Month: February 2016

Club by Club: 2016 NRL Fan Engagement and Fan Experience Activations

The 2016 National Rugby League season gets underway this week and fans across Australia and New Zealand are gearing up for what will be another exciting season of rugby league action on the field.

Conversely, there is plenty going on off the field as the teams all look to find new and creative ways to engage with their members both in the stadium and online.

I have put together a quick list of what each of the NRL clubs are doing to improve the fan experience in 2016 and it’s safe to say that there’s plenty of exciting fan engagement activations taking place at whichever club you support.

Have you seen something else that your club is doing to improve the match day and digital fan experience? Hit me up and I’ll add it to the list.

NRL

The NRL Bunker is a new addition to the match day coverage that is the most state-of-the-art video referral technology in Australian sport and is set to revolutionise the game’s decision review system and provide a better viewing experience for fans.

NRL Bunker

NRL Bunker

NRL Bunker

NRL Bunker

NRL Fantasy offers fans:

  • Over $350,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs
  • Winner claims $15,000 and the official NRL Fantasy Champions ring.
  • Enjoy match day Thursday’s and new interactive polling page
NRL Fantasy Ring

NRL Fantasy Ring

Brisbane Broncos

The Bronc’s had one of Brisbane’s City Cat’s decorated in their colours.

Broncos

Broncos

The free Broncos app features:

– An iOS design theme & layout optimised for the latest iPhone & iPad devices.
– Push Notifications to keep you updated with breaking news, score alerts & match info.

As well as News – Videos – Photo Galleries – Season Draw By Month / By Round (upload every Broncos game to your device calendar) – NRL & NYC Ladders – Team & Player Stats – Broncos Twitter (team & player accounts) – Match Tickets – Broncos Website – Broncos Membership – Broncos Superstore – Community – NRL Fantasy – NRL Tipping.

Broncos App

Broncos App

Broncos App

Canterbury Bulldogs

‘The Breed’ is the new match day activation from the Bulldogs with the club revealing each of these players through fan’s Instagram accounts.
The fans favourite Bulldogs players have been turned into Superheroes, showcasing their unique skills and reflecting their strong personalities and traits. More here The Breed

Cb35JkgUsAASR_e Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 8.34.37 am Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 8.34.09 am

Canterbury fans can also pick up free posters.

Bulldogs

Bulldogs

The  Dogs of Rewards loyalty program is worth a look to see how the club rewards fans.

The dogs have the ’18th Jersey Honour Roll’ which is a giant 18 jersey that will be displayed at the northern end of all Bulldogs home games at ANZ Stadium as a permanent reminder to every one of the contribution of Bulldogs fans.

Bulldogs 18 Jersey Honour Roll

Bulldogs 18 Jersey Honour Roll

The updated Bulldogs App features:

– Match highlights
– Picture galleries from every game
– Latest news, table and fixtures
– Push notifications for breaking news and live score updates
– Player profiles

Bulldogs App

Bulldogs App

Canberra Raiders

The raiders have run a comp for fans to design the team jersey.

Canberra Raiders

Canberra Raiders

Canberra Raiders Jersey Design Comp

Canberra Raiders Jersey Design Comp

Raiders members can also get their names on the banner that the team runs through each game.

Canberra Raiders

Canberra Raiders

The Raiders app features:

  • Access to the latest Raiders news, videos and photo galleries
  • 2015 Telstra Premiership draw and fixtures presented in a round or calendar format
  • Ladder for the Telstra Premiership and NYC
  • Full squad list with player profiles
  • Push notifications to keep you updated at all times with breaking news, score alerts and match updates
  • Access to all Raiders related sites, including membership and ticketing
Raiders App

Raiders App

Fans can follow the Raiders on SnapChat too.

Raiders on SnapChat

Raiders on SnapChat

North Queensland Cowboys

The Cowboys have held a community day for fans.

NQ Cowboys

NQ Cowboys

The Cowboys have ‘Full Time: Field Time’ at the end of every home game where fans can play on the field. Full Time Field Time

The free NQ Cowboys App features:

  • A brand new design and layout optimised for all Android Smartphone (2.3+) and Tablet (4.1+) devices
  • Access to the latest team news, videos and photo galleries
  • Telstra Premiership draw and fixtures presented in a round or calendar format
  • Ladder for the Telstra Premiership and NYC
  • Full squad list with player profiles
  • Push notifications to keep you updated at all times with breaking news, score alerts and match updates
  • Integrated Twitter feeds from the official team and player accounts
  • Access to all team-related sites, including membership, Cowboys Team Shop and ticketing

Melbourne Storm

The Storm have launched their 2016 Lightning Rewards program which is the best Australian sports fan rewards program. More info here Lightning Rewards

Lightning Rewards

Lightning Rewards

Storm 'Lightning Rewards'

Storm ‘Lightning Rewards’

Melbourne Storm 'Lightning Rewards'

Melbourne Storm ‘Lightning Rewards’

As part of Lightning Rewards, users will accrue points during the season for completing actions online, as well as earning points on game day at AAMI Park. As you build up your points balance, you will hit new reward levels.  At each level, a new reward will be made available to you.  The higher the level, the better the reward!

Lightning Rewards is a loyalty program designed to reward all of our loyal members. In 2016 the Storm have some great new additions, including following your favourite players live in-game stats to help you earn points!

The Storm offer training tips for fans here: Storm Training Tips

The new look Storm app and their SnapChat account are also worth a look. Storm SnapChat and Storm App

Storm App

Storm App

Storm SnapChat

Storm SnapChat

Melbourne also called on members to be apart of their biggest ever TV commercial.

