UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Eric Brandman, a 2011 alumnus of the College of Information Sciences and Technology, is using the skills and education he gained at Penn State to improve the fan experience at one of the country’s most recognizable Major League Baseball (MLB) parks — Dodger Stadium.
Brandman serves as director of strategy and analytics for E15, the technology and analytics subsidiary of Levy, the hospitality partner at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. In this role, he manages the analytics for the food and beverage operation.
“My eyes had been opened to a market with incredible opportunities [with the Dodgers] in that food, beverage and retail are huge aspects of the business,” Brandman said. “The Dodgers have one of the biggest capacities of any ballpark in the country. Helping them to optimize their revenue, and make the best experience for fans in the stands, is a challenging and rewarding experience.”
Working for E15, Brandman examines what products the company should offer, and at what price point and in which locations within the stadium. One of the products on Brandman's radar is the Dodger Dog, perhaps the most famous hot dog in the Major Leagues.
“The Dodger Dog is our signature here at the stadium,” said Brandman. “When someone thinks of food here, that’s top of mind. For each game we take a look at a number of factors and how many we think we’ll sell, and then have a cushion in case we outperform our projection.”
He explained that the age and layout of the ballpark has led to some optimization opportunities in making sure each food stand within the stadium has on ongoing supply of hot dogs and other concessions items. In addition to making sure all fans have access to the signature hot dogs, Brandman strives to optimize operations throughout the ballpark. On game days, he and his team walk around the stadium looking for lines at concession stands, either directing fans to other booths with shorter lines or arranging additional staff to help behind the counter.
“We are the eyes and ears on the ground to make sure fans are getting a great experience,” said Brandman. “If operations are moving smoothly in a concession stand, then fans are happy.”
The road to MLB started at IST
Brandman’s road to the major leagues started at the College of IST, where he majored in security and risk analysis. Though the major was still relatively new when he applied, he quickly learned that the core skills taught in the classroom would impact his future career.