Today’s sports fans are some of the most loyal and dedicated consumers that an organisation could hope for, in which keeping the fans happy has become a centralised part of any successful football team’s strategy. While this traditionally involved well thought out PR and annual charitable events, todays NFL spectators expect a whole new level of what is essentially customer service. What’s more, as franchises rely more and more on the profits they make from the commercialisation of their teams, being able to get up close and personal with fans has never been so important.
Technology is playing a major part in connecting the NFL to their fan base, in which games are becoming more immersive and interactive than we would have thought possible a decade ago. Let’s take a deep dive into 6 of the top technologies that are transforming sports fans’ experiences.
Today’s football fans are spoilt for choice when it comes to watching the game. You could be sat on the couch with the live game on the big screen, while running an app with live stats, playback and analytics on your Ipad, and the radio commentary of the game on your phone. Statistics from the 2018 Fifa World Cup indicate that 77% of viewers were using a second screen while watching the game on their TV.
These additional screens enable fans to not only really immerse themselves in the game but to also get in on the action by participating in polls, sending tweets and commenting on live feeds across social media, or playing bets throughout the game. This new level of interaction keeps players engaged as ensures offers NFL fans the chance to get up close and personal with their favourite team.
Technologies such as geofencing have become increasingly popular in recent years, allowing franchises to target specific regions to offer fans exclusive rewards and incentives to attend events. What’s more, the game itself can be enhanced by geofencing, with venue providers being able to use this feature for marketing, logistics and safety.
In terms of marketing, geofencing could be used to promote game souvenirs such as books and clothing and cups as spectators enter the stadium. It could also be used to offer discounts on live streaming subscriptions and exclusive betting offers once fans enter the stadium as this provides a sure fire way for marketers to attract the right target audience to their products.
What’s more, geofencing could be used for crowd control, public safety alerts and evacuation procedures during a game, creating a safer environment for fans.
The concept of the smart stadium is now becoming a reality as the likes of Tokyo’s Olympic stadium and the Amsterdam Arena implement devices that enhance spectator’s experiences. Such technologies could be implemented inside NFL stadiums, from facial recognition that could replace the need to carry a ticket, to self-driven cars that transport people around the arena, and smart sensors on objects around the arena that allow for improved delivery for stats.
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Sports betting is rapidly gaining popularity in the US, it is now common for sports fans to be wagering at an online sportsbook while watching their team. NFL fans are now more frequently able to access in-game wagers from mobile betting apps, allowing fans to get involved with the game action.
In addition, in game information on statistics and analytics are also becoming more predominantly available, making it easier for punters to access the info they need before staking their bet. Fans now demand to be able to access leadership boards and minute-by minute statistics, in which it’s in the best interest of the team to provide fans with this kind of information. In turn, the fans reward their favourite teams with a fierce loyalty and much higher engagement rates.
In recent years, statistics show that 49% of fans increase their spending on merchandise if there’s a good tech experience on offer. Seamless app and smart device integration means that fans are now more easily able to access the merch store of their favourite team, whether that be on their phone while at the stadium or on their tablet while sat in front of the big screen.
Increased merchandise sales not only help the team to thrive through access to more funds, they help to grow the brand reputation of a franchise and increase their fan base.
Live streaming offers fans an increased level of accessibility while providing a insight than can’t be offered on the big screen. Through live streaming; fans are able to see unique angles of the game that are filmed from a field level perspective, making them feel like their watching the game live but from the comfort of their couch.
Ready to experience the next level of NFL? Be sure to check out all of the above features that are available to you.