stadiums

100+ Fan Engagement Ideas for Kids, Families, Members and Fans

Good morning, 

Please feel free to use this newly updated version of one of my popular fan engagement resources.

The following infographic provides 100+ ideas and strategies for teams and venues of any size to use to give their fans and members, from young to old, extra bang for their buck on game day.

I hope you find it useful and please feel free to touch base should you need to know what an idea means, how I can be of assistance, put you in touch with a sports business colleague or help you in any way.

I hope just one of the ideas helps you improve your fan’s fan journey and game day experience.

Have a great weekend and all the best in delighting your fans. 

Previous fan engagement resource here:

Fan Engagement Ideas Resource

 

The Importance and Benefits of Harnessing Fan Generated Content: An NRL 2018 Case Study

If it’s one part of the fan engagement spectrum that I have consistently championed over the years for clubs and my clients it has been to acknowledge, promote, utilise and harness the diverse skill sets of their fans. 

Fans have skills that can help a club in many ways whether it be from graphic design to podcasting and what we’re seeing more and more of is that teams are realising that they can create deeper emotional loyalty, new revenue opportunities and provide extra engaging content to their members and fans by working alongside these fan groups. 

Teams like the MLS Seattle Sounders are one of the best in the business when it comes to harnessing the skills of their fans. Every year they do a ‘Posters By The People‘ and a scarf design contest which allows Sounders fans of all ages and skill levels to contribute match day poster and scarf designs which are then voted on for by fellow fans and either used across the clubs official social media channels or produced for fans to wear on game day respectively.

It’s an incredibly effective and simple way to bring these fans closer to the team, highlight the skills and passions of their fans and overall it’s a positive thing to do. It’s not going to work for every team and it’s certainly never going to take over from the quality output that team staff do but it’s just a great look for a club to illustrate that they’re listening to their fans.

 

One reason for the proliferation of fan generated content has been because the barriers for entry into both graphic design and podcasting for instance have been broken down. You can now create quality designs and effective podcasts as a result of free design platforms like Canva whose intuitive platform enables anyone to get started creating content as well as podcasting’s explosion which has seen every man and his dog set up a podcast with the very basic of equipment. For both graphic design and podcasting the costs are also much lighter on the fans wallet these days as opposed to the past where expensive graphic design software and a recording studio would have stopped many fans from getting started. 

Now obviously the vast majority of fan generated content creators out there are not at the level of professional graphic designers or creating professional studio recorded quality podcasts such as what the league or teams contribute however what it does do is highlight that fans have these skills, that they’re building their own fan groups of fellow supporters of the same team and that their voice and that of fans voices globally are growing louder every day as they realise that they can create content that is highlighting their love for their team.

It’s impressive to see the rise and rise of the fan voice across the globe as they can now create content that other fans enjoy and engage with. Clubs should absolutely start tapping into this more and more as it shows an appreciation of the fans effort and compliments the work that their in house teams do whether that be in writing, podcasting, graphic design or other related fields. 

I recently posted this thread on Twitter highlighting the creative efforts of NRL fan content creators here in Australia after what has been a stellar year for the code with ratings, revenue, memberships, crowds all up as well as the establishment of the NRLW and games in Perth and Denver.

The game’s greatest asset is the fan so it is important to acknowledge these fans as they are constantly pumping out the positive, passionate and engaging content and I feel this illustrates my point that it is both vital and rewarding for clubs to find ways to engage, highlight, promote and harness the diverse range of skills of their fans as it is a win-win positive thing to do.

1. Podcasters

Having worked very closely in the podcasting space in recent times I have seen the rise of people wanting to get their passion into podcasting and as I said above the barriers have now decreased with a very basic bedroom podcasting set up costing well under $100. Podcast quality has also increased so while some pods may not be at a high quality level, whats happening is that fans are getting better the longer they stick with it. There’s also an incredibly strong community amongst these podcasters too. They do it for the love of the game. They promote each other and therefore that of the game and their team. They are broadcasters and should be taken seriously. 

Some of the podcasters out there in the NRL include:

Ladies Who League

Oh Errol

Full Credit To The Boys

The Full 80

Shark Cast

Fifth And Last

Progressive Rugby League

League Life NRL

Roosters Radio

Panthers Weekly

Dead in Goal

NRL Roast

Woody & Slugs Do League

Fire Up On FBI

This Week In League

Sports Best Friends

League Digest

Zero Tackle

NRL Boom Rookies

Fins Up Pod

League Counsel

ASD Podcast

View From The East Stand

2. Statistics/Game Data

Fans like stats guru Andrew Ferguson who runs one of the best league sites out there in Rugby League Project is an incredible fan generated site which houses a massive range of rugby league data and is an absolute credit to the game. I find myself using this site a lot as do other NRL fans. Another fan doing good things with stats is pythagoNRL.

3. Sports Science

In a classic case of a fan using their diverse skills to offer the rest of us an insight into player injuries and recovery, the NRL Physio has provided some really interesting insights and analysis for NRL fans this year. The NRL should find a way to utilise his skills as fans have greatly enjoyed his insights and graphics in real time during games on social as he provides game player injuries and recovery information and analysis. He knows he’s not affiliated with the NRL and that what he says is only his opinion however he has built an incredibly strong trust with fellow fans as a result of his skills and willingness to want to contribute to his passion.

4. Independent Broadcasters

The independent fan NRL media, broadcasters and writers like The 81st Minute, Steele Sport, League Unlimited, Nothing But NRL, Steve Mascord, James Smith, RLeagueLive, JasonNRL and even to an extent ‘The Fan which while it may be shown on Fox Sports is run by mega league fan Andrew Voss who consistently provides outstanding behind the scenes storytelling that fans greatly enjoy. 

5. Fan Club Social Accounts

The NRL fan club accounts across social constantly provide fellow fans with a passionate atmosphere at games as well as insights and analysis throughout the week and add to the stories and content from the club but from their perspective as hardcore fans.

Some of these include: 

NRL Bulldogs Fans

Nothing But Knights

The Greenhouse- Canberra Raiders

Red V Mail- St George-Illawarra Dragons

NZ Warriors Die Hards

The Burrow- Souths

Wests Tigers Hub

Titans Legion- Gold Coast Titans

NQ Stampede- NQ Cowboys

Eels The Cumberland Throw- Parramatta

6. Social Commentators

The often hilarious NRL social commentators who constantly provide cheeky laughs, clever analysis, interesting stats, glorious memories as well as cutting through the media bullshit, crisis merchants and spin that often snakes its way into the game. In fact what we’ve seen this year is that as a result of the positives in the game as well as the huge level of fan generated content and these positive fan voices in NRL that fans have collectively called out the rubbish reporting and negativity in rugby league. 

Some of the accounts to follow on Twitter for instance include:

Boring NRL Guy

Sports Freakshow

Former Legend

Karate Warrior 2

Winfield Cup

NRL Grammar Cop

Simpsons NRL 

7. The Graphic Designers

The graphic designers like  and  as well as others who’ve put their own skills and spin on things to create interesting NRL content like jersey designs and artworks are to be applauded. Perhaps a game day poster idea could be something teams could think about for 2019 and then have these around town prior to a game to promote the match. 

8. The Hardcore Fans

And then there’s fans like who travelled 19259.4kms for 24/24 Parramatta Eels matches this year, documenting his journey along the way for fellow NRL fans to enjoy. What were some of the other great NRL fan stories you enjoyed from 2018?

Overall it’s been a huge positive year for both the NRL and NRL fans and I just wanted to put this together before the start of the NRL finals to shine a light on some of the creative content creators and fans out there who go above and beyond for the game. League’s greatest asset is the fan and the faster clubs around the globe realise the benefits of working closer with these particular fans and their skills, the more the game, fans and the code as a whole will grow together.

Big Bash, Big Fun at Melbourne Stars BBL

Big Bash, Big Fun at Melbourne Stars BBL

The following article appeared in Digital Sports Labs and can be found in full here.

There’s an entertainment extravaganza taking place in the fan zone outside the Melbourne Cricket Ground as the Big Bash League’s Melbourne Stars play host to the Sydney Thunder on a hot and humid night in Melbourne.

At first glance, it appears the Melbourne Stars team have thought of all the standard game day fan engagement touches that we’ve come to see around our Australian venues, but have then added a few surprisingly creative additions that represented an added highlight for kids and families.

Having taken the tram today, it was good to instantly view prominent way-finding signs directing fans to transport and stadium access points while the atmosphere and vibrancy was loud and vocal on the approach to the fan zone.

Before the game, fans were able to create and customise their own ‘Starmoji’ character on the Stars’ website which was a hit with the kids (and this writer’s fiancé!) as well as download their augmented reality app to scan AR markers on murals around the venue.

Melbourne Stars' StarMoji

This was a clever activity for families to partake in as the AR app enabled fans to collect the full series of markers thus creating a type of scavenger hunt around the venue and making blank concrete spaces come alive. It’s going to be very interesting to watch the AR space develop as venues and teams turn previously unused stadium spaces into new and exciting opportunities for fans to engage with.

The crowd is pumping outside the ground an hour before the first ball with a colourful song and dance area, colouring-in stations and face painting all providing a plethora of activities and ways to pass the time before heading into the ground. An impressive feature outside gate 4 was also the ‘first timer’s’ stand where fans could pick up a scorecard showing how cricket works and other game day information.

‘First Timer’s’ stand at Melbourne Stars BBL game

The kids zone seemed endless with both a Nickelodeon site on the Yarra Park side of the G while another area with inflatables, slides and kids activities featured on the other side of the ground that kept families entertained while the ground stickers featuring team member names of both the WBBL and BBL players scattered around the stadium added more colour and design to spaces rarely used on game days.

Photo opportunities seemed endless with a variety of options such as a size me up stand, a chance for fans to have flames appear in their pic with the stadium background and a hashtag ‘S_ARS’ team green cut out where fans were able to use their arms to make the ‘T’ for the photo. A further walk around the MCG saw skills drills stations with bowling and batting practice and the addition of a bubble machine.

4 and 6 signs at Melbourne Stars BBL game

Upon entering the MCG all fans were able to grab a few freebies like ‘boom boom’ inflatable sticks, a pair of Stars butterfly wings as well as 4, 6 and dot ball cards (a clever idea for when the team is fielding) which were keeping families and kids smiling ear to ear.

The quality event presentation aside, the game day production and screen content inside the G was an eye catcher as the hype reel countdown, oblivious cam and the inclusive way that they had a person doing sign language on the screens for the game day announcer were all very impressive to witness throughout the match. A dance crew roamed the outside of the boundary rope jumping up to perform after every big moment while the pyrotechnics lit up the crowd, especially those in the unique party deck seating in Bay 13.

View image on Twitter

The fast-paced fan engagement ripped through three sponsor’s activities in about 15 minutes with a dash for cash and crowd chant ‘noise off’ getting many laughs however the t-shirt gun operator might need some more training based on the fact one tee was fired into an empty stand and another hit sponsor signage before plummeting to the stand below, however, both shots still generated good-natured laughs from the crowd.

