The mobile experience: Engaging fans at sports and entertainment events
Stadiums and venues are no longer just a place to watch a game or attend a concert. Now, they must put the necessary technological infrastructure in place so they can provide fans with a truly engaging mobile experience.
This week, the biggest players in the sports and venue technology industry — including venue management companies and the sports teams themselves — are gathering at the Sports & Entertainment Alliance in Technology (SEAT) conference in London to discuss new advancements and the future of mobile fan engagement. With so many new venue-specific mobile solutions and apps, fan expectations regarding sporting events will never be the same.
In keeping with the theme of the London conference, here’s an overview of some of the innovative new mobile technologies that are being used at stadiums, arenas and ballparks around North America.
Instant mobile replay
Many fans argue that they can get a better view of a game on their television at home than they can in the ballpark stands, especially when it comes to watching an instant replay of a crucial play.
But Montreal Canadien fans can no longer use this excuse to stay home. For the 2015/2016 season, the Bell Centre updated its aging wifi network, making it easier for fans to engage with the team’s free app. The “At the Bell Centre” section of the app even allows fans to see live replays right from their seat.
It can be a pain for visitors to keep track of their paper tickets when they’re wandering around a sporting event. Orlando Magic fans can cross this particular worry off of their list by using the Magic App to get into the Amway Center. This app provides an interface for users to manage their season tickets as well.
According to Mobile Sports Report, the Magic found that 80 percent of season ticket holders and 26 percent of all attendees have gained entry into home games by using this app. Part of the team’s mobile success stems from the fact that they have created multiple game packages that are only available for purchase on their app.
In-seat food and drink ordering
Many fans would rather listen to their stomachs growl than risk missing a moment of the action. But fans at Levi’s Stadium have a new option! The 49ers’ mobile app allows users to order food and drinks from their seats for themselves or for a friend in another section. During Super Bowl 50, fans were even able to make orders for pickup at nearby express locations.
Nowadays, fans want a mobile app that allows them to do more than just look up a team’s roster or stats. A fully engaging mobile experience must help fans improve their day at the game in such a way that they feel like they’re actually part of the action. Teams and venues that actively take advantage of the new mobile technology at their disposal will increase both their revenue oppportunities and overall fan engagement.