Melbourne Storm

Melbourne Storm

The Storm have also held a member’s day as have many of the other NRL clubs.

Storm Family Day

Storm Family Day

New Zealand Warriors

Warriors fans had a chance to feature in the team photo.

NZ Warriors

NZ Warriors

Memories of the Vodafone Warriors’ stellar 2002 season have been evoked with the release of the club’s heritage strip for the 2016 NRL season produced by club sponsor Canterbury of New Zealand.

NZ Warriors

NZ Warriors

South Sydney Rabbitohs 

Souths held a mystery player signing session which is a bit of a clever idea to draw the fans/members out.

Souths

Souths

Souths fans can win an exciting fan experience by having the opportunity to hang out in the player’s enclosure during matches in 2016.

Souths

Souths

Souths have a ’Ticket Frenzy’ offer for fans to win free tickets.

Souths

Souths

The SS junior fan zone is a digital site for young fans that features memory and colouring in games. Check it out here: Souths Junior Fan Zone

Souths

Souths

Parramatta Eels

Parra let fans change up their Facebook profile pics by adding a blue and yellow over their pic.

Parramatta Eels

Parramatta Eels

The Eels are offering fans deals for special days like Valentines Day and after match wins.

Eels

Eels

Parramatta have held a Blue and Gold Army Festival fan day where free posters were also given out to fans. More info on the Blue and Gold army can be found here Blue and Gold Army

Parramatta

Parramatta

Eels

Eels

Eels fans can nab $5 match day parking for all home games.

Parra parking

Parra parking

The Eels have flag raisers as well for each home game.

Eels Flag Bearers

Eels Flag Bearers

Young fans have the opportunity to be a junior Eels reporter as well. Junior Eels Reporter

Eels Junior Reporter

Eels Junior Reporter

The team also have a playlist for each home game as voted on by the fans. This was the 2015 playlist:

Parramatta Eels Playlist

Parramatta Eels Playlist

Parra held a ‘Member’s Only’ opportunity to have member’s pictures taken with the Auckland Nines trophy.

Parra

Parra

The Eels are also calling on fans to wear and share their Blue and Gold colours on social media and get behind #BGFridays where fans can win passes to matches and other prizes.

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 10.38.32 am

The Sparky’s Brigade allows young fans to participate in digital activities as seen here: Eels Junior Fan’s Site

Parramatta Eels

Parramatta Eels

The free Eels app features include:

– A brand new design theme and layout optimised for the iPhone 5 and iPad devices ;
– Access to the latest team News, Videos and Photo Galleries;
– 2015 Telstra Premiership Draw and Fixtures presented in a round or calendar format;
– Ladder for the Telstra Premiership and Holden Cup;
– Full squad list with Player Profiles;
– Push Notifications to keep you updated at all times with breaking news, score alerts and match updates;
– Integrated Twitter feeds from the official team and player accounts; and
– Access to all team related sites, including Membership, Merchandise Store, Ticketing, Events Calendar and many more!

Parramatta App

Parramatta App

Sydney Roosters

Easts fans can win their place in the team photo.

Roosters

Roosters

The Roosters app offers:

– A brand new design theme and layout optimised for the iPhone 6 and iPad devices ;
– Access to the latest team News, Videos and Photo Galleries;
– 2016 Telstra Premiership Draw and Fixtures presented in a round or calendar format;
– Ladder for the Telstra Premiership and Holden Cup;
– Full squad list with Player Profiles;
– Push Notifications to keep you updated at all times with breaking news, score alerts and match updates;
– Integrated Twitter feeds from the official team and player accounts; and
– Access to all team related sites, including Membership, Merchandise Store, Ticketing, Events Calendar and many more!

Roosters App

Roosters App

The Roosters loyalty program recognises the importance of our Members and how valued your commitment is to the club.
Read more at Roosters Loyalty Program

The Roosters have held open training sessions for fans and have pushed out information for fans on how to sync their calendars to when games are on with a fixture list.

Roosters

Roosters

Roosters Open Training Session

Roosters Open Training Session

Roosters

Roosters

Fans can learn how to make healthy recipes as part of the Raw-C program seen here Roosters Healthy Eating Recipes

Roosters

Roosters

Roosters free legal advice for fans from club sponsor

Roosters Legal Advice

Roosters Legal Advice

Wests Tigers

The Tigers held a free trial game for fans.

Wests Tigers

Wests Tigers

The Tigers have free wallpapers for fans to download as well here Wests Tigers free wallpapers

The Tigers app offers fans all the news, videos, photo galleries, draw and results, ladders, statistics, match day information, tickets, online shopping and much more. Wests Tigers App

Wests Tigers are also having themed games throughout the 2016 season. More info here Wests Tigers to adopt themes for all home games in 2016 in bid to boost engagement with fans

Wests Tigers

Wests Tigers

St George Illawarra Dragons

Dragons fans can bid on player worn gear as well as partake in social media chats with players.

Dragons Bids

Dragons Bids

Dragons Bids

Dragons Bids

SGI members can also have their name featured on the member’s wall.

Dragons

Dragons

The free Dragons app offers live stats and more like:

  • Latest Dragons and NRL News
  • Dragons TV – interviews and entertainment
  • Daily News Wire – media, gossip and opinion
  • Draws, Results and Ladder for NRL and NYC
  • Player profiles and statistics
  • Up to the minute Push Notifications
  • Press conferences and match highlights
  • Dragons Twitter feed
  • Ticketing and Merchandise
  • Free updates

Dragons App

Dragons App

Dragons App

Dragons fans can experience an away day with the team as well.