While every major venue across the globe are working on ways to get fans into venues earlier with creative incentives that drive further revenue and more eyeball time on sponsors there can be no denying that the BBL and BBL teams like the Stars go above and beyond to create impressive action-packed fan zones that offer quality and quantity in terms of fan engagement activations. This emphasis on variety actively encourages more families to attend well in advance of the match start time simply due to the overwhelming array of fun to be had pre-game.

A spectacular set up from the Stars that focuses on the little things fans want, a dash of technology and then some added surprises to light up the game day adventure.

The 2017 Fan Engagement/Experience 100-1 Recap

Hello and welcome to the 2017 fan engagement/experience year in review countdown-recap-innovation-spectacular where I’ll again be showcasing 100-1 ideas from this space across the sports business landscape. Of course this is all in my honest opinion so if you have seen something else that should of made it into the list please join the discussion on Twitter @MrBlairHughes or comment below with your thoughts as this is all about sharing and showcasing ideas with the sports business community.

Firstly, well done to the whole industry and in particular the hard working fan engagement/customer experience reps across the globe for once again going above and beyond for sports fans to not only listen to them but provide them with memorable experiences.

This year I’ll also be providing a quirky, random and fun take on some of the weird and wonderful things I’ve seen in this area from across my travels throughout Australia, USA, UK, Japan and India over the course of the year. You’ll be able to follow that on Twitter under the hashtag #25DaysOfFE.

The previous 100-1 countdowns can also be found below:

2016: Fan Engagement 2016 Year In Review: 100 Global Fan Engagement/Experience Activations

2015: Fan Engagement 2015 Year In Review: 100 Global Fan Engagement Activations

In 2017 I also added over 2000 ideas to my 6000+ fan engagement/experience Pinterest board which has again proven to be a valuable educational resource to leagues, clubs, stadiums and sponsors from across the globe as well as small businesses and university sports business courses. It’s great to know that a simple fun resource I started over four years ago has become so useful to so many colleagues all over the world from Russia and India to right here in Australia. 

On a personal level, 2017 has been an outstanding year of career development for myself. I took the risk to leave a hectic full time role and backed myself to jump straight into consulting picking up clients including the Portuguese Football League, Denver Broncos, Chelsea FC, Gage Roads Brewing Company, Sydney Cricket Ground Trust, TechFront, Sydney Swans and Kojo amongst a host of consulting for sports tech start-up’s, small businesses, craft breweries and clients within the music business. I also visited a bunch of new venues and attended close to 80 matches across India, Japan, USA, England and Australia with some of the experiences in Asia proving to be valuable in observing fan sociology and fan engagement in these parts of the world.

So what’s next in this space for sports fans then? How will fan engagement/experience continue to evolve?

My predictions for 2018 are that we’ll see more developments in the following areas:

  • Chat-bots
  • Continued rise of women’s sport from broadcasting to attendances resulting in more female fans and higher female sport participation numbers
  • More fan created content being harnessed by teams 
  • Focus on more illustrations and animations for content
  • Augmented reality viewing opportunities 
  • Athlete led content and more athlete voiced media
  • NFC/RFID tag/chips coming into more sports applications 
  • Holograms, drones, robots although in small doses
  • More inclusive venues with a focus on more ‘social spaces’ in venues displacing traditional seats
  • Facial recognition and biometrics technology 
  • Use of smart home devices in venues
  • iBeacons and geo-fences
  • More teams signing on ESports players, tapping into leagues and setting up training centres
  • Incredible out of this world stadium visual and audio shows
  • Fan led control over camera angles/viewing
  • More fan-first pricing options at venues
  • Ticketing companies to improve their technology to stop bots/scalpers
  • Interactive LIVE content from teams and media entities
  • Subscription passes becoming a popular form of ticketing
  • More gourmet, local and specialty food options available at venues
  • Getting fans into venues for non-team events and finding new ways to monetise venues year-round

What else would you add?

Let’s get started on the count down.

100. The Seattle Mariners installed the Amazon Alexa smart home device in each of their 59 suites to enable fans to use their voices to order food, change TV channels and play music all adding to the fan experience at Safeco Field. 


99. MLS team Philadelphia Union signed on a CTO. That’s right a Chief Tattoo Officer. A creative way to galvanise the local community and provide a new outlet for the team to acquire new fans. While the idea was originally designed just for players to get inked they’ve been able to host days like a ‘mini-tattoo-and-team fest’ that’s brought fans and players closer.


98. The Judge’s Chambers. Yankee Stadium and the NY Yankees added this special seating section to honour player Aaron Judge with faux wood paneling to resemble a courtroom’s jury box situated in three rows in section 104 of the stadium. Will we see future stadiums creating more of these type of areas within venue areas that can be reconfigured into new and creative spaces?

97. In my recent travels back and forth to London I’ve seen a few teams such as West Ham at the Olympic Stadium offer early bird incentive offers on food and beverage items in an attempt to get fans into the ground earlier which means more eyeballs on sponsors branding, more overall spend on merchandise and F&B and more chances for collecting data from fans as they interact with all of the fan engagement initiatives on display. I was lucky enough to hang out at Stamford Bridge a couple of times this season for Chelsea FC games and to take in their very good fan engagement activations but I also noted how they offer fans this early bird beer incentive for the first 30 minutes after gates open and then for a further 30 minutes if they use the club app to express order. Chelsea really have stepped up their offerings for fans and is one of the best fan zones I’ve checked out in recent UK football ground visits so if you get the chance stop by and check it out.

Chelsea FC Stamford Bridge

96. Of all the team, stadium and sports start up tech apps I played around with this year, the NRL Brisbane Broncos FanTribe gamification app was easily the most engaging, enjoyable and addictive. From earning points by participating in polls, quizzes and activities fans were able to use those and be rewarded with money can’t buy prizes and experiences. The exclusive insider content as well as the UX of the app were also key highlights here too.

Brisbane Broncos FanTribe

95. Chatbots. While there were an abundance of chat bots this year from across the sports business spectrum some of the key ones for me that stood out were right here in Australia with the Australian Kangaroos, Adelaide Crows and Perth Wildcats all delivering exceptional added opportunities for fans to engage with the teams via this AI tech. I tried hard to trip these chat bots up with mundane and hard questions but they were really well prepared and thought out. I also found it really cool and easy to be able to buy tickets to a game through Facebook Messenger as well. I expect to see more teams and venues jumping straight into this space in 2018 as it clearly represents an opportunity to continue to globally engage with fans 24/7 while offering potential new revenue streams for ticketing and merchandise.

94. While at NRG Stadium for Super Bowl 51 in Houston, Texas this year I participated in this ‘Fan Mail’ activation whereby fans could send a personalised postcard of their day at the Super Bowl to anyone in the world. I filled out one for my girlfriend back in Melbourne, my folks in Brisbane and a die-hard NFL mate in London. I didn’t hold out much hope that these would actually be sent internationally as I was thinking that they would only have stamps to cover internal US domestic postage but to my surprise and delight about a week after I got back from the US it arrived in my letterbox here in Melbourne.

93. While walking around the fan zone precinct for game 2 of the State of Origin at ANZ Stadium this year I had a quick go of the ‘Quick Shaves’ Schick Hydro sponsor activation where I got a little bit of a beard trim before the game. A nice little touch and a clever sponsor tie in to get ‘game ready’ for the big match.

Quick Shaves at SOO

92. Toy Toss. Hopefully a growing trend but there were a few good ones this year like the Hershey Bears toy toss on to the ice and the Charleroi one on to the pitch in Belgium. An idea that looks great on video and does a lot of good but probably makes all the OWHS, security and venue managers out there a little bit anxious. 

 

 

91. One trend I’ve seen this year is something that is far from a new thing but something which I don’t think clubs have effectively showcased to the public in the past. It’s not flashy, it’s not enabled by tech and it doesn’t take much effort. It’s the simple act of players giving their time after a performance to say thank you to fans, to sign autographs and even to give hugs to young fans who are desperate to meet their idols. Look at some of these kids faces. They are now hardcore loyal members for life of these teams and players because of these simple acts. Anyone whose worked in club land knows that these athletes do more community work and give up more of their time than most of us and along with these simple efforts after the game I think it goes a long way to adding to fan satisfaction both for the young fan and for the families who cough up the cash to attend. More of this in 2018 and more of teams showcasing the good they are doing for fans. Promoting the good stories and the positive experiences with fans, especially on social drives the ability to acquire new fans and galvanise existing supporters.

90. AFL Rookie Passport. I’ve seen some high quality educational team passports like from the Socceroos and Chelsea in the past but while attending the 2017 AFL Grand Final Footy Festival outside the MCG I picked up a copy of the AFL Rookie Passport and was very impressed with the content for junior fans. With an extensive spread of activities and engaging content this was one of the best I’ve seen for these formats. Kids were able to plan their day, do colouring in, complete quizzes and games all while learning healthy eating tips and other educational insights into both the life of an athlete and Aussie Rules.

 

89. A trend I’m seeing within stadium design is venues bringing in local artists or design studios to contribute artworks and design installations to liven up the often bland concrete walls and spaces inside venues. One team and venue that did this in 2017 was Southampton with the work they did at their stadium, St Mary’s. On my trek to Hard Rock Stadium for the Miami Dolphins last year I also noticed how they’ve linked up with local street artists to bring some colour and vibrancy to fans on match day.

 

88. While in Bangalore, India for the Royal Challengers Bangalore IPL match I thought that these ‘Ask Me Anything’ event staffed seats were a bright and beneficial addition to the match day to help fans understand what was happening on game day, where to enter the M Chinnaswamy Stadium and how to access transport. Being set high up at various points around the stadium certainly helped fans be able to see and access this supporter liaison officer.

87. Scarf The City. Orlando Pride scattered 1000 free scarves across Florida for fans to pick up and keep as part of a thank you to fans campaign.

Orlando City MLS

86. Atlanta Braves Glove Experience. At SunTrust Park fans are able to hire out a baseball glove for the day through sponsor Mizuno. Fans can take a glove for a $1 deposit and can use it to try to catch foul balls and home runs.

85. North Queensland Cowboys mascots. In March I ventured up to the tropics in Townsville, North Queensland to take in my first North Queensland Cowboys NRL game day experience. While the crowd went wild when the Cowboys won in golden point, the other thing that sent the kids in the crowd nuts was the addition of no less than 10 different mascots. It may have actually been even more than 10. They had a mascot for every sponsor as well as the team mascots and the kids were running round the touchline like mad trying to get autographs, photos and high 5’s from these costumed characters. Some were downright hilarious though like the coffee sponsor giraffe that took 20 minutes to get down the stairs even with a minder to the kind of scary looking steak house mascot. All in all it was an interesting observation to watch how the kids interacted with these mascots as well as another creative and fun idea to get the sponsors involved.

 

84. Northern Premier League Division One team Prescott Cables FC gave their fans the chance to ‘Own and Loan’ a team jersey whereby fans could purchase a kit, loan it to the player to wear for the season and then at the end of the season the fan would get the jersey back fully signed by the team.

Prescott Cables 'Own and Loan' jersey

83. MLS team San Jose Earthquakes held a Lego Build day event for young fans to make replica stadiums and forge stronger connections with the team.

