The phrase from the famous stadium song, “Take me out to the ball game” used to mean cracker jacks, a bag of popcorn, and my dad telling me about the game’s best players. Today’s sports fan experience has to be formulated for an entirely new type of stadium experience and fans are experiencing the in-game excitement in a different way–they want to connect with your team on mobile, through social media and in-the-moment mobile experiences. What’s the best way to do that, you ask? We’ve mapped out some of the best ways for sporting venues to get over some of the industries’ biggest challenges using the device fans already have in-hand (well..in the hand that isn’t holding their hot dog).
The Issue: Getting Fans into Seats
The Solution: With the growing popularity of live streams and clips of the game being uploaded in real time, in-stadium fan engagement saw a steady drop in recent years–only 29 percent of fans said that they would rather watch the game in the stands than at home. That means it’s time to get creative to get fans in the seats. To bypass the issue of long lines that many venues see, integrating mobile ticketing can speed up lines and get kids into the stadium before their parents give up. Once fans are in the stadium, cool immersive experiences, like this one at the Detroit Tigers stadium, are a great way to interact with fans through new technology integrations. And, you can use mobile to share your game results, and even compare your performance against your favorite player.
The Issue: Declining Fan Engagement
The Solution: We know that today’s fans value the experience more than just watching the game. In some cases, you may end up with people at the stadium who aren’t avid team supporters, but they’re in the stadium for the exciting atmosphere that comes along with the game. What’s the best way to connect with these fans while they’re in the stands? Mobile touchpoints for every part of their journey like in-seat food and beer delivery, instant game replays from better views, or social media filters on Snapchat are a good start to keeping the fan’s attention regardless of what’s happening on the field.
The Issue: Aging Infrastructure and Technology
The Solution: Providing Wi-Fi for more than 20,000 people can be a major drag on mobile loading times, slowing down everyone’s ability to check in online with their friends, find the bathroom through a GPS map, or pay for parking through a mobile app. But thanks to some new mobile tech (Progressive Web Apps), stadiums can engage fans with lightning fast mobile experiences that will load even in low-to-no service areas.
Need a few more ideas on how to get past the challenges that today’s sporting venue has? Check out our fun infographic that lays out exactly how to get started on a better fan experience.