Friday, November 16, 2018

Stadiums and Arenas Revamping their Digital Strategies

As fans continue to incorporate technology into every aspect of their lives, live event venues are doing the same! Sporting venues like stadiums and arenas are updating their digital strategies and incorporating the latest tech to revolutionize their fan experience. Let’s dive into the growing tech trends popping up at sporting venues, and some of the stadiums and teams doing innovative things with the latest tech.

Growing Technology Trends:

  1. (Fast!) Wi-Fi Networks: More than ever, fans want to watch the big game and stay connected with family and friends, making Internet access a must-have. In high-density environments (like live event venues), it’s a no-brainer that brands are working to expand and improve Wi-Fi offerings to keep fans happily connected.
  2. Mobile Point-of-Service Systems: Helping vendors easily sell food, drinks, and the latest merchandise to fans, mobile POS systems also let fans make purchases without ever leaving their seats, which means spending less time in lines.
  3. Location Technologies: Beacons and Indoor Positioning can give fans access to things like special promotions, trivia, and even the closest restroom to their seat. More importantly, beacons give venue operators great insights into fan behaviors, movements around the stadium, and spending habits.
  4. Touch Screen Kiosks: In the age of “I need it now,” self-help kiosks allow guests to easily get the help they need, whether it’s ordering their next round of drinks or finding the closest merchandise stand.

What’s Happening in the Real World?
Here are some teams putting these trends into practice:

  1. You’ll find virtual reality (VR) technology at the Minnesota Vikings’ U.S. Bank Stadium, meaning fans can test their athletic abilities against their favorite players all with the help of a VR headset.   
  2. The English Premier football (well, soccer to us) team, Manchester City, has incorporated high-speed Wi-Fi into the Etihad Stadium to make sure fans are always connected and have they ability to share their game day experiences with their social media networks.
  3. With Notre Dame’s “Fighting Irish” App, college football fans can harness the power of AR to bring season tickets to life and watch a video specific to that game’s ticket.
  4. Nike and the NBA are taking mobile tech to the merchandise stand and now offer the Connected Jersey. Using NFC technology, basketball fans can tap a NFC tag on their jersey, and get instant access to exclusive connect specific to that jersey.
  5. The San Francisco 49er’s home, Levi’s Stadium, is using beacon technology to help fans find their seats and order food and drinks to be deliver to them.

One thing is clear, technology will continue to influence game-day experiences of fans across the country no matter the sport. To meet (and hopefully surpass!) fans’ expectations, stadiums and arenas have to take note of what’s been happening recently  and be quick to adapt with the latest technology.