”Technology brings people together, just like sports”

Sometimes I wonder if we have a ‘social media bubble’ in the sports business industry, or if it’s just me being older and older…

The Serie A Club Napoli recently announced a partnership with the dating app Tinder, a somehow a unique way to reach out with fan communication.

“I’m really proud to be part of this unique and innovative initiative with Tinder”, said pro player Arkadiusz Milik, coming back to the club from a long injury break. The 23-year-old suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury last October, and has only made 14 appearances this season.

“Technology brings people together, just like sports, and I look forward to starting this new adventure.”

Another tech company that moves forward is… Twitter

The social channel is known as THE media for breaking news and immediate reactions. Therefore, it makes sense that they wish to continue their focus with live sport and, according to Digital Sport, the analysis of it is that when it comes to sport, Twitter is where the conversation takes place between fans, friends, journalists and sportspeople alike.

And their next move is to provide the users with video content; a streaming platform.

“If you’re a brand, there’s no better time to reach and engage your audience through premium video content,” said Matt Derella VP, Global Client Solutions in a corporate blog post.

Recommended reading:

I might be older for each day, but catching up these tech and social news at least makes me less old-fashioned. Hype or not, it’s all a part of our everyday business.

 

Football team lets fans vote for plays

When the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles played their game last Thursday, all of the team’s offensive plays were voted on by fans using a smartphone app.

The team’s approach to tech-enabled touch could play a major role in for the future of sports and fan engagement. The experiment seems to have been a success in terms of fan enthusiasm, David Z. Morris write for Fortune.

Screaming Eagles fans actually rushed the field after the historic first touchdown made on a play they called.

The match attracted 150,000 viewers from 99 countries, mostly through a stream hosted on Facebook Live by Sports Illustrated. It’s a relatively small number compared to NFL, but a huge leap for tech-based fan engagement.

By the way, the Screaming Eagles lost the game. This time.

Trends that will boost your fan engagement

Jakob Wikenstål have gathered some of the best inventions from past year that might boost (y)our success in 2017. I would like to pick out three of the six trends spotted.

The first one, ”Smart jersey”, with a case from Tampa Bay Lightning, is a combination between fan engagement and ticket marketing strategy. The NHL team introduced a replica jersey equipped with a radio frequency chip embedded in the sleeve. Fans can scan the chip (read: jersey) at stadium stores to receive discounts on refreshments and merchandise.

It sounds like an excellent way to connect with your fans and increase the visual event experience in the same time, doesn’t?

Well, the case is in fact from 2011 (!), and it’s interesting that the technology and theory behind it haven’t been a breakthrough yet. Preston McClellan wrote about it again in 2014 in the context of Ryder Cup. A lot has happened on the digitalization since 2011, but I guess this one is still up for grabs.

The second trend from Jakob that I would like to highlight is ”VR Sports Museums”.

There has been a lot of (good) stuff published on the broader topic, and I think you will find the big picture by reading Virtual Reality in Tourism (excellent blog, bookmark it!) and How Virtual Reality is Being Used in Museums. In short, if you managed to miss it, is that sports (and museums) are experiences, but what happens when you can get ‘the same’ experience with glasses…

Is VR a big threat to (live) sports? Yes, of course. But also a true win when you combine R and VR.

Last but not least, I think the revolution of the pick number three, ”Stadiums 2.0”, only just begun.

We might have a lot of top-modern sports and entertainment arenas all over the world, but just look at what is going on in the Out-Of-Home Advertising (OOH) Industry and you will soon find out that our stadiums will go from ”part-time white elephants” to digital, personalized experience spaces.

Digital signs are talking to me when I walk from the subway to the office. My dishwasher talks to me when I’m lazy at home (almost never happens though…). Why wouldn’t a stadium talk to me when my favorite team are about to play, just scored or when the queue to the hot dogs is too long?

It will happen. Gradually.