82. The Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs and the Fresno Tacos held the ‘Ultimate Food Fight’ and ‘Bacon Vs Tacos’ match which saws fans vote on various topics with the losing team having to wear their opponents hat in a game. The fan engagement and social media work on the microsite here is worth a look to see what they did for this campaign and I’m sure you’ll agree its as random, quirky, fun and brilliant as the merchandise range.

81. Cricket Australia and KFC Buckethead Army. Thousands of these KFC bucket caps are handed out to fans at the BBL (few pics below from back in January at the MCG) and as part of the current summer of cricket campaign with myself grabbing one at the first Ashes test match at the Gabba in Brisbane last week. A clever way to keep fans cool and stay sun smart while also giving the sponsor maximum branding in the crowd.


80. The Winnipeg Jets announced their new security team member signing. Meet Lenny, a high performance sniffer dog whose joined the NHL team’s venue security detail and was named by supporters in memory of a long time fan.

Winnipeg Jets Security Dog Lenny

79. The Baltimore Ravens debuted Faceware Interactive and Image Metric’s AR Face Kit technology which sees fans have access to a photo real, virtual, face painting experience that seamlessly integrates into the Raven’s mobile app. With around a dozen augmented reality face paints to try on this has proven popular with fans with other teams such as the Chicago Bears also jumping in here too.

Baltimore Ravens AR Face Kit

78. Cricket Australia recently debut their ‘Matchday App‘ which is accessed by their brilliant Live Pass app (if you want an example of an outstanding sports app that does everything from streaming live games to quality content then you have to check theirs out). The Matchday App only works when you’re in close proximity to the game and pops up to show you important event information such as what fan engagement activities are on as well as venue maps, match replays and how to get to the ground. A really impressive little addition to help fans out on the day of a match to show them how to get the most out of their day at the cricket.

77. While many game day giveaways end up scattered outside the stadium such is the poor quality or irrelevance to fans, this growth chart idea from Super Rugby’s Wellington Hurricanes is a prime example of a sponsor branded giveaway that could quite possibly stay hanging up inside a young fans room for years.

Wellington Hurricanes Growth Chart

76. For the 2017/18 NBA season, Nike has released special edition connected jerseys featuring NFC tag technology where fans can tap their jersey to access exclusive player content like stats and player playlists. Soon enough you’ll probably be able to tap your jersey and pay for food and beverage items inside the venue. 

NBA connected jerseys

75. Five of the Western Sydney Wanderers played a match against 50 kids as part of a new partnership. The commentary is as good as the footage here. 


74. Football League two side Notts County in England announced a creative jersey sponsorship deal whereby there would be 10 unique sponsors for each month of the season. A clever way to attract new fans especially with the month of November which featured music star and mega fan Jake Bugg sponsoring the team kit.

73. Fan First Pricing. A common theme at the moment for many mega stadiums is to reduce the cost of F&B items for fans. Some venues to put fans first with cheaper options to ease the cost of a day out included Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Arena which had $2 soft drinks, $5 beers, $2 hot dogs and $5 burgers.

72. The AFL team Geelong Cats debuted their ‘Fan Portal‘ which sees fans enter a private room with a select group of fellow fans, don special socks and gather round to reveal the floor retract to reveal the players below them. Fans are able to watch the team warm up, hear the noise and build up in the sheds before and after the game all from this special money can’t buy vantage point. 

 

71. Dutch football team RKC Waalwijk decided to switch up the traditional player’s entrance by substituting kids for elderly fans as a clever way to draw awareness to the loneliness often felt among older fans and members of society. Sydney FC also had older fans as mascots in an A-League game this year too. 

70. Not to be outdone, Chilean football team Colo-Colo took the field in their game this year with rescue dogs as their mascots to raise dog adoption awareness.

69. Way-Finding. How many times have you been to a venue this year and just wanted to easily be able to get to the loo, see the fan engagement activations or grab some food and drinks but have had to either wait in long lines or dodge around fellow fans just to try to find what you’re looking for? Well this year I’ve been able to see two way-finding set ups that attempt to solve this issue. The first one was at the Sydney Swans huge fan zone outside the Sydney Cricket Ground where there simple sign directs fans to all of the fan activities while the second example is Wait-Time’s way-finding screens which were recently installed at the Melbourne Cricket Ground but which have been a feature in US venues for a while now. I’ve only been able to utilise WaitTime at a match with a relatively smaller crowd than usual however found it to be an impressive addition to navigating the MCG. More venues across Australia and the globe will start to see this tech being rolled out for fans soon.

 

68. Cricket Australia’s ‘Cricket Hosts’. A fine addition this summer from CA has been the introduction of the Cricket Hosts who are very much like SLO’s (Supporter Liaison Officer’s) or game day helpers in the US who are on hand to provide game day advice and information to fans as well as answer their questions and get them pumped up for the day’s play. I had a chat to a few of these hosts at The Gabba for the first test and found them very helpful when it came to asking about the fan zone, seating and what else to expect from the day. A really effective solution to have positive smiling people on the ground representing and promoting the brand so that fans have everything they need for the match before they enter the venue.

67. The NFL’s Minnesota Vikings signed a ‘Generation Z’ consultant to help the organization better connect with young people. 18-year-old author and public speaker Jonah Stillman was drafted in with the aim of connecting to the team’s younger audiences through social and other digital means. A clever idea from the Vikings which I know a few other clubs and venues here in Australia are looking at replicating in some capacity.

66. Photo printing backpacks. The NY Mets and marketing technology firm M-ND introduced these ‘interactive, social-media curating- and photo-printing backpacks’ at Citi Field this year that saw fans able to upload a photo to social media and then track down one of the backpack wearing staff to be able to have their photo printed out as a keepsake. 

65. Bayern Munich hosted a press conference of a different kind with their one for the Audi Cup featuring the coaches coming in via hologram for the presser. With musicians like Roy Orbison already touring again in hologram form and the potential for hologram sports matches to be played as part of new broadcasting opportunities in places outside where the real match is taking place, this is sure to be a space to watch in the coming years for fans.


64. The NBA’s Sacramento Kings and Golden One Centre’s augmented reality app in partnership with Zappar and Nike enabled fans this year to give fans a 360-degree look at its new jersey when it was unveiled. The app lets fans personalize Sacramento Kings uniforms and virtually photograph themselves with star players.


63. Quiet sensory room spaces. This year both Liverpool FC and Cleveland Cavaliers debuted quiet spaces and sensory rooms at their venues. The basis for these rooms was to improve accessibility and inclusion for fans with sensory sensitivities such as autism and PTSD. The Cavs Quicken Loans room features calming paint tones, a textured wall, special seating and privacy away from loud noises and crowds. Over at Liverpool’s Anfield, the space includes a sensory portable bubble tube and light unit, fibre optic carpet, a projector and an LED bean bag. A clever idea here from both venues and teams to ensure that all fans, regardless of their diverse needs, are made to feel included and comfortable on match day.

62. Craft Beer. A common feature for teams and venues in recent times has been to jump on the craft beer wagon and provide a better beer experience for their fans who wish to sample local and independent brews. 2017 has been no different with many clubs and stadiums collaborating with craft breweries to establish partnerships with the local community and provide craft beer on match days or for other events in specialised craft beer bars. While below touches on some of these developments from my part of the world in Australia and New Zealand there have also been many others across the globe who have listened to their supporters to supply craft beer. Some of the developments include:

  • Essendon Bombers AFL: Partnership with CBCO
  • Westpac Stadium, NZ: Garage Project and NZ All Whites collab beer plus Wellington Phoenix sideline bar
  • The Precinct: Suncorp Stadium’s new bar featuring Little Creatures/Rogers (Yes not technically craft beer anymore)
  • Lords Cricket Ground: Craft beers on tap in general bar areas. Got to try a few of these back in April thanks to some very positive but bored public bar staff during a rain break between Essex and Middlesex.
  • Harrowgate Town FC: Collab craft beer
  • Melbourne Aces ABL: American craft beers on tap at the Victorian Baseball and Softball Centre
  • Melbourne City A-League: Partnership with Stomping Ground Brewing
  • West Ham United: The Olympic Stadium features a variety of craft beers on tap including Boleyn Bitter and West Ham Iron Ale
  • Central Coast Mariners A-League: Coastie Lager collab with 6 String Brewing
  • Canberra Raiders: Bentspoke Brewing on tap at Canberra Stadium
  • North Sydney Oval: Craft beers on tap in main stand bar
  • South Sydney NRL: Craft beers on tap
  • Adelaide Oval: Little Creatures/Rogers on tap- again purists will argue this is not craft

 

61. Pitch-side beds. Two of the stand outs this year for pitch-side experiences were the partnership that Allianz Arena and AirBNB did for the Audi Cup and also Old Trafford‘s partnership with Hilton Hotel.

Allianz Arena enabled some lucky fans to stay overnight in the stadium for two days and one night during the Audi Cup 2017. The modern and spacious accommodation was built directly on the sideline of the field, so fans could watch four games of world-class football from the most comfortable couch during the tournament.

Meanwhile at the Emirates Old Trafford a Hilton Hotel opened up that included 80 odd pitch-side rooms that provided cricket fans with a unique vantage point to take in the days play. Taking it one step further they rolled out some beds for another creative pitch-side viewing experience.

60. DROPIT developed an interactive app which connects teams and sponsors with their fans via in-game, 60-second drop auctions aiming to generate heightened excitement inside the venue. The app aims to deliver on both fan and brand engagement with immersive, digitally connected social experiences that combine the pace of a video game and the excitement of a live auction. I wrote a bit about this start up earlier in the year having been impressed with what I saw. They have since gone on to sign with an NBA team and other venues are also interested in adding this to the game day. Tech start ups come and go so it will be interesting to see how this goes in 2018 and beyond. What do you think though?


59. All the times teams listened to their fans in 2017. Below is obviously a small snapshot of some of the stories that went viral this year but certainly show the value of both players and teams listening to their fans. Whether it be a kid who writes to a player as part of his school work and then has the player visit to a player who offered to have a kick around with young fans in the park to going door to door with pizza to rally fans to get out to support the team nothing shows you value your fans more than listening to them and interacting in creative and positive ways for them. What else did you see this year?

58. Was this 2017’s best game day giveaway? 5000 cricket bats with player Rachael Heyhoe Flint’s signature on them were given out to every child attending the ICC Women’s World Cup final at Lord’s in July. What good game day giveaways did you see this year?

57. A-League team the Wellington Phoenix established a new diversity program in partnership with the Human Rights Commission, Red Cross, ChangeMakers Refugee Forum and Multicultural New Zealand. As part of the inclusion program, former refugees in the region were offered a season ticket for the 2017/18 season in recognition of the important role sport plays in building bridges between individuals and across communities. An inclusive way from the Phoenix and stakeholders here to acquire new life long members and bring the community closer together.

56. Wells Fargo Center and the Philadelphia 76ers announced a new addition to their concession stands by adding the Australian meat pie to honour Australian player Ben Simmons in what was the first international commercial arrangement for the team. The 76ers ‘Australia Heritage Night’ plans also sound like a creative way to highlight Australia, Simmons and the Four and Twenty partnership. A clever idea to provide something unique here to fans on match days in the venue which they certainly can’t get anywhere else in Philadelphia or the US.

55. Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Stadium. After all the hype over the past couple of years the stadium finally opened this year and fans were not left disappointed by the fan experience features of the new venue. From the impressive halo screen and the fan first pricing on a range of F&B items to the state of the art retractable roof and the mega LED screen column this was the stadium that made the most noise in the industry this year. Looking forward to attending a game there soon. Optus Perth Stadium to step it up in 2018!


54. These ‘XXXX Gold Bay’ seat covers at the Brisbane Cricket Ground (Gabba) for the first ASHES cricket test match were a nice idea for fans to store their phones, sunnies and any other items. The fan section seat covers also came with small personalised fans which when plugged into your phone’s power socket provided some much needed fresh air.  In the back of the seats was also a bandana which when taken to the XXXX Gold staff could be exchanged for an ice cold one from an esky which was no doubt keeping fans cool.

53. Hiroshima Carp’s wearables cheer wristband. Fans of the Japanese baseball team Hiroshima Toyo Carp were able to add to their fan experience with this new wristband from Sharp this year. The device displays the current scores of games of the team with a built-in motion sensor sensing the movements of the arms of the carp fans wearing the band which is then interpreted as a “cheering action” that causes the smart-band to vibrate and the LEDs to illuminate to support the cheering. Fans are able to accumulate the “cheering action” as “cheering points” and use it to vote for player’s of the match as well as to interact with other fans.

52. AS Roma’s farewell to Totti and fan controlled videos. While AS Roma partnered with SmartReplay in 2017 to become the first football club to roll out a video experience which enables fans to control what they wanted to watch they also executed a social first content and media strategy to use Facebook Live to stream Totti’s farewell to a global audience and share the emotion in the stadium with fans all over the world. This resulted in over 12M views for the farewell speech and 73M views overall.


51. Sunderland AFC’s kit launch. The Sunderland kit launch featured a Facebook Live stream with two amateur football teams (Dawdon Welfare Park FC and Hall Farm Glasshus FC) taking to the field at Ashbrooke Cricket Club, one of Sunderland’s former homes, to play in a match to both promote the new jersey and get fans passionate about the club’s heritage. The campaign was so successful it even won a Football Business award.


50. These inflatable foam team and sponsor logos here from Atlanta based company Atlanta Special FX. Used on match day at Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Stadium these Cloudvertise eco friendly ‘Helium Soap’ 3D Logo Bubloon Clouds are certainly something new and exciting for fans on match day this year.


49. Never one to do things by the book, the Newtown Jet’s have continued to put on some very good events  for fans at Henson Park in Sydney over the past few years with their Hipster’s Day again proving to be a roaring success this year in attracting new fans and families. Featuring kids activities, food vans and craft beer, a day on the hill here is a must here especially to see the rise in attendances especially amongst families and females fans.

48. Brighton Hove and Albion FC’s personalised emails to fans. This year BHAFC sent out these personalised emails to every member at the end of the season showing them how many miles they had covered in the season as well as games attended and the special moments of the past season which saw the team promoted to the Premier League. An impressive albeit time consuming CRM effort that resulted in plenty of fan admiration for the Brighton digital, membership and fan engagement team.

47. Cricket Australia announced plans to enable fans the ability to live stream all of the 2017-18 summer of cricket action on Qantas planes in Australia which are fitted with Wi-Fi.  Most people like to be able to switch off from Wi-Fi while 10-30,000 feet up in the air however this announcement and partnership will no doubt delight many cricket mad fans who can now ensure they don’t miss any of the action.

46. The NBA Augmented Reality app. The ability to set up a team personalised set of hoops anywhere in the world and then tap your phone as if you’re taking a shot to play basketball was another impressive jump into AR for the NBA this year. The successful launch of the NBA AR app in October with this game that sees fans shoot three pointers in their own unique court set up is just another way the NBA and other major sports leagues are getting deeper into engaging fans with new technologies like augmented reality. 

45. Blatchy’s Blues SMARTWiG’s. The story of the State of Origin Blatchy’s Blues fan group is a success story in itself having been started and grown by a fan into a massive fan group that was then sold on to the NSWRL. The sheer fact that this group could get 10-15K fans to wear a blue wig at matches is credit to the team behind Blatchy’s but this year they stepped it up another level with STAR’s involvement to allow fans to have these SMARTWiG’s to include an LED antenna which lit up bright blue at ANZ Stadium back in June which created an incredible atmosphere. The SMARTWiG’s also enabled fans at the game to be able to listen in to 6 hours of Blatchy’s Blues Radio as well as receive exclusive radio access to the Blues’ dressing sheds with coach Laurie Daley and players talking directly to the Blues’ most loyal fans.

44. NFL Experience at Houston Super Bowl 51. If there was ever the ultimate fan engagement theme park, the NFL Experience in Houston earlier this year would be close to epitomising what it could be. This was an incredible spectacle of activations, sponsor activities, tech wonders and giveaways worthy of the greatest showbag you’ve ever picked up. I spent about 7 hours here wandering around and checking out all of the activities such as making an NFL helmet, viewing the latest in female fan gear, playing video games and sampling loads of American foods and drinks from sponsors. Thousands of fans ventured through the Houston Convention Centre for a week leading up to the Super Bowl and for abour $35USD they were able to visit the 100+ stalls here and participate in all of these fun activities. This has easily been the greatest fan engagement fan zone spectacle I have seen in all my time venturing across the globe to check and it is a must visit if you want to learn about best practice fan engagement. Sure the Super Bowl was fantastic to go to but in my opinion this was better!

 

43. Sometimes (and it’s actually more often than not) its just the simple and small things that can go a long way to improving fan satisfaction, increase loyalty and provide some quality fan engagement along the way. This was the case this year as can be seen below where FC Schalke played one of Ajax fans’ favourite tunes over the tannoy’s after their loss to Schalke. A nice and simple thing to do for travelling fans after a heavy loss.

42. Perth Glory have consistently been one of the most well performing teams in the A-League when it comes to fan engagement. From their petting zoo, free fruit flavoured water station and member’s fan wall the Glory have gone above and beyond for fans in recent times to show that they are listening to them. One activation that stood out this year was this smoothie station which allowed fans to pedal a stationary bicycle which in turn created a smoothie for themselves while they watched the game at NIB Stadium. 

41. In what was one of the most uplifting fan engagement stories from 2017, the work of the Iowa Hawkeyes whose fans, players and game officials all turn and wave to sick children in the hospital adjacent to their 70k capacity Kinnick stadium made many people smile at what is such a simple but moving gesture. The Hawkeyes said of the tradition: “What started as a fan suggestion on an Iowa Facebook fan page has turned into a full-blown movement: Iowa fans collectively waving to the top floor of the hospital, where the children and their families gather to watch Iowa, at the end of the first quarter during Hawkeye home games.”


40. The Australian Baseball League’s Melbourne Aces gave fans the chance to have a dinner date with one of their star players at a game this season and judging by the image it looks like a pretty fun and simple concept following the completion of the match. 

39. The NHL’s New York Rangers rode the subway in full gear earlier in December to a fan day and outdoor practice in Central Park. The players snapped selfies with fans on the journey into the city and found time to chat with young fans as part of this simple bit of fun by the team. 

38. eSports/Esports/ESports/esports. The proliferation of teams jumping into the esports space in 2017 showed no slowing down with global teams continuing to invest in either pro gamers and individual teams as well as set up high performance centres in venues. In 2017 esports was questioned as to whether or not it was actually a sport, was considered for the Olympics, had players buying into it and leaving traditional sports to become gamers and filled out 80,000 seat stadiums in China with events. The ability for sports stakeholders to tap into esports represents a new opportunity to win new fans and audiences to increase attendances, presents new revenue opportunities and is a broadcasting delight for media. Oh and by the way according to AP the correct spelling is ‘esports’. 

Some of the big esports developments from the sports business world this year included:

  • Sacramento Kings unveiling a new esports facility inside their venue.
  • The SCG established a high performance centre. 
  • Essendon FC bought the Abyss team.
  • Adelaide Crows acquired the Legacy esports team. 
  • Melbourne City signed an esports player. 
  • Seattle Sounders set up an esports gaming fan zone at their stadium. 
  • West Ham United ran a training session with their player to help other FIFA gamers up their skills.
  • The rise of esports fan groups continued, namely Hashtag United. 
  • QPRFC launched their own esports team. 
  • Adelaide United FC ran tutorials for fans.
  • In the MLS, NYCFC signed the first esports player. 
  • The FA Cup Gamers Tournament continued it’s successful run. 
  • Dutch side Eredivisie were the first to launch a league-wide esports competition.
  • Puskas winner Wendall quit football to become a pro-gamer. 

Another of the more intriguing spaces to watch in the coming years to see how teams and leagues fill stadiums for combined matches of esports and traditional sports where teams will battle each other in both worlds. 

37. . Rafa Nadal surprising fans in virtual reality (kind of) was a fun idea from this sponsor.

36. Cricket had a big year when it came to introducing interesting new content but so too did Twitter who in partnership with the ICC and IPL debuted a host of interesting content. The Indian Premier League debuted player emoji’s which were a hit with fans across the tournament. At the ICC Champions Trophy there was a host of new features such as the #AskCaptain series where fans could tweet in a question to the captains while fans could also opt in to receive personalised direct messages featuring score updates and video content. There was also a live commentary box stream on Twitter and the debut of the first female cricket emoji’s too.

35. freeD Technology VisionWith fans crying out for more diverse and unique camera angles to play back and view game plays and live action this new freeD virtual reality technology offers a pretty cool new viewing perspective for fans. With more than thirty 5K cameras surrounding each venue, the Intel® freeD™ technology delivers the clearest high-def images possible. This technology uses voxels (pixels with volume) to render replays in spectacular 3D, creating a multi-perspective view of key moments. The NFL used this tech this season to deliver new viewing experiences to fans with the use of VR and their 360 degree replay technology. 

34. Hackathons. There’s been a trend in the past year for sports business stakeholders to engage their fans and in particular those with data skills to help them do a deeper dive into the team data to improve their processes. Teams like Bayern Munich are “collaborating in teams to work on technical, business and design problems and develop innovative and creative software to build prototypes and come up with new ideas and approaches” to improve the fan experience. The NRL cracked open its stats to data experts and held a DataJam to “identify new trends and ways to visualise game play, participation levels, entertainment value and more” while MCFC collaborated with Google to hold their second hackathon event called #HackManCity which was designed to unlock new fan engagement ideas and ways of doing more innovative business.

33. The Brisbane Cricket Ground (Gabba) Pool Deck. Jacksonville’s Everbank Field has a pool and now the Gabba has one too. When I did the 2016 100-1 compilation last year I touched on this briefly however the final product was not yet ready. However last month I was able to visit the pool deck area at the Gabba for the first ASHES cricket test match and was blown away at what a unique, fun and slightly random fan experience this was for fans. The pool deck sits in an open area of the ground directly facing the pitch so fans are able to either sit at nice tables or on deckchairs or if they fancy they can take a dip in the pool and sit with fellow fans to take in all the action. Fans are allowed to take drinks into the area and are given a free towel to dry off with after a swim. The area provides free sunscreen and is patrolled by experienced lifeguards as well as being cleaned after every two hour session making it one of the cleanest pools in Australia. If you didn’t have any togs on you then they were also selling pairs to fans to change into before a swim. To think back to being a kid and watching cricket at the Gabba that one day I would be able to watch Steve Smith score his 21st century from a stadium pool is a crazy thought but it again shows how venues are pulling out all the stops to create unique seating and viewing experiences for patrons. To see more of the pool deck in action be sure to follow the BBL Brisbane Heat this summer as the pool will be in action again at the Gabba during those games.

