The article “The Connected Fan: Today’s sports stadiums wired for a better fan experience to compete with the couch” by Michael Applebaum takes a look at how sports marketers can improve the in game experience for fans. Applebaum’s article talks about the new trend of fans preferring to watch games at home rather than attend the live sporting event. Sports marketers are competing with the “at-home” experience and must strategize how to incorporate that experience within the live event. This article focuses on how new technologies sports stadiums are using to improve fan experiences to keep them coming back to the game.
Three Key Takeaways:
The first key point from this article is that improvements to on-site technology has allowed for new sponsorship opportunities. This is important for sports marketers because the technology used for games not only creates the best possible fan experience but also generate revenue though corporate advertising. Having digital signs can bring in new sponsors and add value to the fans experience. As the article mentions, fans are not specifically looking for information related to sports during the game so this allows sponsors the chance to relay their message to the fans during the game. Sports marketers can utilize this takeaway by having sponsors test a new app at stadiums or show some content that fans can share with people through social media.
The second key point from this article is that sports marketers should create a wired environment. Stadiums must upgrade their cell phone networks and Wi-Fi distribution systems so fans can stay connected. This way when an excellent performance like a no hitter or buzzer beater happens, the stadium can handle a large amount of uploads that fans are posting to social media and sharing images from the experience. It is important to meet fan’s expectations on the quality experience when they come to the game. The article also points out that fans care a lot about the video experience so stadiums must add many HD video screens so they do not miss a thing. This is a key takeaway for sports marketers because with so many screens they can deliver targeted campaigns to one display and at specific moments in the game. Marketers can create a fan-facing solution throughout the stadium so fans always know what is going on with the game no matter how far away they are from the action.
The final takeaway from this article is about social interaction. Sports marketers can get fans to arrive to the game earlier, stay for the whole game, and spend more money. This can be done by utilizing technology to get fans to facilitate conversations and share content through social interactions. Sports marketers can encourage fans to tweet about the team and/or game to have it posted on the scoreboard. Also, they can have fans use their smartphone to play trivia/action games with the incentive of winning team apparel, tickets, etc. This is important for sports marketers because it keeps the fans interacting and enjoying themselves at the game in a way they cannot at home on the couch. Sports marketers can also utilize apps so fans can get exclusive content, earn rewards, and post to social media. Lastly, these apps can be used to allow fans to order food from their seats so they do not have to get up and miss the action.