When The Game Is Not Enough
Stadiums work to upgrade game day experiences
As the demographics and media habits of sports fans change, leagues and individual teams are making it a priority to connect with their fan base and stay relevant throughout the year. While this news may generate mixed reactions from some fans, advertisers should be getting excited for the possibilities. For starters, stadiums and their sponsors are working hard to find ways to get their audiences connected to in-venue Wi-Fi. Young consumers are used to being connected everywhere they go, so keeping this audience engaged once they arrive is essential to avoid alienating them.
Originally, the thinking behind Wi-Fi accessibility sprouted from the desire to push out marketing messages and create a customer database. Now, leagues and teams have come to understand that the fan base is sharing content on social media platforms, which results in a lot of free marketing. From posting on social about their game-day experience with friends, checking fantasy scores or scanning an electronic ticket, improving smartphone connectivity has become a no brainer for sports organizations. Already, more than 200 venues exist globally that offer Wi-Fi services. Now it’s just a matter of refining the user experience by improving Wi-Fi signals. But this is easier said than done, since the current challenges include arena structures blocking signals and mobs of people trying to connect to the network simultaneously. However, once that hurdle is overcome, the possibilities for serving location-based content to fans across practically every sport will become endless.
Beyond simply offering connectivity, teams are utilizing digital methods to customize and simplify as much of the game day experience as possible. Levi’s Stadium, home to the San Francisco 49ers is a tech and sports fanatic’s dreamland. Before fans even pull into the parking lot, a new app allows them to purchase parking passes, see the view from their seat and purchase a ticket upgrade. Additionally, fans can use the app to check bathroom lines, shop for merchandise, watch game highlights or important replays and even order food and drinks delivered straight to their seats. This not only enhances the experience, but through...