AWS for M&E Blog

IMT builds a modern infrastructure for the Seattle Kraken in time for game day

When the National Hockey League (NHL) announced its expansion into Seattle, local hockey fans were excited to get the chance to root for their first home team. The newly formed Seattle Kraken (Kraken) knew they had a unique chance to build a foundation for decades of fan engagement as they prepared for the 2021­–2022 season.

Image of indoor ice hockey rink with full crowd

To deliver that foundation in time for the first puck drop at Climate Pledge Arena, the Kraken engaged Amazon Web Services (AWS)—more specifically, AWS Partner Integrated Media Technologies Inc. (IMT). Rather than build a monolithic system for the Kraken, IMT chose to adopt a microservices architecture and use a host of AWS solutions, to validate that the Kraken could flexibly change their offering as the years go by. “We aimed for the harmony of a multi-vendor, multi-solution approach using reference architecture,” says Roy Burns, vice president of media solutions at IMT.

IMT has a proven track record of providing comprehensive AWS services to customers at any stage of the cloud journey. With guidance from IMT, the Kraken implemented a cost-effective infrastructure that will evolve with the team. “We set out to unlock fan engagement for decades to come by building the system on AWS,” says Jason Kranitz, president of systems integration at IMT.

Accelerating the production of engaging assets for Kraken fans

As an NHL franchise, the Kraken was looking forward to inspiring fans around the world. The team plays home games at Climate Pledge Arena, but also engages ice-sports lovers at their headquarters, the Kraken Community Iceplex in Seattle’s Northgate neighborhood. Moreover, half the team’s 82-game season is played on the road. Because the Kraken has two “homes” and travels extensively, the team knew they needed a hybrid infrastructure for their distributed workforce.

The Kraken decided early on to build their offering on AWS. “AWS is the leader in cloud infrastructure, so the decision was pretty clear,” says Erik Jones, vice president of technology at the Seattle Kraken and the Kraken Community Iceplex. The Kraken were drawn to working with IMT because of the consulting company’s long record of delivering innovative projects on AWS.

By the time the Kraken brand was announced in July 2020, IMT had only 11 months to deliver. “Working backward from that puck dropping on the first night of the season was definitely an experience,” says Burns. “We found that, when doing large projects like this, breaking things down into bite-sized chunks is what makes it possible to meet your goals.”

IMT helped the Kraken find the right media asset management (MAM) solution for their needs, empowering Kraken employees to collaborate on the development of media assets from anywhere in the world. Simpler collaborations translate to shorter lead times between games and asset production. As a result, Kraken fans won’t have to wait as long to enjoy content. “This data, whether it be video content or other assets, is probably the most important resource that we’ll invest in,” says Jones.

Building a scalable and accessible offering

Another reason why the Kraken chose AWS was because they wanted an offering that could scale as the team’s fanbase grows. The Kraken also wanted to have the option to adjust the infrastructure to incorporate innovation. “One of the beauties of our system on AWS is that it’s really scalable and flexible, so if we change our strategy in the future, we can pivot and adjust flexibly knowing that AWS will do the same,” says Jones.

IMT deployed the MAM on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), a service offering secure and resizable compute capacity for virtually any workload, so that the Kraken don’t have to worry about scaling their infrastructure. “The technical needs in year 3 are going to look different from our needs in year 10, so we want to make sure we’re creating a digital footprint that can evolve in near real time,” says Jones. “We’re super confident in IMT and AWS evolving with us.”

Now that their infrastructure is in place, the Kraken are looking to optimize their systems. IMT is pursuing applications for artificial intelligence solutions and automation across the Kraken’s digital estate. The goal is to continue reducing costs while meeting fan demand for high-quality content on and off the ice.

Collaborating to delight fans for years to come

IMT and the Kraken aren’t done yet. The two organizations plan on continuing their collaboration to enhance the fan experience for hockey enthusiasts. Now that the Kraken have a robust infrastructure in place, the future is open.

About Integrated Media Technologies

Integrated Media Technologies Inc. (IMT) is an AWS Partner that provides a broad range of technology solutions designed to drive value and efficiencies for customers.

CloudSoda is an AWS Marketplace product that helps companies optimize their cloud spend.

About Seattle Kraken

The Seattle Kraken are the NHL’s 32nd franchise, and they played their inaugural season at Climate Pledge Arena in 2021–2022. Their headquarters are at the Kraken Community Iceplex, a center for ice sports and community lovers in Seattle’s Northgate neighborhood.

Christian Mueller

Christian Mueller

Christian Mueller is a senior manager, partner marketing for media and entertainment customers at AWS.