington, D.C. is a super city and is wholly capable of going toe-to-toe with everything other major market teams are doing. In 2016, Billboard ranked the arena 13th worldwide among top-grossing venues (over 15,000 capacity) and 8th in the nation. MSE employs about 4,000 employees & vendors and as unsurprisingly, is a huge driver of economic value to the region.

You can feel that passion from Leonsis as well,

"There is an incredible uniqueness to Washington, D.C.: a center for global influence and a platform for business-to-business and business-to-government connections, offering opportunities that can't be replicated anywhere else. We're proud to call it home."

Innovation doesn't happen over night, but the pursuit of innovation is an ongoing commitment through a series of actions -- MSE is rightfully steering that charge, and Capital One is right there with them, now.

It's up to you, the fans, to help guide what happens next.