Dragons

Dragons

Fans can sync fixtures to their calendars here Dragons Calendars

Members can also enjoy special benefits like these Red V membership incentives Dragons RED V Incentives

Gold Coast Titans

The Titans held a base camp fan experience at CBUS Stadium on the Gold Coast where members were able to sleep over at the stadium. More here: Titans Camp Out

GC Titans

GC Titans

Titans fans can help the team out on match days by being apart of the Titans crew.

Titans

Titans

Newcastle Knights

The Knights have held a community fan day where fans were able to get their pics with the team in this custom image.

Knights

Knights

The Knights fun quizzes for fans on social media too.

Knights Quizzes NRL

Knights Quizzes NRL

Cronulla Sharks

One of the more exciting fan engagement features from an NRL team this year has been the announcement from Cronulla about their #SharkPark3D virtual reality experience which enables fans to use a GoogleCard viewer or other Virtual Reality (VR) device, put their phone in the cardboard slot and then experience #SharkPark3D virtual reality! More here on Shark Park 3D

Cronulla #SharkPark3D

Cronulla #SharkPark3D

The Sharkies have launched ‘Sharks Rewards’ with fans able to earn rewards for supporting the club. More here: Sharks Rewards

Sharks Rewards

Sharks Rewards

The live streaming of trial games has been a highlight for fans with other clubs also doing this recently.

Sharks

Sharks

The new Sharks app is worth a look too. Sharks App

Sharks App

Sharks App

Free downloadable match day programs are also on offer for fans.

Sharks Digital Match Day Programs

Sharks Digital Match Day Programs

Penrith Panthers

The Panthers have held various player appearances around Penrith.

Penrith

Penrith

The Panther’s have a good deal for fans with a 6 game pass and a jersey for $199.

Panthers Jersey and Ticket deal

Panthers Jersey and Ticket deal

The Panther’s Oak Super Fan also sees Panther’s fans showcased on a special Instagram. Penrith OAK SUPER FAN

The Panther’s have offered fans free legal advice from a local sponsor which is a good idea.

Panthers

Panthers

The Penrith App offers:

– Access to the latest Panthers news, videos and photo galleries of training and games

– Telstra Premiership draw and fixtures presented in a round or calendar format

– Telstra Premiership and NYC Ladder

– Full squad list with player profiles

– Push notifications to keep you updated at all times with breaking news, score alerts and match updates

– Access to all Panthers related sites, including our membership site and online store

Manly Sea Eagles

The Sea Eagles are giving fans free match day programs which can be downloaded prior to the game.

Manly Match Day Programs

Manly Match Day Programs

Manly also held a members appreciation day as well.

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 11.32.37 am

The Manly Loyalty Rewards program can be viewed here.

Manly has also teamed up with Netflix and Daredevil to offer this interesting video series Barrett’s Daredevil plans for round 1

Barrett's Daredevil plans for round 1

Barrett’s Daredevil plans for round 1

The Sea Eagles App features:

– A brand new design theme and layout optimised for the iPhone 6 and iPad devices ;
– Access to the latest team News, Videos and Photo Galleries;
– 2016 Telstra Premiership Draw and Fixtures presented in a round or calendar format;
– Ladder for the Telstra Premiership and Holden Cup;
– Full squad list with Player Profiles;
– Push Notifications to keep you updated at all times with breaking news, score alerts and match updates;
– Integrated Twitter feeds from the official team and player accounts; and
– Access to all team related sites, including Membership, Merchandise Store, Ticketing, Events Calendar and many more!

Sea Eagles App

Sea Eagles App

AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2016 Fan Experience Review

AUS OPEN 2016 Fan Experience

AUS OPEN 2016 Fan Experience

Taking place every January for two weeks in Melbourne, Australia, the Australian Open tennis tournament is a world class innovative fan experience that showcases the largest fan site in the world for a major Grand Slam tennis tournament at 250,000 square metres. From best practice digital fan engagement to gourmet food and endless fan activations, this is Australia’s premier sporting event for fan engagement for fans of all ages.  

AUS OPEN 2016 Fan Zone

AUS OPEN 2016 Fan Zone

The Australian Open prides itself on providing an exceptional fan experience and for this years event they included a new Australian Open Festival site that was completely free for the public and only around 500m from the main tennis arena. The new AO festival space in Birrarung Marr near Flinders Street station was designed to host a free tennis-inspired festival for all ages and offered tennis games, a giant TV screen to watch matches on plus gourmet food and drinks and other fan activations like photo opportunities with giant tennis balls. Designed as the new ‘front door’ of the Aus Open, the new festival area was certainly a winner for fans who were already going to the tournament as well as for those who just wanted to experience the free site. 

AUS OPEN 2016 Festival Site

AUS OPEN 2016 Festival Site

AUS OPEN 2016 Festival Site

AUS OPEN 2016 Festival Site

AUS OPEN 2016 Festival Site

AUS OPEN 2016 Festival Site

Aus Open 2016: Festival site at Birrarung Marr

Aus Open 2016: Festival site at Birrarung Marr

Aus Open 2016: Festival site at Birrarung Marr

Aus Open 2016: Festival site at Birrarung Marr

AUS Open 2016: Canadian Club Bar

AUS Open 2016: Canadian Club Bar

AUS Open 2016: Canadian Club Bar

AUS Open 2016: Canadian Club Bar

The tournament offers free trams to and from the event from the main CBD station (Flinders Street) with these free trams being well staffed with Metro staff on hand to help fans get to and from the tournament with ease. The journey time is only a short 10-15 minute ride to and from the door of the venue from the centre of Melbourne so it’s a worthwhile option for fans especially due to the drop off and pick up location at the venue and because it’s free for ticket holders. Without a ticket to the event you would need to use a MYKI card meaning you will have to buy one of these in advance from a 7/11 for $6 and then touch on the tram/train for $3.79 each way. Parking is also affordable and can be made on site for only $15. 

