Garland, TX

Since 2011, AmpThink has transformed professional sports venues across the country by focusing on the power of connectivity. 

Over the last decade, AmpThink has established itself as a leading master technology integrator (MTI) in the sports entertainment industry. To date, the company has executed projects in over 75+ stadiums and arenas, 130+ warehouse projects, and 1,800+ retail store projects.

“We have unmatched expertise in the design and deployment of technology services,” said Edgar Lopez, director of business development. “We work with venue owners to unify the technology dependencies of a building’s systems into a single platform.”

Scaling as a Master Technology Integrator

Master technology integrators, like AmpThink, are essential for modern-day buildings, venues, and stadiums. They work with building owners, architects, engineers, and contractors to create seamless technology infrastructures focused on enhancing connectivity, including Wi-Fi, power, lighting, security, video broadcasting, and more. 

AmpThink has proven to be a leader in the MTI space. The company has partnered with Cisco for over ten years, deploying and managing tech infrastructure at sports entertainment venues across America, including the 2022 Superbowl at SoFi Stadium

“High-density wireless networks are our bread and butter,” said Lopez. “As cellphones became more popular, there became a connectivity issue at large-scale events like professional sporting games and concerts. If you had thousands of people in a small area, the cell towers were jamming, and no one had service. We started parting with stadiums and creating customized high-density networks for them so fans could stay connected.”

Lopez explained that in the early 2000s, venues were hesitant to invest money and resources into building their own Wi-Fi networks. 

“Owners thought that if fans could connect to their phones, they wouldn’t pay attention to the event and be fully immersed in the experience,” Lopez explained. “As social media became recognized as a powerful marketing tool, venues realized the importance and value of having a secure and efficient network.”

A dependable network is more than just having fans connected to their phones. It also supports venue operations, concessionaries, merchandise vendors, broadcasters, and other third parties that depend on IP-based transport to deliver critical venue services.

“Mobile ticketing was a game changer for our business,” explains Lopez. “Very few venues in the country accept printable tickets today. But to access your tickets at the gate, you need service on your phone. It further solidified the need for MTI providers.”

To date, AmpThink has completed projects in 14 NFL, 24 MLB, and 13 NBA stadiums.

Stepping Into Enclosure Manufacturing 

AmpThink’s services extend beyond creating networks to the construction of distributed antenna systems (DAS) and the enclosures that house them.

“We work with engineers and contractors to identify where to build axis points to distribute cellular network coverage,” said Lopez. “We know where to place the antennas and how many are needed for a venue to achieve the desired output and coverage.”

In a sports stadium with no ceilings, axis points were commonly installed under seats, but that could be costly and not always the most effective solution, depending on the venue’s design.

In 2012, when AmpThink was partnering with the Minnesota Vikings on its new stadium, they came up with the idea of putting axis points in handrails.  

“We partnered with a company called Rapid Tool to design a handrail enclosure for the Vikings stadium,” said Lopez. “It took about two years to bring the idea to life. It was a revolutionary product in terms of how it was designed with our patented integrated technology and thermoforming. It was a very cost-effective solution as well.” 

This partnership eventually led to AmpThink acquiring Rapid Tool in 2018, which allowed them to grow exponentially by:

  • Gaining an in-house team of expert engineers and designers
  • Acquiring state-of-the-art precision manufacturing equipment, including CNC Machines
  • Expanding services, including thermoforming capabilities 
  • Implementing their own enclosure line as well as customized vanity covers and mounting brackets 

“Our enclosure line was developed from common wants and needs we hear from customers,” Lopez explained. “We were able to develop a line with both functionality and aesthetics in mind.”

AmpThink’s custom enclosures include:

  • The AmpBox Enclosure
  • The MFG Slim Profile Enclosure
  • The MFG Handrail Enclosure
  • The MFG Single Trade Enclosure

Each unique solution offers customizable branding and mounting options.

Opportunities with AI

Looking into the future, AmpThink believes AI will be a key factor in the company’s continued growth. 

“We are looking into how we can use cobots and sensors to expand our hours of operation and help free up our time by doing some of our mundane tasks,” said Lopez. 

Lopez emphasized that he does not believe AI will eliminate any jobs. He believes AI creates new jobs by giving young innovators the opportunity to program and maintain these new intelligence machines.

“There are more job opportunities in manufacturing now than ever before,” said Lopez. “We are currently experiencing a labor shortage. The boomers are retiring, and the younger generation doesn’t see manufacturing as appealing. We try to connect with students and younger professionals to show them the opportunities in this industry and the cool projects they could be a part of.”

An example of new and innovative projects AmpThink has on the horizon includes building auxiliary products for automation companies. 

“Robotics, including cobots and sensors, are becoming more popular, affordable, and easy to operate,” said Lopez. “As more of our customers lean into that space, we want them to see us as a trusted partner to help with design and installation.” 

To learn more about AmpThink products and capabilities, visit their website.