Founded in 2013, Media Sonar has instituted a platform that takes social media to a completely new level in the sports technology space. “At the core, our platform searches and analyzes big data in the form of social content,” says David Strucke, CEO. This big data takes the form of text, images, and video that can be categorized by location or keyword. Key topics or sentiment can be analyzed and filtered down to provide quick insight into sports facility safety and fan experience. This social media analytics platform can easily complement physical and video security that takes place during crowd situations.
One of the issues that sports facilities face is detecting problems. Security personnel are highly trained in physical detection and incident management, as well as evaluating and managing risk. However, information security can be challenging. Social media can play an active role in identifying problems.
Some of the incidents that can occur in facilities with large crowds include active shooters and explosive situations. Social media awareness can add to the physical security of the facility. “There are other concerns like the type of people coming to the game, the state of people coming to the game, or the facility is concerned about people becoming intoxicated,” Strucke said. “They want to be aware of what the sentiment is of some of those people so they can prepare and intervene.”
It is measuring sentiment that also contributes to fan experience. Strucke gave an example of how social media can play a role in making sure fans are happy.
At the core, our platform searches and analyzes big data in the form of social content
In his example, which occurred at an MLB pre-season game, there was a conversation over social media about the traffic to the facility. It was getting very close to game time. The security personnel didn’t know that this was happening until they saw the sentiment from social conversation. They accessed the traffic camera, saw the problem, utilized the resources available to them, and mitigated the situation.
Making this possible involves analyzing big data. It isn’t practical for security personnel to monitor a large amount of social media data that is out there when they are constantly in real-time physical situations keeping the facility safe. Media Sonar gives the ability to pull hundreds of thousands of posts and access all that public data, narrowing it down into something as simple as the sentiment of the crowd. Strucke said, “We give them the ability to look at it in a quick and precise manner. It is a cloud-based application. We use a lot of machine learning-type algorithms to help put the data together in ways that are actionable for them.”
Strucke said that the capabilities of the software are due to their customer-centric approach, the team, and Media Sonar’s partners. Employees work with customers on a regular basis in gaining insights, instructing partners that do training for facilities and arenas as well as working with industry experts and thought leaders on the social media stage. All of this is incorporated into a product that Strucke says will continue to develop more data feeds that to give security personnel an even more powerful tool.