32. NFC and RFID Chips. Finding their way into more and more of the sports world over the past year, these two different but related types of chips, NFC (Near Field Communication) and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) are adding more insights for fans from broadcasters in terms of statistics and player data.

Some better explanations of the two chips too:

NFC: A short-range wireless connectivity standard that uses magnetic field induction to enable communication between devices.

RFID: A method of wireless communication that utilizes radio waves to identify and track objects.

Some of the developments with these chips and tags over the past year have included:

  • NFL installing RFID chips in every match ball to provide statistics for broadcasters and in turn fans.
  • NBA’s connected jerseys. Mentioned previously in this list. 
  • MLB enabling faster seamless access to venues by tapping their phone on ticket scanners. 
  • PROVA preventing the fraudulent sale of sports merch through NFC authentic tracking tags. 
  • Levis Stadium speeding up sales via NFC payments.
  • The unveiling of the new FIFA World Cup 2018 ball that features an NFC chip that fans can engage with to access exclusive content and information. 
  • These smart connected winter gloves for payments at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics which allow fans to use their gloves and keep warm to make payments at the venues next year.
  • Catapult Sports provided these new RFID player tracking devices for the 2017 NRL State Of Origin series.  
31. Trophy Tour. Welsh Premier League team Prestatyn Town FC took their trophy on a tour of the town and of the local businesses that supported them in the past season as a thank you. While there’s trophy tours for fans this was a novel approach to reward sponsors and fans of the team in the town who had helped out over the course of the season. 
30. Altrincham FC‏ asked local children to design a jersey that celebrated the diversity in the community an were overwhelmed with the response. There were also some other impressive work for fans here such as how they set up a WhatsApp broadcast list to keep fans connected straight to their mobiles as well as launching their own 5-a-side fantasy sports platform. A team well worth checking out as they’re putting fans at the forefront of all their activations here. 
29. Premier League side Southampton FC created this 80’s style animation with Under Armour to launch their 2017/18 kit design. The #MadeForHeroes cartoon was both a clever way to showcase Southampton’s digital prowess as well as launch the new kit and target young fans at the same time. 


28. Meet and Greet. Fans often complain that they’re never listened to or that their views are not taken seriously because clubs and leagues simply just don’t want to engage with them. The truth is that this couldn’t be further from reality in the majority of cases as many sports teams often host fan forums where fans can express their views in a constructive manner but also have systems in place to allow dialogue between fans and the club. One such team that did this well this year was the NBA’s Denver Nuggets who held a fan meet and greet with their President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly at a Denver beer pub. While some fans were also lucky enough to grab some tickets it also represented an opportunity for them to ask questions of the business. 

27. The Los Angeles Angels hosted an introductory press conference for fans by the home plate gate entrance of Angel Stadium to showcase their new player Shohei Ohtani. #ShoheiDay came complete with a red carpet entrance and merch for sale right there and then for fans. 

26. The Baltimore Ravens offered fans the chance to have their cars stencilled in bright purple colours as a way for them to rep the team in the lead up to the new NFL season. 

 

25. The fan engagement at AZ Alkmaar. One of the most impressive fan engagement experts around is Bas Schnater who with his team runs the fan engagement and CRM ship at Dutch professional football club AZ Alkmaar and who deeply understands the importance of listening and engaging with fans. Bas and his team’s work for fans here is up there with some of the best practice fan engagement seen this year. From baby photo day’s, junior press conferences and a golden seat to the first fan who renews their membership to listening to fan feedback to change the stadium speaker system and even allowing a section of hardcore fans to light flares in a designated zone this is fan engagement done superbly well and which continues to reap rewards for the team with increased attendances. Everyone should keep this team on your radar as they continue to push the boundaries of creativity and put fans first in every aspect of the club’s business both on and off the field. 

24. Accessible inclusive all gender rest rooms and nursing rooms. Many venues across the sporting globe are improving the fan experience by ensuring that every fan feels welcome and can attend a game and feel safe. There has been the rise of venues such as Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center adding accessible all gender toilets which has received high praise from the LGBT community for building the world’s first entertainment and sports arena to fully accommodate transgender fans. Furthermore Fenway Park and Avaya Stadium have also installed Mamava nursing suites which provide fans with a private safe area for breastfeeding and baby changing because why should any fan miss attending a game. Expect to see more of these throughout global sporting venues through 2018 as venues continue to go above and beyond to provide the best experience for attendees.

23. ASK FRED. The Wimbledon chat bot ‘Fred’ was a big hit for fans this year as it guided tennis fans around England’s historic lawn tennis competition earlier in 2017. The Fred bot gave ticket holders information about dining options, featured a natural language interface and also included an interactive map of the venue.

22. Detroit Pistons allowing fans to take a shot on the court after the game. Kids sign up pre-game and are allowed one shot at the completion of the game. A nice and simple way to collect data via the kids club sign up and then give these young fans a moment to remember. Why is this not done in other sports for just 30 minutes after a game? Kick the ball through the net? Kick a place kick etc? Would be good to see more of this in other sports. 

21. Valentines Day cards. There’s always an opportunity to have some fun with fans on social and while some teams have these Valentines Day cards for that special day, some teams even send out the mascots to go visit girls and guys all over town which is a good use of the mascot outside game day and a revenue opportunity that is not utilised enough.

 

20. NCAA Volleyball projected tweets on court. A clever idea here for game day and to showcase the best fan tweets.

19. Everton FC’s kit consultation. A good way to show fans that the team is listening to them by having fans have their say on what the kit should look like.

18. CLEAR fast access biometric security screening. This tech continues to be rolled out at venues across the US and allows fans to scan their fingerprint to gain faster priority entry to the venue. While fans could be alarmed with the personal data and privacy issues and the fact that the tech tracks fans’ behavior and purchasing habits it’s ‘clear’ that many fans see no issue with this and are happy to use these priority lines to scan their iris or fingerprint as it’s enables them to avoid long lines and skip the queues.

17. Snapchat Specs. I wrote earlier in the year about the Snap Specs and how teams were using these after picking up a pair in NYC in January and enjoying them throughout much of the year for various activities plus lending them to teams and players down here in Australia. Everyone in the industry raved about them and I loved using them but they just didn’t catch on and were a spectacular failure for Snap. A few of the points I raised in my blog here back in March proved accurate however like 2016’s Pokemon Go craze the Specs did represent another fun period where teams and digital managers all jumped in and created some pretty cool perspectives and content with them. It goes to show that the quality and passion that team digital managers have when it comes to creating interesting content and jumping on new technologies is something more fans should be appreciative of. There were plenty of cool ideas for what teams did with Specs this year and it’s still worthwhile checking out the creativity and ideas here from this short lived fad.

16. BVB #BedForAwayFans. In the lead up to the BVB vs AS.Monaco Champions League match the Borussia Dortmund bus was bombed. The match was postponed to the next day meaning that AS.Monaco fans needed to find accommodation. Therefore in a show of what the global football community and spirit is all about the BVB fans and team started the hashtag #BedForAwayFans which brought fans from both sides closer together to house those fans before the match could be played.

15. NZ Warriors Stadium Live app. The Stadium Live for Vodafone Warriors App took fans at Vodafone Warriors home games right into the thick of game day action, with exclusive access to eight SKY camera angles to stream footage, replays and highlights LIVE from their mobile device. Fans are crying out to be able to see diverse and interesting camera angles and replays while at matches and with the new developments in AR in the MLB and with FreeD tech this is going to be a big area for fans in the coming months.

14. The Vegas Golden Knights embedded inaugural season ticket holders names on the ice at TMobile Arena. The NHL’s 33rd team also had players go door to door to deliver tickets and while the venue is mobile only for ticketing they ensured that all fans got a commemorative ticket on the opening night. Fans were even able to receive a free jersey as part of their membership which they collected at a special ‘Jersey Night’ at the venue.

13. The NFL Experience in Times Square, NYC. A sports fans museum/ playground/theme park in the centre of New York showcasing all the latest in innovative technology from the NFL.

12. Social media bingo. A nice way for fans to play along at home with these two good examples from the BBL’s Hobart Hurricanes and the NBA’s Washington Wizards.

11. Philadelphia Eagles NFL Football Festival For Women. The Eagles are just one of a plethora of teams across the US who do these female festivals really well. In 2017 the Eagles football festival for female fans was one that stood out due to the sheer scale and range of activities for this important set of fans. Some other great examples of what US teams are doing for their female supporters include football training camps, fantasy camps, wine/dine events, football health and safety events for mums and fitness and health sessions which is highlighting that many of these teams are listening more to their fans and moving away from the ‘shrinking and pinking’ idea to actually provide more worthwhile events that female fans want, especially that relate to the game. It was also good to see at the Super Bowl this year the dedicated NFL female fans merch tent while other sports across the globe are now offering female cuts of player jerseys for the first time such as the BBL in Australia. 

10. Mascots can be quite tame most of the time but this one from Japan’s Pacific Baseball League caused a few headlines this year. Chiba Lotte Marines introduced the “mystery fish” which spits out a human during games this year. Taking mascots to another level…..

9. Toronto Wolfpack fan engagement. The rise of the Wolfpack’s massive attendances, celebrated game day set up and overall quality fan experience was one of the highlights of 2017’s year in fan engagement. From their beer cans with fixtures on them to their cruise and the way they rewarded fans by constantly bringing them closer to the action this year was outstanding to see. Their after party events at the ground where players from both Toronto and the opposing team were invited in and they could drink with Toronto locals and away fans that had made the trip was a nice touch too.

8. The NRL’s Canberra Raiders have greatly improved their attendances on the back of bringing fans more of a united atmosphere on game days. The work of their Viking Clap has been so good that this year they unveiled a viking horn or ‘Gjallarhorn‘ at their stadium in Canberra to add to this game day atmosphere before kick off.


7. Steve Waugh augmented reality experience at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust has partnered with Steve Waugh and Avanade to create an augmented reality experience to celebrate 15 years since Steve Waugh’s famous last-ball century at the Sydney Cricket Ground. In a first of its kind by any Australian stadium or sports body, the Steve Waugh AR experience allows fans to immerse themselves into one of Australian Test cricket’s most memorable innings.
The experience features commentary by Steve Waugh, an animated simulation of his shots recreated in the Avanade studio and short grabs of footage of his innings provided by the Nine Network’s Wide World of Sports.


6. Sports subscription boxes. The subscription box industry has exploded in 2017 with everything from craft beer to household goods now being able to be added to a subscription box service that sees buyers get a special mystery box of goods every month. The sports business has been quick to jump into this space too with the work of SportsCrate standing out in 2017. SportsCrate  is a fan-centered box launching with items targeting ten MLB teams. It’s also the league’s exclusive licensed subscription box. Expect to see more of this merchandise option in 2018 and beyond.