The food and drink on offer at the Aus Open is more than just pies, hot dogs, softdrinks and beers and is more about showcasing the local delights from Australia’s best restaurants and producers such as the Gelato Messina tennis creations as well as a big focus on gourmet, healthy and fresh Greek, Italian and traditional Australian cuisine. There is literally something here for even the fussiest of diners or for those with dietary requirements such is the abundance of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options which is great to see as it means the organisers are truly catering for all fans. 

AUS OPEN 2016 Food

AUS OPEN 2016 Food

AUS OPEN 2016

AUS OPEN 2016

Healthy food options

Healthy food options

Gelato Messina Food

Gelato Messina Food

In terms of going the extra mile for fans there are some amazing fan experiences on offer at the Aus Open. From behind the scenes tours, meet and greets with past and present players, to their relaxing day spa and butler service that sees food and drink delivered to your seat, fans can even rent a personal tennis commentator or be picked up from their house or hotel in an official KIA Aus Open car and be driven to the tournament like a professional player! 

AUS OPEN 2016: Jurlique Spa Lounge

AUS OPEN 2016: Jurlique Spa Lounge

AUS OPEN 2016: Behind the scenes tours

AUS OPEN 2016: Behind the scenes tours

The digital fan engagement from the Aus Open is superb and always touches on the new and exciting things happening in the the digital world to engage with fans from all over the world. From their snapchat account featuring interesting and exclusive behind the scenes moments, emoji messaging keyboard and use of audioBoom to capture insightful audio stories from fans to their use of Periscope to get live raw video action and interviews for fans, asking fans where they were for seat upgrades using #AOSOCIALSUITE to their creative Twitter emoji’s featuring a Koala in a cork hat and Leyton Hewitt, the tournament continued to out do itself online in 2016. It didn’t stop there though as there were also Twitter takeovers with tennis legend Rod Laver, the #EmiratesCheckIn which enabled fans to win prizes and the Guvera playlist which collated players favourite tunes and asked fans to make their own playlist. 

AUS OPEN 2016: Emoji's

AUS OPEN 2016: Emoji’s

Aus Open 2016: Seat Upgrades

Aus Open 2016: Seat Upgrades

AUS OPEN 2016: Emoji Keyboard

AUS OPEN 2016: Emoji Keyboard

AUS OPEN 2016: AO Social Shack

AUS OPEN 2016: AO Social Shack

The physical presence of the AO Social Shack also delighted fans with virtual reality and social media activations like the Aus Open 360 World ‘lab’ which let fans experience a sensory explosion from all angles of the on court action, trophy photo opportunities and the insta-mosaic where fans could tag themselves and #AOSelfie on Instagram to in return receive a free polaroid print out and be featured in a giant mosaic of 4000+ fan photos. The AOSocialShack also included Twitter chats with players that expanded to live streaming ‘people pressers’ using Periscope at the Social Shack. The ‘Social Suite’ in Hisense Arena provided a VIP social experience for fans that engaged with the Australian Open on social media. Through Facebook, fans have also been able to custom brand their profile picture with an AO frame detailing who they support such as ‘I’m Team Tomic’.

AO Social Shack

AO Social Shack

AUS OPEN 2016 360 World

AUS OPEN 2016 360 World

AUS OPEN 2016 360 World

AUS OPEN 2016 360 World

AUS OPEN 2016 Insta-Mosaic

AUS OPEN 2016 Insta-Mosaic

AUS OPEN 2016: Insta-Mosaic

AUS OPEN 2016: Insta-Mosaic

AUS OPEN 2016: Insta-Mosaic

AUS OPEN 2016: Insta-Mosaic

AOSelfie Mosaic

AOSelfie Mosaic

AUS OPEN 2016 Facebook

AUS OPEN 2016 Facebook

In terms of freebies, various crews of sponsor volunteers are seen wandering the venue handing out free merch to fans like a Canadian Club USB fan for your phone, plastic racket fans from Guvera to Blackmore’s health products which all had fans lining up to grab a free giveaway. 

Aus Open 2016: Freebies

Aus Open 2016: Freebies

Aus Open 2016: Freebies

Aus Open 2016: Freebies

AUS OPEN 2016 Freebies

AUS OPEN 2016 Freebies

The massive Novak’s World enables fans to immerse themselves in Novak Djokovic world and experience the power of virtual reality by using Oculus Rift goggles to feel like you are apart of Novak’s world as he prepare to play while the ANZ Tennis Hotshots area is a dedicated kids fan zone with loads of tennis activities for kids of all ages.

AUS OPEN 2016 Novak's World

AUS OPEN 2016 Novak’s World

AUS OPEN 2016: HotShots Fan Zone

AUS OPEN 2016: HotShots Fan Zone

There are countless opportunities for autographs at the Open with both Autograph Island and the Yonnex Autograph site seeing players visit over the course of the tournament to sign fans merch. Fans were also able to get their face on the cover of Australian Tennis magazine, enjoy priority access by showing their bank card, receive free neck and shoulder massages, seat cushions and upgrades over at the Medibank Private members refresh lounge and even be transported to the tournament in free predi-cab rides. 

