If You Want to Get Fans Off the Couch and Into the Stadium, Do These 5 Things

6th Mar 2017

For sports fans, nothing compares to seeing the action unfold live in front of their eyes as adrenaline pumps in their veins amidst the ear-deafening cheers of the crowd in the stadium. It is the closest you can get to being a part of the action unfolding on the field.

However, research by Cisco indicates a different trend surfacing of late. Cisco’s Sports & Entertainment Solutions Group found that 57% of people prefer to watch a game on their television sets from the comfort of their homes compared to watching it live in a stadium. There are several reasons for this growing trend. 68% of people have cited an economic reason for this while 37% felt following the game from the comfortable setting of their home gives them the flexibility to multitask while 22% felt watching the game stream live on their HD television set was a better experience. Whatever the reason may be, stadiums have to be innovative and provide unique experiences to get fans off the couch and into the venue.

While the onset of television and internet revolution made watching the game incredibly convenient and economical, digitization is also the reason behind the ever shortening queues in front of stadiums. Though watching sports at home may be the popular trend, attending the game in person is incomparable. There is a level of excitement fans can’t get at home, like seeing your favorite celebrities on the big screen or cheering with a stadium full of pumped up fans. However, stadiums have to strive hard to become smarter and hi-tech to keep fans engaged and get them coming back.

The latest breakthroughs in the field of geo-location technology and location intelligence, with beacons, location-based marketing, location-based mobile engagement, geo-analytics, etc. showcase tremendous potential to transform the in-venue environment of stadiums and make it come alive physically and digitally with fans roaring to the spirit of the game. Stadiums through enhanced engagement, seamless connectivity, and customized benefits packed with convenience can deliver an experience that resonates with the millennial spirit and get them coming back.

5 Innovative Strategies to Engage Fans 

Engage through uninterrupted connectivity

73% of fans bring their mobile devices to an event and more than half of them say connectivity contributes to their overall experience at a stadium. A report by Cisco revealed that fans may leave the stadium half-way through the game if they cannot connect to the internet. The urge for mobility and connectivity is incredible and has become more of a necessity than pleasure. Undoubtedly, high-speed uninterrupted Wi-Fi connectivity at stadiums is one of the most important factor when it comes to attracting fans. Passionate fans expect to stay connected, and they continuously use their smartphones to share their photos, experiences, and posts to get in touch with their friends and other sports aficionados through social media while they are at the event. They use location-based services to check-in and associate themselves with the live action on the field. Location-based services delivers event and venue specific promotional messages to their mobile devices informing them of deals, discounts, and offers. However, connectivity itself is not sufficient.

Videos to fuel media rich experience

According to a report by Cisco, 74% of fans feel that HD video throughout the venue will enhance fan engagement. This enables them to see the game through different camera angles, enhancing their single seat view in the stadium. Reportedly 45% of fans agreed to pay a higher price for this facility.

High definition wide television screens across the stadium is the next important thing that rides high on the minds of organizers while thinking of going hi-tech and creating state of the art stadiums.

Transform the Way Fans Interact with the Sport

Take the fan experience at the stadiums a notch higher by transforming the way fans interact with the sport and making it more interactive. For example, some athletic organizations provide various avenues for fans to communicate with them directly. Deploying beacons at the stadium is another sure way to keep fans informed on the latest in-house promotions going on. They can even choose to have it delivered to them right to their seats. Geo-mapping helps them find facilities like restrooms etc. closest to them with the shortest waiting time. Event related mobile apps can contribute to this aspect in a big way by keeping fans posted on event-related content and news such as trivia contests, fan club membership, special interviews with sports stars, etc.

Digital Kiosks

The self-service kiosks across the stadiums help fans navigate easily through the huge and confusing venue through venue maps and assist them by finding facilities such as restrooms and eateries nearby. It can also be used to place an order for food, beverage or any other merchandise.

Stadium Cameras to Capture Fan Activity

A great experience doesn’t really comes full circle without that perfect stadium selfie capturing the moment and the experience. Stadiums are increasingly realizing this and installing some high-speed cameras capable of capturing a snapshot of every single fan in their seat. This is the new technology by the company Fanpics which captures up to 1 million photos in each game. To see their photo, fans just need to download the Fanpic app on their mobile devices and search for the date of the game and their seat number.

So, even as watching the game on high definition television sets is on the rise, stadiums will continue to attract fans with its live in the moment experiences that is incomparable. Couple this with the latest location-based technologies, our stadiums promise to deliver a hi-tech and memorable in-venue experience for fans to keep them excited in their seats and coming back. Request a demo to know how Proximity MX can create the new age hi-tech smart stadiums.

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