5. Arsenal FC held a Junior Gunners night  which saw a number of young members take on various roles in the stadium and with the team over the course of the match. Junior Gunner fans were able to hang out with a photographer, grounds person, media team and take on various roles with their buddy. 

4. Golden State Warriors replica trophy night. In terms of game day giveaways for fans this replica trophy from the GSW after their 2017 NBA Finals success certainly represented a collectable for fans and one that wouldn’t be thrown away when leaving the venue. 

3. The continued rise of subscription passes which are becoming a popular new form of ticketing. An example of this in 2017 was the work that the Oakland A’s did with their June-September $19.99 monthly pass. For only $19.99 per month, the Athletics Ballpark Pass includes mobile access to every 2017 regular season home game with the benefits including:

  • Guaranteed access to every game*, including high-demand and weekend games
  • Ease of delivery via the MLB.com Ballpark app – scan your personal mobile barcode directly from your phone
  • Auto-renews each month
  • Pass holders had access to enjoy all the great new features of the Coliseum during the game including Championship Plaza and Shibe Park Tavern.

Will we start to see more teams and venues go down this path in the coming years?

2. The nice gesture from A-League’s Melbourne Victory giving out $10 to every fan travelling to the A-League Grand Final in Sydney back in May. A small and simple outlay with a nicely personalised letter that went a long way for fans. 

1. WWE and KidZania launched a new fan experience in London which is the first-ever WWE Academy and an exciting new activity designed to entertain young WWE fans in the United Kingdom. The WWE Academy is a fully-branded experiential space within the city of KidZania London, where children can transform into a WWE Superstar. The area is designed to promote creative thinking and imagination where kids can become their favourite WWE Superstars and with the help of a KidZania referee, kids can choose from a range of WWE props and ring gear, practice their own catchphrases, develop a persona and create a promo video.

This brings an end to my 2017 fan engagement/experience 100-1 recap for 2017. What a year it has been for fans across the globe and for all the hard working teams providing these initiatives and ideas for their supporters.  As always there’s probably a good 100 odd ideas I’ve missed which could have also made the cut so this list is to be taken as a very general run down on some of the work which I thought really got people talking this year, were creative and innovative ideas or which I saw on my travels and thought they needed to be highlighted.  

I hope you enjoyed reading this and found it useful and I hope that you have a relaxing holiday season and time with your friends and family. 

Thanks

Future Stadiums: How Technology Is Revolutionizing The In-Stadium Fan Experience

Here’s a recent article I wrote for Australasian Leisure Management Magazine 

In a stadium near you right now the battle for the fan is on in the sports world to improve and enhance the fan experience. With stadiums across the globe racing each other to become the most technologically advanced theatre for live sports, an arms race is on to get fans out from their home sports caves and back into the stadium. From bio-metric finger print security screening, AI ticketing and vibrating seats to rest room app’s, virtual reality streaming and in-seat food ordering, global stadiums are continuing to innovate through technology in an effort to create exciting and immersive experiences off the field for fans to drive revenue and create long lasting memories and added value for sports fans.

Through looking at the recent global developments in stadium innovations into the fan experience, the following journey through the stadium of the future will look at and highlight the key stadium innovations that are revolutionizing the revenue options for stadiums and enhancing the fan experience for sports fans around the world.

Ticketing

With the stadium fan experience starting long before the actual event takes place, ticketing is often the first point of call for fans with the innovations taking place in this area being heavily influenced by mobile technology. While resale ticketing firm StubHub and Washington’s National’s Park Stadium allows fans to don a virtual reality headset to check out the view of their seats before buying them, Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium features ‘loaded tickets’ where fans can pre-load money onto their tickets which can then be used for food, drink and merchandise. Elsewhere the Dallas Mavericks listened to their fans and launched a new app that features the ability to view a 360º angle of the seats as well as purchase tickets seamlessly via the app while ticketing platform ReplyBuy is brining artificial intelligence to the fan ticket buying experience by allowing fans the opportunity to purchase tickets by sending a ‘buy’ test message to the service and having chatbots respond with questions asking how many tickets the fan is after.

Transportation

A constant gripe amongst sports fans has been the costs and hassle associated with getting to and from the stadium on game day be that from traffic congestion to parking, however now some stadiums are using creative inducements to inspire fans to more easily get out to the venue. At Florida’s Hard Rock Stadium, the Miami Dolphins have partnered with Uber to create a hassle free tailgate experience with a dedicated pick up and drop off point and the ability to book a ride to the game and have a private tailgate section complete with game day supplies. Across to the west coast and the 49ers are working with Amazon’s PrimeNow service to offer fans the fast delivery of game day tailgate items like hot dog buns, and ice which are then shipped to the fans in the Levi’s Stadium tailgate for only $8.

Uber Tailgate

Uber Tailgate

Uber Tailgate

Uber Tailgate

Uber Tailgate

Uber Tailgate

Security

As a result of Daesh having stated their intention to target global stadiums as well as the recent bomb explosions at France’s Stade de France and a Baghdad soccer stadium it is clear that there is a growing terrorism challenge for major sporting events and stadiums. However while teams and venues are always looking for cutting-edge technology to enhance safety they also have to ensure an exceptional first class fan experience. With this in mind the Colorado Rockies Coors Field has deployed CLEAR fast access technology that enables fans to gain faster access to the stadium by having their finger scanned by a biometric fingerprint reader at designated entry lanes. With stadiums like AT&T Stadium in Dallas and Yankee Stadium in New York doing away with PDF tickets, mobile technology is also increasing stadium security and eliminating fraud as tickets are now increasingly being linked to the identity and mobile device of the person entering the stadium which means security agencies can cross check watch lists and see who is coming into the stadium.

Seating

Having made your way inside the stadium, the next step is to find your seat and while some stadiums have incorporated cushioned seats and cup holders the new Atlanta Falcons Mercedes Benz Stadium has stepped it up a notch with vibrating seats that enable fans to feel the impacts of each big hit. Not to be outdone the Jacksonville Jaguars Everbank Field have swimming pools overlooking the field but which come at a cost of 12K per game whereas Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium recently installed ‘smart seats’ which feature pop up HD TV’s into some of their seating. It’s clear that stadiums are looking to offer more and more of these unique seating and viewing options as a way of enticing fans into the ground as well as generating revenue from new premium seating solutions.

Way-Finding

Finding your way around both the outside and inside concourses of the stadium is also an area that stadiums are revolutionizing with tournaments like Wimbledon developing an app that enables fans to plan their visit which enhances the individual fan experience while Canada’s New Mosaic Stadium has developed an interactive map to help fans get around the venue. Perth’s nib Stadium has also undergone a make over which has provided a distinctive visual environment for fan circulation that has included electronic touch screen maps of the venue’s concession stands and toilets.

Lighting

A major upgrade that stadiums such as Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans and Globe Life Park in Texas are undertaking has been to install sophisticated energy saving LED lighting systems that can instantly be turned on and off as well as create a vibrant fan experience that enhances visibility around the venue for players, fans and broadcasters while also improving the entertainment offering.

Architecture

Ensuring that the fan experience is a comfortable one, stadium architecture design is an exciting area in the sports business with venues now having interesting design aspects like cross-laminated timber and undulating fiberglass roofing that amplifies the noise for fans at Olympique Lyonnais to size convertible structures like West Ham’s take over of the Olympic Stadium. The brand new US Bank Stadium in Minnesota installed giant pivoting glass doors and used a special plastic called ETFE that opens the field to natural light while providing protection from the snow, rain and winter weather.

Food and Drink

Grabbing some stadium grub on game day has not often been a pleasant experience with food and drink options being limited in terms of variety, quality and quantity. However many stadiums are now hearing fans concerns by offering creative and delicious dishes which are giving fans more reason to attend. Multiple stadiums like Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Stadium and Melbourne’s MCG have lowered food prices to remove the back pocket sting from a day out while Levi’s Stadium in California has an app that allows in-seat ordering so fans never have to leave their seat to grab a bite to eat. I road tested this in 2015 and from app download to hot dog delivery the total time was only 16 minutes. On the beverage front, New Zealand’s Westpac Stadium has recently partnered with a local independent Wellington brewer to have craft beer on tap during A-League matches while the Minnesota Twins Target Park offers self serve beer machines and Dodger Stadium has a frozen beer foam that sits on top of beer cups keeping fans beers colder for longer.

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In Seat Ordering at Levis Stadium

In Seat Ordering at Levis Stadium

Rest Rooms

Highlighting the fact that no area is off limits for stadium innovation, rest rooms throughout venues are now being upgraded to enhance the amenity experience for fans as well as provide sponsors with a new way to drive brand awareness. In California, the Levis Stadium app features a function that allows fans to see which toilets have the shortest queues while sensing an opportunity to improve the rest room experience, the Tailgating Sports Marketing Group have deployed toilet trailers that feature HD monitors that include interactive gaming and sponsored content.

Toilet app at Levis Stadium

Toilet app at Levis Stadium

Audio-Visual

Venues are increasingly updating their audio-visual infrastructure by incorporating cutting edge technology into their screens and sound systems as a way of improving the fan experience for the senses. New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium has installed huge programming boards that act as a delivery service for fans with information on fantasy sports and fan tweets while Mercedes Benz Stadium has added 2000 video display screens and a 360° 63,000ft HD halo video board in a new partnership with Daktronics. In the UK, Norwich City have revolutionized screen technology by becoming the first team in English football to install a 360° revolving LED stadium screen that switches between portrait and landscape while for Perth’s new stadium plans are to have 240sqm mega screens installed at both ends of the ground.

MetLife Stadium

MetLife Stadium

VR-AR

Racing each other to be the most technologically advanced stadium in the world through the use of virtual and augmented reality, stadiums are looking to offer new unique viewing experiences to bring fans in closer to the action and change how they consume content. The NBA’s Warriors recently broadcast the first live streamed game in VR that incorporated 360° cameras being installed around Oracle Arena with fans wearing VR headsets to see a new perspective of the game. Manchester’s Etihad Stadium in conjunction with Melbourne’s AAMI Park and New York’s Yankee Stadium also enabled fans to trial viewing a Manchester City match in VR in an effort to promote more fan involvement. Elsewhere there are rumours that the new City of Champions stadium in Los Angeles will feature on field projections using VR.

VR at Australian Open 2016

VR at Australian Open 2016

Connectivity

Enabling fans to have seamless in stadium connectivity to fast and free high density Wi-Fi has become the norm amongst leading stadiums who have understood the importance of ensuring fans have no impediment to mobile access. Venues such as US Bank Stadium have 1300 Wi-Fi hot spots while Levis Stadium features over 600KM of Wi-Fi cabling and one access point to every 100 seats in the bowl. Throughout Australia many of the leading stadiums now feature free Wi-Fi which have enabled fans to enjoy a better fan experience through interacting with team and stadium content, uploading pictures as well as receiving targeted ads for food, beverage and merchandise offers.

The stadium of the future has arrived and fans should be excited. While global stadiums show no signs of slowing down as they continue to innovate and revolutionize with smart technologies, it is evident from these ten areas that the stadium fan experience is being improved in every single aspect to ensure that fans are put first and provided with more reasons to attend.