AUS OPEN 2016 Pedi Cab Rides

AUS OPEN 2016 Pedi Cab Rides

AUS OPEN 2016: Autograph Island

AUS OPEN 2016: Autograph Island

AUS OPEN 2016: Yonnex Autograph Booth

AUS OPEN 2016: Yonnex Autograph Booth

Aus Open 2016: Yonnex Autograph Station

Aus Open 2016: Yonnex Autograph Station

Aus Open 2016: Yonnex Autograph Station

Aus Open 2016: Yonnex Autograph Station

AUS OPEN 2016: Free pedi-cab rides

AUS OPEN 2016: Free pedi-cab rides

AUS OPEN 2016: Free pedi-cab rides

AUS OPEN 2016: Free pedi-cab rides

Photo opportunities for fans are endless here and include giant tennis balls that are featured across the site to TAC’s ‘LookOut’ campaign which was designed to glamorise the ‘no phone’ strut to educate distracted pedestrians. The Twitter #AUSOPEN hashtag sees people standing all over the big hashtag cut out and the trophy photo sessions allow fans to hold the trophies for a picture all illustrate how fans can walk away with a swag of timeless photographic memories. 

AUS OPEN 2016: TAC Lookout

AUS OPEN 2016: TAC Lookout

AUS OPEN 2016: Photo Ops

AUS OPEN 2016: Photo Ops

Photo Ops at the 2016 AUS OPEN

Photo Ops at the 2016 AUS OPEN

AO Social Shack

AO Social Shack

The Nikoleodeon Inflatable World was a playground featuring kids TV characters while the Kia Creative suite enabled fans to step into the shoes of a tennis champion and lift the AUS Open trophy while also showing off their drawing skills to enter a drawing competition for their chance to win prize packs. Music fans were also not left out as the The Open sessions saw performances by Australia’s top music artists throughout the course of the tournament with all these gigs being included in the price of admission.

AUS Open 2016: The Open Sessions

AUS Open 2016: The Open Sessions

AUS OPEN 2016: Nickelodeon Inflatable World

AUS OPEN 2016: Nickelodeon Inflatable World

There was a bigger emphasis on fitness fan engagement as over at the Wilson’s World Wide demo, fans were testing their skills against competitors around the world by participating in virtual reality fitness challenges whereas in the Fitbit Cardio Tennis site fans of all ages were able to get fit and have fun with a group workout on the court while the Medibank Private Fan Zone saw had fans moving to virtual reality skills tests. There was also a ‘Brazilian Booty Workout’ and ‘Partner Push Up’s’ as well as part of other fitness inspired activations for fans.

AUS OPEN 2016: Wilson Marque

AUS OPEN 2016: Wilson Marque

AUS OPEN 2016: FITBIT Cardio Tennis Workout

AUS OPEN 2016: FITBIT Cardio Tennis Workout

AUS OPEN 2016 Fan Zone

AUS OPEN 2016 Fan Zone

Aus Open 2016: VR Fitness

Aus Open 2016: VR Fitness

Along with free water fountains and cool fresh air and water blowing stations the whole site has heaps of phone recharge stations as well meaning your phone will never need to die here. 

AUS OPEN 2016: Free phone charging stations

AUS OPEN 2016: Free phone charging stations

AUS OPEN 2016: Optus Phone Charging

AUS OPEN 2016: Optus Phone Charging

Water Fountains

Water Fountains

The 2016 Australian Open once again solidifies it’s presence as the premier fan experience in Australia. While there are so many exciting and creative things happening in the world of fan engagement, the Australian Open not only shines a light on the big movements in technology such as virtual reality but also on the little things that put big smiles on fans faces and make them much more engaged while watching the tennis both in the stadium and at home, wherever that may be in the world. But don’t take my word for it, just make sure it’s on your sports bucket list and I’m sure you’ll agree it’s one of the world’s exceptional fan experiences. 

 

AUS OPEN 2016

AUS OPEN 2016

Aus Open 2016 #Headbandforgood

Aus Open 2016 #Headbandforgood

AUS OPEN 2016

AUS OPEN 2016

Aus Open 2016: Fan Zone

Aus Open 2016: Fan Zone

Aus Open 2016: Fan Zone

Aus Open 2016: Fan Zone

 

How Sports Teams And Stadiums Are Scoring Big With Craft Beer Fans

This is my latest article which has been written for new Australian craft beer magazine, FROTH. Enjoy!

FROTH MAGAZINE

FROTH MAGAZINE

The live sports fan experience has been undergoing a rapid and exciting transformation in recent years in an effort to bring fans back to the game as major sports teams and stadiums across the globe are addressing fan concerns such as poor quality food options, long queues and inadequate parking to public transport woes, expensive tickets and dirty or insufficient toilets. However there is also one key area that these clubs and arenas are working on to enhance the fan experience and that concerns improving the quality of the beer.

As a result of the high definition wide screen TV sports experience becoming so entertaining these days, sports businesses have had to work extremely hard to increase fans emotional loyalty and provide extra value and ‘bang for their buck’ in an effort to get fans off their TV’s in their sport caves and get their bums back into the stadium seats. While stadium technology like artificial intelligence and virtual reality activations, real time player stats and biometric fast track fingerprint ticketing screening to apps that show you the fastest moving toilet line and in-seat ordering are creative stadium innovations for sport fans, the one area that often gets the most gripe from fans is the quality or lack there of it of the stadium beer however certain aspects in this space are improving.

