Ok, let’s hold a virtual stake-out at the entrance of your sporting venue. It’s an hour before the game starts, and there are people flooding in. You’ve got your super fans, decked out in jerseys and face paint, making a beeline for their usual seats. Then, there are the friends of the super fans, or the locals who are here to grab a beer and a night off from the kids. Then, the people who enter slowly, taking in the stadium and trying to get their bearings–their first time at the stadium, clearly. And there’s always a group that’s just here to find their company-sponsored suite. So we’ve been virtually staked out for just a few minutes and already we’ve seen all types of fans! They’re all here with different intentions and expectations, so why should their game day experiences be the same? Here are a few ways you can appeal to each of these different fans:
The Super Fan
For the fans that consider your arena their second home, your main goal should be to make each game day more seamless than the last. Make sure they can access their season tickets on mobile for easy and quick entry, and consider giving season ticket holders the ability to rack up rewards points that they can cash in for merchandise, concession credits, or other fun prizes.
The “I’m Here with Them” Fans
For this type of fan, it’s all about keeping them engaged and giving them options beyond their seat. Stadiums are focusing on creating “social environments” to keep more antsy fans engaged. Consider creating experiential lounge areas with interactive video screens, or setting up cool virtual scavenger hunts that take them around the stadium. If you can manage to engage these fans and show them that there’s more to your stadium than just watching the game, you might just get them to come back again–maybe even without an invite from their friends!
What are millennials looking for in their game day experience? Fast Wi-fi! Kidding (kind of). Millennial fans are there to loyally cheer on their team, but they definitely are going to want to post pictures and videos from their seats. Make sure your social-savvy fans can post quickly with reliable wi-fi. Many stadiums are actually making major investments to make sure their wi-fi stacks up, and it’s paying off for way more than just their millennial fans–83 percent of adults check their phones while at a sporting event.
Walking into a stadium for the first time is exciting, but can also be a bit overwhelming for those fans that have no idea where their seats are, where the bathroom is, or where they can buy a hot dog. Providing an interactive map that they can access on their phone is a great way to ensure your new fans will have a stress-free experience. A lot of stadiums are starting to implement location-based technologies like beacons or indoor positioning to ensure their interactive maps are as specific as possible.
For your suite guests, it’s all about upping the ante and making sure they feel like they’re getting a personalized experience. Consider creating mobile experiences that are personalized for each suite–providing menus, schedules, exclusive coupons and more. You could even create fun co-branded social filters and frames for some of your bigger sponsorships that would help create buzz around your suite experiences.
No matter who walks into your stadium, you can start providing personalized game day experiences with the device they already have in their pockets–their smartphones! For more ways you can provide a really compelling fan experience on mobile, check out our latest infographic–Innovative Ways to Use Mobile at Sporting Events.