 

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100+ Fan Engagement and Fan Experience Articles From November 2016

Here’s a quick round up of 100+ interesting fan engagement and fan experience reads from the sports business world from the month of November 2016.

  1. IS OUR OBSESSION WITH TECHNOLOGY DAMAGING THE MATCH-GOING EXPERIENCE?
  2. American fan engagement would not work in the Premier League
  3. Milwaukee Bucks Give Back With ‘Engineer The Future’ Event As Students Build Arena Replicas
  4. Sports Geek: 33 sports teams doing the Mannequin Challenge
  5. Inside The Cronulla Sharks Digital Marketing Play
  6. Renovations to Stabler Arena enhance fan experience
  7. Al Thawadi: Qatar 2022 will showcase region
  8. Driving fan engagement in the digital age: what digital disruption really means for sport
  9. Responsible Fans Rewarded at Homestead-Miami Speedway
  10. YOUNG FAN EXPERIENCES DREAM JOB WITH MAN CITY
  11. The 6 Uses Of Technology In Sports We Are Thankful For This Thanksgiving
  12. Check out the 15 restaurants opening in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta
  13. Minnesota Wild First NHL Team To Debut Snapchat Spectacles
  14. How The NBA Sees A Future Filled With Live Virtual Reality Broadcasts Of Games
  15. The NBA is now creating a weekly Snapchat Discover channel
  16. Aston Villa fans to get the chance to sit with Dr Tony Xia
  17. National Hockey League Team Leverages SAP HANA to Better Understand Their Fans Through Data
  18. EY teams with MetLife Stadium, New York Jets and New York Football Giants to create premier fan experience through the EY Coaches Club
  19. GlobalLogic and LA Galaxy Partner to Build Next-Generation Digital Platform for Enhanced Fan Experience
  20. Experience NBA and NFL in a new way as VR Goes Mainstream
  21. San Jose Sharks Launch New Video App With DeskSite
  22. TRIPLEPLAY DELIVERS NEXT GEN FAN EXPERIENCE AT ICONIC FOOTBALL CLUB
  23. Alpha Video Scores Big with Tech Expo at U.S. Bank Stadium
  24. HOW TO MANAGE DIRECT-TO-FAN RELATIONSHIPS IN 2016
  25. Bournemouth launch predictor game app with Deliveroo prizes
  26. Virtual reality will transport you to F1 races — and bring fan excitement back to Formula One
  27. Cardiff City beat off competition from Everton and Leicester City to land prestigious match day experience award
  28. Five things you must do on a matchday to build your brand, increase engagement and monetise your social audience
  29. Chicago Cubs fans can buy championship gear on the Uber app and have it delivered in minutes
  30. With Wi-Fi Stadium Upgrade, Could Augmented Reality Be Next For New England Patriots?
  31. Why USMNT Coach Jürgen Klinsmann Regularly Chats With Fans On Facebook Live
  32. Jonathan Key: Titans Bud Light NFL Super Fan
  33. Responsible Fans Rewarded at Phoenix Raceway
  34. Next stop Kuala Lumpur for LFC World fan experience
  35. Everton on pace to break Goodison Park attendance record
  36. National Hockey League Team Leverages SAP HANA to Better Understand Their Fans Through Data
  37. World Rugby Competition gives Fans the Chance to Pitch Match Experience Ideas
  38. Teams, Leagues Enlist Content Creators
  39. NBA 2K partners with Fitbit to get gamers off couch
  40. Paris Saint-Germain Partners With Ericsson For Digital Experience, Data Solutions
  41. Dallas Mavericks Are Now On Digital Streaming Platforms Roku, Live.ly, Musical.ly
  42. Tagboard, Snapchat Partner With NFL Teams, Samurai Japan
  43. Fitbit, NBA 2K17 Partner To Promote Healthy Living With Gamers
  44. FAN ENGAGEMENT INTERVIEW: DUNCAN DRASDO, MANCHESTER UNITED SUPPORTERS TRUST
  45. Safe Standing: The view of the Bundesliga
  46. For Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center, a Rising Tide Raises All Ships
  47. Five Ways To Keep Ratings, Attendance Up At NFL Games
  48. Hyper-Telling Of Sports: The Next Frontier For Immersive Experiences
  49. Pro Teams Look To Score Big By Improving Fan Experience
  50. How the cloud, infused with analytic insights, impacts athletes and sports fans
  51. Canucks partner with SAP to create engaging fan experiences using social media
  52. NBA Audio Aims To Enhance Experience for Fans at Home and in Venue
  53. ATP, Sony, and Infosys Bring ATP World Tour Finals VR Experience to PlayStationVR
  54. Venue Q&A: MSG’s Bauman Talks Fan-Engagement Strategy, Teases Nov. 29 Event
  55. 3 Sports Marketing Strategies To Engage Fans With Fresh Content
  56. Barclays ATP World Tour Finals Giving Fans Immersive Virtual Reality Experience
  57. NASCAR Chairman Brian France Talks Virtual Reality, Digital Fan Experience
  58. The London experience: Fan highlights from Bengals’ first international game
  59. Grizzlies announce “Grizz’s Buzzer Beater Deals” available via the Official Grizzlies Mobile App
  60. Future of the NFL: The Virtual, Augmented, 3D, 360-Degree Football Experience
  61. Brighton & Hove Albion Opens Virtual Reality Experience In Amex Stadium Family Stand
  62. New stadium parking plan saves Dolphins fans time, money (and aggravation)
  63. Blues Secure Awards Double
  64. Cleveland Cavaliers Unveil Paper Virtual Championship Ring Due To Silicone Band ‘Flaw’
  65. What’s new at MSG in 2016-17: Drone balls, dancer balls, balls everywhere!
  66. Building a Home Court Advantage
  67. Hurdl Illuminates Fans to Lead Next Generation Entertainment Experience, Marketing
  68. Thailand lifts celebration restrictions for Socceroos fans
  69. Villanova Athletics and Key Bank Announce Exclusive Retail Banking Partnership
  70. Tackling Tech: Why Gillette Stadium Sought an Extreme Wi-Fi Upgrade for NFL Fans
  71. 5 HALLOWEEN CONTENT MARKETING WINS
  72. Big Ten Network Producing Its First Live College Football Game In Virtual Reality
  73. At Sportel Monaco, Executives Address Current State Of Virtual Reality
  74. The Washington Capitals Are Getting Creative With A Facebook Messenger Bot
  75. StubHub CIO Marty Boos Dishes On Technology’s Impact On Ticketing
  76. Wearable Technology Company Zepp Brings Its Sensor To The Links
  77. Los Angeles Lakers Looking To Lead In Use Of 3D Technology
  78. Rugby Apparel Provider Canterbury Uses Hologram To Preview New ‘Untouchable’ Jerseys
  79. Yankee Stadium Enhancements
  80. How Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust is getting a grip on fan engagement
  81. NU working to improve football fans’ comfort
  82. Jacksonville-based Fanatics signs deal with Atlanta Falcons
  83. How LAFC supporters’ groups are influencing the team’s new stadium design
  84. Manchester United fan engagement ‘akin to religion’ – managing director Ad (0:12) Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%
  85. CU Athletics signs partnership with SuperFanU
  86. WAWA AND NEW JERSEY DEVILS TEAM UP TO PROVIDE UNIQUE EXPERIENCE TO FANS ATTENDING EVENTS AT PRUDENTIAL CENTER
  87. Brisbane Heat Becomes First Australian Club To Create Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality App
  88. Everton Secure Football Business Awards Double
  89. Q&A: The Cub’s creative team on marketing ‘loveable losers’ who win
  90. The NBA Is Committed to Virtual Reality. Are Fans?
  91. U.S. Soccer taps Facebook, Instagram to hype USA-Mexico rivalry game
  92. NASCAR’s Phil Metz on the Busy Intersection of Music & Auto Racing
  93. International Hockey Club IFK Helsinki Launches eSports Team
  94. NFL, Google Expand Relationship Through Nine-Part Virtual Reality Series
  95. Greenfly Helps Brands Unlock The Collective Content Influence Of Fans
  96. Golden 1 Center Creating Inclusive Fan Experience
  97. TIMBERWOLVES & LYNX TO PROVIDE CLOSED CAPTIONING AT HOME GAMES
  98. Making the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ Qatar accessible to all
  99. Vancouver Canucks use SAP Hybris to get personal with fans
  100. KOJO Sport Signs Exclusive Five Year Deal For Game Day Production At Adelaide Oval
  101. Denver Broncos Build Fan Engagement Through Augmented Reality Activation
  102. SmartCart Technology Aims to Change Way Fans Watch Sports
  103. How MLB And New Relic Are Redefining How Cloud Apps Deliver Great Experiences
  104. Colts Invite 11-Year-Old Fan From Charleston to Thanksgiving Game
  105. New York Red Bulls GM Marc de Grandpre Discusses Power Of Live Sports, Streaming Evolution
  106. NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers to Again Feature 15 Seconds of Fame Technology
  107. The PGA Tour and ATP Launch New Fan Engagement Polling Product Built By Omnigon
  108. Holograms and smartphones – Canterbury launch British & Irish Lions kit in spectacular fashion
  109. Atlanta Hawks and City of Atlanta Announce Plans To Renovate Philips Arena
  110. MILWAUKEE BUCKS ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP WITH LEXUS, PROVIDING GAME NIGHT VIP VALET PARKING FOR FANS
  111. How sports execs use tech to improve fan engagement
  112. Carolina Panthers Heighten Fan Experience at Bank of America Stadium with Aruba Wi-Fi
  113. Mercedes-Benz Stadium Will House Largest LED Video Display In Sports
  114. The 11 Most Important Tech Storylines From The 2016 MLB Season
  115. Hong Kong Tennis Open Celebrated With Virtual Reality Matches Providing Skyline Views
  116. New York Islanders Barclays Center Fan Experience
  117. Virtual reality will transport you to F1 races — and bring fan excitement back to Formula One
  118. Panasonic and Sacramento Kings Debut NBA’s First 4K Ultra HD Centerhung Video Displays at Season Home Opener
  119. Why English football sucks at fan engagement – and Americans are in a different league

100+ Fan Engagement and Fan Experience Articles From October 2016

Here’s a quick round up of 100+ interesting fan engagement and fan experience reads from the sports business world from the month of October 2016.