There are many exciting things happening at this intersection of craft beer and live sports to improve the fan experience and deliver deeper connections with fans. Teams such as the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and the MLS’s DC United have both brought out their own lines of pale ales for fans such as Southern Tier Brewing Company’s ‘One Buffalo Our Beer’ and DC Brau Brewing Company’s ‘The Tradition’ respectively. Major League Soccer team Sporting Kansas City also teamed up with Boulevard Brewing to release special brews on game days with myself being lucky enough to try their delicious Sporting Saison at a game in October.

Venues like the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas and Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand have recently introduced local craft beers to appeal to fans tastes and offer a wider selection of beer on match days. In the case of Wellington’s Westpac Stadium, which is the first stadium in Australia or New Zealand to offer local independent craft beers, the initial foray into local independent craft beer has been for Wellington Phoenix games this season with the beers changing for each event. The Stadium’s CEO and good beer fan Shane Harmon highlights that ‘craft beer was cited as the No.1 area in which we could improve the fan experience’ and points out that at the most recent event ‘we poured Garage Project’s Hāpi Daze (a Pacific Pale Ale) and Orange Sunshine (a citrus wheat ale) as well as Tuatara’s Outrigger (a Pacific Pale Ale), Pilsner & Helles’ with the feedback having been universally positive from fans.

Elsewhere, English football teams Burnley FC and Crystal Palace have both held beer festivals celebrating local craft beer varieties from Moorhouse Brewing and Cornwall’s Sharp’s Brewery while Reading FC have recently called on fans to name and brand their new West Berkshire Brewery pale ale to be sold in the stands. It’s these types of beer initiatives that have deeply engaged hardcore fans who love craft beer as well as the world game.

Back in the US and the New York Mets held an educational ‘beer passport’ event last year that featured plenty of New York brews from Brooklyn Brewery, The Bronx Brewery and SixPoint Brewery and was an added way for fans to get more bang for their buck out of the game while experiencing quality New York state craft beers. Major League Baseball’s LA Dodgers have also upped the game in terms of beer technology as they’ve created special technologically advanced ice cream type foam that sits on top of your cup of beer to keep it ice cold for 45 minutes.

 

 

In recent seasons in the US there’s been a big push for stadiums to feature better quality beers with NFL stadiums like New York’s MetLife Stadium featuring Captain Lawrence and BluePoint, Chicago’s Soldier Field serving up Half Acre and Goose Island and the Green Bay Packers Lambeau field pouring Hinterland and Badger State brews. In fact in writing this article I counted over 100 craft beers on offer at US stadiums. Throughout other US stadiums in-seat ordering and self serve craft beer machines have meant that fans avoid missing long periods of on-field action as beer lines are shorter (with colder beer) as well as the fact that beers can be delivered straight to your seat. Stadiums like the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers Levis Stadium have implemented in-seat ordering so that your beer can arrive ice cold without ever having to leave your seat while their mobile app can even show you which toilet has the shortest queue in real time when you need to relieve yourself!

For those fans who want to watch their beer calories at matches, Canada has manufactured a recovery ale sports beer called ‘Lean Machine’ that is being marketed as the perfect post workout beer as it only contains 80 calories and even had scientists backing it up by saying its no more harmful than a sports drink. Further to this if you’re the designated driver in your group of mates, then US stadiums are just for you as many teams like the New Jersey Devils and New York Jets give sober fans who sign up to drive their mates home a free soft-drink which is a good idea that could work here too.

Exciting developments are happening in Australia too as the SCG recently launched their Matilda Bay Brewer’s Pavilion bar featuring a special exclusive lager called Wagging Tale. Not to be outdone, Sydney’s ANZ Stadium has just openedThe Crossbar that features Kosciuszko Pale Ale amongst 16 other varieties of beer while also creating the James Squire Craft Beer Bar inside the stadium. Furthermore, with Mountain Goat and Little Creatures being recently bought out by Asahi and Lion Nathan respectively and with fans constantly demanding more value, we may well be seeing these fine beers or others at an Australian stadium soon.

So raise your plastic schooner cups sports fans and rejoice in the knowledge that your love and thirst for craft beers is finally being addressed by teams and stadiums across the globe and even here in Australia as they look to give us greater fan experiences each time we head through the turnstiles.

Blair heads up the Australian operations for audioBoom which works with major Australian and international sporting teams through to broadcasters and podcasters and has previously worked at English football club Queens Park Rangers and The Gabba sports ground along with a career in the education system and music industry. Blair can’t go past Stone and Wood’s Pacific Ale but is also partial to Feral Brewing’s Watermelon Warhead. 

150 Fan Engagement and Fan Experience Articles for January 2016

FE Monthly Round Up Articles

FE Monthly Round Up Articles

Just in case you missed any of the key stories from the world of fan engagement and fan experience during January, sit back and have a read through some of these articles from sports business sites including Sports Geek, Sport Techie and We Play to name but a few.

Each month I’ll try to collate a list of some of the fan engagement/fan experience articles that I think are worth having a read.

There’s a whole host of interesting content in here from leagues such as the BBL and NFL to what’s happening in the area of drones, virtual reality and ibeacon tech.

Dive in and take a read.

All the best.

