On the field, Peyton Manning broke the record for most quarterback wins with his Denver Bronco’s Super Bowl 50 victory. Off the field, ParkHub set another record across the parking lots of Levi’s Stadium. At peak time, the Dallas-based startup’s PRIME technology parked one car every two seconds.
“‘Think big and win big’ and ‘never, never, never give up’ are two of my favorite sayings,” says George Baker, ParkHub’s founder and CEO. “Since we launched the new [PRIME] platform in January 2015, designed by Dialexa, there was a time in which our business development had outpaced our product iteration.”
“‘Think big and win big’ and ‘never, never, never give up’ are two of my favorite sayings,” says George Baker, ParkHub’s founder and CEO.
ParkHub’s cutting-edge PRIME mobile Point-of-Sales system (mPOS) validates pre-purchases for reserved parking spots, records cash payments, and facilitates credit card transactions. It also allows parking lot operators to track and report inventory, transactions, and traffic flow, in real-time from any smart device.
“We built ParkHub’s platform on the same technology stack as Wal-Mart, so that it could scale to millions of transactions a second, and were excited to see how it reacted [at the Super Bowl],” says Scott Harper, CEO and founder of Dialexa, a Dallas-based hardware and software development firm.
Altogether, ParkHub’s technology helped more than 75,000 Super Bowl fans quickly find a spot, park, and head into the big game. They arrived in more than 7,000 passenger vehicles, 580 limos and 392 buses. Whether they came to see the Broncos or the Panthers, or were there for the halftime show or Lady Gaga’s rendition of the national anthem, all of them were cheering for ParkHub’s capacity to take the pain out of their parking.
“We were just like proud parents watching their kids walking across the stage at their graduation day,” says Jarrod Fresquez, who serves as ParkHub’s chief marketing officer. “The industry had noticed us before, but now we can’t be ignored.”
A Solution Across All Platforms
ParkHub was founded in 2010 to modernize the parking industry and ease the process of parking for consumers — or, as Baker puts it, “to take the pain out of parking.”
The technology was originally designed as a consumer-facing parking reservation application that allowed drivers to search for parking via their mobile devices and then purchase advance parking spots based on price and location. As more consumers adopted mobile parking searches and advance sales reservation from services such as ParkHub, Baker saw an opportunity ripe to revolutionize his company into a B2B platform that would serve as a vendor for stadiums and arenas.
“My original business model was a B2C, being ‘search and purchase’ for parking,” says Baker. “I pivoted my business to a platform-agnostic approach in which we work with all systems and applications via API and allow our clients a mPOS to manage their entire business.”
The platform-agnostic approach allows for the integration of PRIME across a multitude of mPOS devices. That means, more parking lot operators in more locations are able to use ParkHub’s PRIME technology to provide for quick and easy parking.
“Even though my model changed, my goal of revolutionizing the parking industry and taking the pain out of parking has not,” Baker says.
The pivot to platform agnostic paid off big on Super Bowl Sunday, as Verifone’s e315 — a handheld mobile point of sale (mPOS) device that supports many different types of payments, including EMV, NFC, and mobile wallets — integrated with PRIME. Sixty-two of Verifone’s e315s were used by parking lot attendants at Levi’s Stadium to scan and validate QR barcodes for pre-purchased parking tickets. Using the e315 powered with ParkHub’s technology, attendants were also able to quickly accept and record credit card transactions, as well as cash sales.
“Overall, the day went really smoothly,” Fresquez says.
To promote the mobile solution for parking at Super Bowl 50, Fresquez created a Flat Stanley-esque mascot dubbed Sparky, which he launched a social media campaign around.
“I wanted to find a way to chronicle our company’s journey from Dallas to the Super Bowl in a fun way. So, the quirky, precocious, and personable Sparky was born,” Fresquez says. “#Whereissparkynow and his campaign ended up having over 300K impressions the day of, and it was a joint effort from us, Dialexa, and Verifone.”
From Sea to Shining Sea
Super Bowl 50 was a huge win for ParkHub. That said, the young company is no stranger to the sports world.
In 2011, Baker pioneered advance parking sale reservations at AT&T Stadium (then Cowboys’ Stadium) for Super Bowl 45. In addition, numerous other major sporting events held in the Dallas-Fort Worth area from 2010 to 2011, including the Rangers’ back-to-back World Series appearances and the Dallas Mavericks’ NBA Championship, created a large and lucrative market for ParkHub in its early years. And within the startup’s own backyard.
“Just as demand and prices for these sought-after tickets were high, so was the value and demand for parking, thereby making our original model and business revolutionary and desirable,” Baker says.
“Just as demand and prices for these sought-after tickets were high, so was the value and demand for parking, thereby making our original model and business revolutionary and desirable,” George Baker says.
Today, ParkHub has nine major clients with stadiums and arenas, and the company reports another dozen are being negotiated.
“We have landed ‘America’s Team’ with the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium, to the most technologically-advanced stadium in the country — being Levi’s Stadium, home of the 49ers — and Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay, home of the Lightning, which is among the top five venues in the country for ticket sales,” Baker says. “The entire journey has been memorable.”
With venues using its technology literally ranging from sea to shining sea, ParkHub plans to continue its mission to change the world one parking spot at a time. Super Bowl 50 will undoubtedly be a major step forward in that journey.
“We like to keep our cards pretty close to the vest as to what we are doing and what we are planning. What we have to share with the industry is a game changer, no pun intended,” Fresquez says. “What I can say is that the world has not seen the last of Sparky.”
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