5 Ways Mobile Connectivity Is Changing Sporting Events
Sporting events are no longer about simply watching athletes or your favorite team perform; they’re about a broader, more immersive experience as it takes place. Fans of this summer’s biggest sporting events, from the Olympics to Wimbledon, want mobile connectivity while they’re in the stands. This means more than just having wireless access — it means fans expect an immersive and highly personalized experience.
Here are some of the ways mobile technology is connecting with and engaging fans during live events:
1. Mobile Connectivity Above All Else
Before any other great mobile technologies can be deployed, a venue must offer a consistent, high-quality wireless connection. Without the ability to connect to the internet, fans can’t take advantage of other mobile technologies or features within a given app.
Converged fiber networks with passive optical network (PON) and distributed antenna system (DAS) technologies are making fast, secure and uninterrupted mobile connectivity possible. Plus, PON-DAS is doing it using less power, less space and with less technical support and labor required.
2. Mobile Apps
Mobile apps are one of the best ways that leagues, teams and venues can interact and engage with fans at live events. And apps that can help with parking, seat purchases, upgrades, check-in, seat location and ordering concessions are definitely not going unappreciated for the convenience they have to offer.
Meanwhile, other apps focus more on the sporting experience itself — offering video replays, athlete profiles, team statistics and updates on related events or teams that fans may be following. These services help build fan loyalty and engagement over the long term, not just at the event itself.
3. Mobile Point-of-Service
Another great technology that many stadiums and venues have already rolled out is mobile point-of-service (POS). Mobile POS provides a powerful opportunity to deliver personalized customer service to fans through mobile connectivity.
With POS technology, vendors can sell food, beverages, merchandise and more from anywhere in the stadium without requiring fans to leave their seats or wait in line. Sending these services to the fans allows them to focus on the event, thereby enhancing their experience and limiting any frustration. Plus, venues often win too, with less infrastructure space required to sell their merchandise.
4. Beacon Technology
Forward-thinking teams, leagues and event organizers are already using beacon technology to increase fan engagement, prompt purchases and deliver personalized content. Albeit similar to GPS and location-based services, beacon technology takes geolocation a step further, providing the micro location of the mobile-connected fan. This allows venues to push messages to fans through their apps when they enter and exit specific locations. For example, a fan could be guided to the location of his or her seat through step-by-step directions.
Additionally, beacon technology can help make mobile apps “smarter” by adapting their responses based on context. For instance, when a fan makes it to his or her seat, the app can then push notifications about which food and beverages are available to order via their mobile phone or let them know where the nearest restroom is.
5. Data and Analytics
At the end of the day, the biggest asset mobile connectivity can deliver is fan data. With data comes the ability to further improve the experience, engage fans and upsell future events. The venues, teams and sport organizers that invest in the infrastructure and platform to gather customer information, glean insights from it and adjust how they engage will ultimately score the most points with the audience.