  1. Super Bowl party starts early with opening of downtown fan zone
  2. University of Tennessee plans renovations at Neyland Stadium
  3. The Cameras That’ll Make the Super Bowl Way More Interesting This Year
  4. Eaton’s New Ephesus LED Systems to Illuminate NHL and AHL All-Star Games
  5. ESPN set to debut ‘Virtual 3’ technology for NBA broadcasts
  6. WHAT’S THE VALUE OF LOYAL FANS? [INFOGRAPHIC]
  7. The Fan Experience is Changing as Tech is Making Game Interactive
  8. Gaming the Six Nations
  9. Silicon Valley rolls out red carpet for Super Bowl
  10. ESPN Virtual 3 Technology Is Being Introduced Today To Literally Highlight 3-Pointers In NBA Broadcasts
  11. One Step Beyond into the WBA Fanzone
  12. NHL Fan Fair presented by Bridgestone opens Jan. 28
  13. Topgolf To Reimagine Sports Entertainment For Millennials With World Golf Tour Acquisition
  14. Miami Heat take the fan experience outside the arena with digital signage
  15. Wallace and Selfeo Look to Fully Immerse Fans into NASCAR Experience with Daytona Partnership
  16. Fan Fair provides perfect start to All-Star Weekend
  17. Sacramento Company’s App At Heart Of Super Fan Chase Event
  18. The Drone Racing League Makes Its First Mainstream Play
  19. If the Raiders move to Las Vegas, we’d like to see a few of these features worked into their home games
  20. Scottish football fans unite against SPFL’s bid to bring in facial recognition cameras: ‘Plan will drive punters away’
  21. South Carolina Seahawks Fans Enjoy “Surreal” Experience at Divisional Round Playoff Game vs Panthers
  22. Cardinals’ use of virtual reality technology yields record season
  23. Sacramento Kings To Premiere NBA’s First 4K Ultra HD Center-Hung Video Board Featuring Largest Screens And Highest Resolution In The League
  24. The world’s first live VR boxing match promises to be a knockout
  25. Big Bash League 2016: How BBL is attracting kids, families and females to cricket
  26. The Australian Open is getting increasingly creative on social media
  27. Government fan plan on club strategy will be written into league rules
  28. F1 bosses want fans to vote for “driver of the day” at each race
  29. SPFL discusses face recognition system for unacceptable conduct
  30. Australian Open details data analytics improvements driving digital engagement
  31. Orlando Magic keen on UK specific partners as it looks to fuel international expansion
  32. Australian Open details data analytics improvements driving digital fan engagement
  33. Sporting Innovations has a new name
  34. Manchester United boost fan engagement in India with Adidas involvement
  35. Panthers president special message to fans: ‘Keep Pounding’
  36. Now Anyone Can Play Goalie for the New York Rangers
  37. LIVERPOOL FC PARTNERS WITH SKYPE TO BOOST FAN ENGAGEMENT
  38. Australian Open crowds aren’t all for the tennis
  39. Sports Teams Running Out of Fans
  40. Why should clubs use Snapchat?
  41. Suns Launch “Shazam with the Suns” Contest
  42. 2015 NBA World Champion Golden State Warriors Select SignalShare To Deploy Arena Wi-Fi
  43. Lucas Oil Stadium ranked first in NFL stadium experience for fifth straight year
  44. Super Bowl 50: Your Haute Guide to Nine Days of Festivities
  45. Lyon set to debut swanky new £186million stadium this weekend – see inside the Euro 2016 venue here
  46. THE KEY TRENDS SET TO SHAPE THE DIGITAL SPORTS INDUSTRY IN 2016
  47. Editorial: Team finds one more way to enhance fan experience
  48. Every Alabama And Clemson Player Will Have A Player Tracking Chip In Their Shoulder Pads Tonight
  49. The Sacramento Kings Are Building the NBA’s Techiest Arena, a ’21st Century Coliseum’
  50. How College Football Playoff Optimizes Fan Experience On Championship Game Day And Throughout The Year
  51. Kiswe Mobile Teams Up With Monumental Sports Group To Give Fans More Control When Watching Sports Broadcasts
  52. Sensoria Launches New Products To Create Full Body Wearable Platform
  53. Fans’ View: The Fans’ View experience
  54. Letters to Lambeau connects Packers fans
  55. The Whole Nine Yards: What The NFL Can Teach Marketers About Brand Engagement
  56. STRIVR Labs Launches Fan Experience and VR Production Division
  57. Report excerpt: New Wi-Fi at Ole Miss
  58. Notre Dame Stadium rated best college football experience in the country
  59. What the Minnesota Vikings’ terrible temporary home can teach Seattle, Chris Hansen
  60. Rangers adding new scoreboard, foul poles to Globe Life Park in 2016 (Photos)
  61. Miami’s Sun Life Stadium to Enhance Fan Experience and Energy Efficiency with Eaton’s Advanced Ephesus LED Lighting System
  62. English Soccer Club Manchester United to Launch 24-Hour TV Channel in China
  63. NBA Twitter is Changing the Way We Watch Sports
  64. How Periscope Is Building A Community In The Midst Of Twitter’s Turmoil
  65. Snoop Dogg On Why He’s Investing in GameOn
  66. Three Sports Technology Trends Emerged In 2015 That Will Change Sport Forever
  67. Wildcats color Memphis purple at pep rally
  68. Video: Watch the Melbourne Renegades celebrate the Indian community and culture
  69. Melbourne Stars’ import Kevin Pietersen says he is honoured to be part of BBL
  70. Washington Capitals And Wizards Owner Ted Leonsis On Big Data And The Future Of Sports
  71. Jason Guarente: Flyers alumni game will light up Reading
  72. New York Jets Add Virtual Reality Experiences For Fans
  73. NBA New York Knicks Use Ridiculous Giant Minigun-Style T-Shirt Launchers
  74. Influence Mobile geared to female sports fans
  75. Halifax Hurricanes Boxing Day Home Opener
  76. NBA And NHL Teams Use Unique Smartphone Experiences To Attract Millennials
  77. Visit Tampa Bay announces Vols fan winner of Outback Bowl VIP Experience
  78. Atlanta Hawks Eye Better Retail Customer Experience with New Partner
  79. Utah Jazz have brought the fans back with exciting players and hope for the future
  80. IBM launches consortium for sports venues
  81. Panasonic presents video featuring large-screen solutions
  82. Browns tight end Gary Barnidge rents entire theater, joins fans to see ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’
  83. Silicon Valley tech companies jump on the Super Bowl bandwagon
  84. FB as fan engagement medium
  85. Grandstand Offers Hot Take-Free Football Highlights, Bowl Season Simplicity
  86. Cowboy Stadium ranked as Southland’s top venue by Stadium Journey
  87. CSN Bay Area and CSN California to Launch “Authentic Fanuary” on New Year’s Day
  88. College Football Playoff National Championship using Super Bowl XLIX as blueprint
  89. Chelsea and England forward Eni Aluko eyes growth of women’s game
  90. U.S. Bank Stadium Setting Up for Easy Fan Navigation
  91. Fusion Sport Timing Systems Support Michael Jordan Brand For Fan Engagement Event
  92. The College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience Celebrates the 2015 Hall of Fame Class in Atlanta on Dec. 30
  93. Wi-Fi to the RV: Oklahoma brings Wi-Fi services to RV parking lot
  94. How The Kansas City Chiefs Use Social Media To Enhance The Fan Experience
  95. Texas Rangers Add to Visual Experience with New Daktronics LED Display
  96.  Football fans’ ‘manifesto’ launched at Scottish Parliament
  97. World Sailing taking the sport to the masses in 2016
  98. Formula E Teams Up With Gigya to Drive Fan Engagement
  99. Packers fans invited to enter Associated Bank’s “Keys to Lambeau” Sweepstakes for exclusive tour of Lambeau Field
  100. STRIVR Launches New Division To Create Virtual Reality Content And Experiences
  101. Brand our beer and name our ale!
  102. Feature: Breaking Down The Sensory Barrier
  103. The Skill Set: Loic Remy
  104. The Magic Was Real | Portland Timbers 2015 MLS Cup Champions
  105. NBA, MLB COMMISSIONERS STILL BELIEVE IN FAN EXPERIENCES AMID TECH WORLD
  106. Cascade High nominated for Statesman Journal’s Fan Experience Award
  107. Silver Spurs Arena Improves Visual Experience with Daktronics Products
  108. Cuban: Fans shouldn’t look at phones ‘while the ball is in the air’
  109. Vikings’ growing media network takes game to fans ‘365/24/7’
  110. Technology Firm From Israel Set To Upgrade Real Madrid’s Mobile App
  111. College Football Playoff Fan Central in full swing
  112. Sydney Thunder: Kids Eat Free
  113. ‘All over the UK’: NFL’s growth in Manchester ‘phenomenal’, say Inside the Huddle duo
  114. Super Bowl 50 bound Denver Broncos partner with PrimeSport as their official fan travel partner
  115. Feschuk: The future of sports will look like this
  116. Silicon Valley Is Commandeering San Francisco’s Super Bowl
  117. Broncos use technology to deepen fan support
  118. Facebook needs more friends in its new Sports Stadium
  119. Here’s what Broncos, Panthers fans will shell out for their Super Bowl experience
  120. Super Bowl 50 and fan events: Locations to know in the Bay Area
  121. Why Every Marketer Should Be Watching Virtual Reality
  122. Snapchat’s linked with the NFL to sell big-name brands for a Super Bowl Live Story
  123. Top 10 Sports Business Trends to Watch in 2016
  124. Super Bowl 50 puts tech in its starting lineup
  125. Why Australia’s Big Bash League Is Changing The Professional Sports Paradigm
  126. Baylor Enhances Fans’ Gameday Experience at the Ferrell Center
  127. A San Francisco Super Bowl Experience, With or Without a Ticket
  128. Fan experience key to fun at CareerBuilder Challenge
  129. AHL commissioner talks league, ‘Hogs, outdoor games
  130. Mark Hollis gives his take on fan engagement at MSU sporting events
  131. How to maximize your experience at Braves FanFest
  132. Islanders moving to Metro Bank Park
  133. 49er fans aren’t thrilled with the stadium that’s hosting Super Bowl 50
  134. 5 BURNING QUESTIONS THAT SPORTS MARKETERS HAVE ABOUT FAN DATA
  135. Uber gets exclusive deal to pick up and drop off passengers at Super Bowl 50
  136. Fox Sports will offer live virtual reality along with regular broadcast of Garcia-Guerrero title fight
  137. Nuggets rank 21st on Forbes list of most valuable NBA teams
  138. U.S. Bank Stadium’s High-Res Video Boards in Place
  139. Are Texans, NRG ready to go wild on Wi-Fi? Why, yes
  140. The NBA’s Least Engaged Fans
  141. Stadium Managers Are Still Learning How To Monetize Fans
  142. Are Sports Fans Ready for a Virtual NFL Experience?
  143. Lifelong fan enjoys inner sanctum experience
  144. Infosys And ATP Partnership Brings Data Analytics To The Australian Open
  145. 3 local food favorites coming to Progressive Field
  146. How the Super Bowl will handle millions of selfies
  147. Effect of time and location on sports fan engagement using mobile
  148. Fan Engagement | How to get bums on seats and keep them there
  149. Digital lens: scoring stronger fan relationships
  150. SUPER BOWL 50: WHAT CAN YOU SEE AT THE NFL EXPERIENCE
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