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers, Nike Give Fans Virtual NBA Championship Ring-Wearing Experience
  2. Paris Saint-Germain Launches Stadium App For Optimal Fan Experience
  3. 5 Ideas & Tactics for Using Data to Increase Fan Engagement
  4. Scalped: How Technology Is Impacting The Ticket Industry And The Overall Fan Experience
  5. Uber Partners With 16 NBA Franchises For 2016-17 Season
  6. The Future Of Sports App Tech
  7. SMART STADIUMS LEADING THE WAY IN BOOSTING FAN EXPERIENCE
  8. Want more from your Ohio State football experience? Now you can buy an upgrade
  9. 100 DAYS ‘TIL SUPER BOWL: HOW METRO IS GETTING READY FOR COMPANY
  10. Panasonic and Sacramento Kings Debut NBA’s First 4K Ultra HD Centerhung Video Displays at Season Home Opener
  11. WTA Finals: Tennis fans can enjoy a virtual tennis experience at StarHub booth
  12. NBA gives basketball viewers chance to see games in virtual reality
  13. Sharks Make Changes Off the Ice
  14. World Series a unique experience for this Cubs fan, front office alum
  15. Ipswich Town’s entertainment factor questioned at supporters’ club’s AGM at Portman Road
  16. Scalped: How Technology Is Impacting The Ticket Industry And The Overall Fan Experience
  17. Column: This is what Cubs fans have been waiting for
  18. UBER AND THE SAN ANTONIO SPURS TEAM UP TO HELP FANS RIDE RESPONSIBLY ON GAME DAYS
  19. Detroit Pistons hammering out 2 key issues for downtown arena move
  20. Modern technology is in danger of leaving the Premier League behind – football must fight back or viewers will keep turning off
  21. BookMyShow-backed Fantain, aims to take stab at sports and entertainment fan engagement market
  22. Apps Are Bringing Fans Closer to the NFL Than Ever Before
  23. Fans can now order drinks from their seats at Gloucester Rugby
  24. 5 Truths: Twickenham perfect venue for NFL, Bayern Munich stars clearly can’t get enough
  25. Fans experience Penn State athletics through virtual reality before Ohio State-Penn State football game
  26. Microsoft identifies huge opportunities in the nation’s sports industry
  27. FamousFan Is Making The Jumbotron Experience More Social For Teams And Fans
  28. MotoGP Races Into Peoples Pockets
  29. Live Fantasy Sport App Ballr and Uber Announce Indonesia Partnership in a New Era of Fan Engagement
  30. Completion of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium to Enhance Atlanta’s Role As a Sports Mecca
  31. Why more teams want stadiums like Atlanta’s SunTrust Park than Chicago’s Wrigley Field
  32. O2 to deliver more personalised mobile experiences for fans with renewal of English Rugby partnership
  33. Yankee Stadium will undergo major design changes to add ‘social gathering spaces’ and fan zones for children
  34. TRAIL BLAZERS GO INTO 2016-17 SEASON LOADED WITH FRESH FAN EXPERIENCES, NEW BROADCAST TALENT
  35. Singaporean’s idea to let fans experience F1 live using VR wins him US$50K in Texas F1 competition
  36. Bills, Sabres owners embrace fans through unified ‘One Buffalo’ app feature
  37. How to Engage Loyal Fans and Still Attract New Fans: an Exclusive Interview With Nascar CMO Jill Gregory
  38. FAN EQUITY COMMUNICATIONS: BUILD YOUR OWN REWARDS
  39. UNDERSTANDING SPORTS FAN PSYCHOLOGY AND TRANSFORMATION OF SPORTS ENTHUSIASTS INTO HARDCORE FANS
  40. HOW TO ENGAGE FANS BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER AN EVENT.
  41. NBA, NextVR To Broadcast Live Games In Virtual Reality Weekly This Season
  42. Ticketmaster, Dallas Cowboys fight fraud through mobile ticketing
  43. Lawsuit: Colts app listens in on fans’ conversations
  44. The Capitals have a Facebook Messenger bot, and it has an attitude
  45. Virtual reality will give NBA fans game experience
  46. Pyrotechnics, smashed walls and lockerrooms: Twickenham’s NFL transformation
  47. Perth Stadium sneak peek: part one
  48. Vodafone beefs up comms at Aviva Stadium
  49. Four Simple Steps to Building Fan Affinity
  50. Man City’s new iPhone offering is gimmicky – but that’s the whole point
  51. BRAE MORT TALKS ATLETICO MADRID’S VENUE VISION
  52. Islanders, Barclays working to improve the fan, player experience
  53. A first look at planned Neyland Stadium renovations
  54. The future is here: Fan-run IFL team hosting tryouts in Dallas
  55. The @Vikings US Bank Stadium: the world’s most outlandish sporting venue
  56. Front Row? Too Far Away Universities Sell ‘Experiences’ That Allow Fans to Connect Directly With Teams
  57. Fans experience emotional roller coaster during Vols game Saturday Vols fans describe roller coaster of emotion
  58. West Ham fan watches Middlesbrough game through binoculars
  59. Tottenham and NFL confident London link-up will provide mutual benefits
  60. 3 OF THE MOST IMPORTANT WAYS SPORTS FANS CONSUME CONTENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA
  61. 15 Seconds of Fame, Inc. to Bring Social Media App to Brooklyn Nets and New York Islanders games
  62. NBA fans in China now have access to view games on NBA League Pass
  63. Vodafone Qatar’s smart World Cup stadiums
  64. IBM announces first MLS partnership with Los Angeles Football Club
  65. AI is going to help sports fans battle long concession lines
  66. FIFA President Infantino unveils “FIFA 2.0: The Vision for the Future”
  67. Notre Dame and NextVR Team Up For Virtual Reality Experience
  68. ParkHub named Official Parking Partner of AT&T STADIUM
  69. Inside the football YouTube revolution: How ArsenalFanTV, The Redmen and Full Time Devils are shaking up the broadcasting landscape
  70. Vikings Rewards Help Fan Relive Photography Experience at U.S. Bank Stadium
  71. Sabres looking to build up fan experience
  72. Commologic launches new BetUP Instant product with Unibet
  73. Digital Director: Fandom And Fortune In The Connected Stadium
  74. Virtual Reality To Transform Indian Sports Fan Experience
  75. More than 5,000 visited powerlifting fan experience at Rio 2016, IPC announce
  76. 5 Ideas & Tactics for Using Data to Increase Fan Engagement
  77. Sports Geek Podcast: Scott Kegley from Minnesota Vikings on Vine, Snapchat & LOUD fans
  78. MotoGP Reaches Milestone of Half Million Daily Races on Mobile Devices
  79. The sponsorship model is broken – here’s how to fix it
  80. Sacramento Kings fans have a technological marvel in Golden 1 Center
  81. Payments Takes The (NFL Football) Field
  82. Rogers Place, Oilers’ new home, draws rave reviews
  83. Schwartz: Islanders Fans Will Notice Improvements At Barclays Center
  84. AmericanAirlines Arena Enhances Fan Experience and Increases Energy Efficiency with Eaton’s Advanced LED Lighting and Controls System
  85. The Dallas Mavericks Set a New Standard For The Mobile Fan Experience With Tixsee
  86. Tailgating Sports Marketing Upgrading Bathroom Fan Experience
  87. Deadline looms for OSU VIP Fan Experience
  88. 2016 AFL and NRL Grand Final Fan Engagement Recap
  89. XFINITY CENTER RE-ENERGIZES WITH MUSCO LED SYSTEM
  90. FanCompass pushes data monetisation solution into global marketplace
  91. First Data and Bypass Take the Seattle Seahawks Fan Experience to the Next Level
  92. Tata Communications leverages F1 partnership to innovate
  93. Sixers Announce 2016-2017 Promotional Schedule
  94. Middlesbrough fans asked to share experience of West Ham’s London Stadium by Football Supporters’ Federation
  95. Snapchat Live Story Engages Fans at Bank of America 500
  96. New York City FC’s Andrea Pirlo: ‘I love the style of sport in America’
  97. E-sports acquisitions must put fan experience first
  98. New addition to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium will enhance fan experience
  99. Miller Park to get ‘completely transformed’ fan experience
  100. ASSOCIATED BANK FINDS BRAND LOYALTY, CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT VIA GREEN BAY PACKERS FANS
  101. Brewers Tweak Fan Amenities
  102. NBA’s Pacers Have a Plan to Connect Fans to Beer, Burgers Faster
  103. Dallas Mavericks seek to enhance fan experience with new app
  104. RCR, NASCAR DIGITAL MEDIA PARTNER ON WEBSITE
  105. Formula E figuring out recipe for attracting both young, traditional race fans
  106. A CMO’s View: How The Palace’s email marketing brings Detroit Pistons fans home
  107. Orlando City Partners with Dimensional Innovations for Stadium Sponsor Displays
  108. ‘The Best Experience In Any Stadium’: The Delta Sky360 Club
  109. Badgers Game Day app enhances fan experience Badgers Game Day app enhances fan experience
  110. Football: Liverpool to launch global fan experience tour in Singapore on Oct 31
  111. Wi-Fi and a ‘Game Day’ mobile app give Patriots fans a powerful in-stadium experience
  112. Using Social Media to Monetize Fan Engagement | FC Bayern Munich and New York Red Bull case studies

Denver Broncos Sports Authority Field Fan Experience Recap 24/10/2016

Flying to Denver

Flying to Denver

Monday morning and I’m up at 4.30am to fly from Miami to Denver, Colorado for tonight’s Denver Broncos game at Sports Authority Field. After an airport blueberry bagel breakfast I’m on my way for a four hour flight over the USA and into rocky mountain country. I quickly dump my bags at my airport hotel and catch the shuttle back to the airport to get the train to the game. I’ve chosen airport hotels on this trip as a smart decision given my tight schedules and free airport shuttle buses that they usually offer meaning I can save time over the nine days.

Train to the game

Train to the game

I take the for $9USD Denver W train from the airport which gives me an all day pass on the city’s transportation network and alight at Union Station and to my surprise see Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies MLB team is a short walk away. It was pretty cool to see the stadium in the flesh having recently written an article on stadium technology and the fan experience for Australasian Leisure Management Magazine which touches on the stadium’s use of biometric fingerprint scanning.

Coors Field

Coors Field

Coors Field

Coors Field

Coors Field

Coors Field

Mile High station

Mile High station

Train to the game

Train to the game

I find a local bar called Falling Rock Tap House which turns out to be THE craft beer bar in Denver and sample a few delicious Colorado beers before hitting the pavement back to Union Station where I catch a short 10 minute light rail ride out to Sports Authority Field-Mile High Stadium station. As I’m walking from the station to the stadium I strike up a conversation with a few Denver fans who supply me with a cold can of BudLight in the Denver Broncos colours. I think these cans look so good and would be a great idea from a major brewer in Australia to do for fans. I continue walking and soak up the walk to the ground while pedicab riders ferry fans to and from the stadium. I pass the ‘Burrito Daddy’, ‘Carl the funky drummer’ and two homeless guys selling beers who are all unofficial vendors or entertainers who it seems rock up in their car or bicycle and unload eskies of drinks and food to cook and sell from their vehicle. Outside selling and profiting from the event is obviously out of the control of the stadium in this back street but I think I’ll pass anyway on a backseat burrito from The Burrito Daddy.

Broncos fans

Broncos fans

I don’t have to walk far before the first activation pops out as fans gather round to line up and have their picture taken at the Broncos Fever sign. What I found interesting about this is that the sponsor didn’t just slap up the sign but actually stationed a person here who was in charge of taking the pictures for fans. In other situations like where this is used there’s not been a person to help so fans have to wait and ask another fan to take their photo which can be hit and miss sometimes unless a 10 year old is taking the picture!

Broncos Fever

Broncos Fever

Continuing the walk around the stadium is taking it’s time as there’s just so much on from left to right here. The senses are running wild with excitement but I can’t imagine a fan actually being able to do every single activation in only 3-4 hours because while I arrived at 3pm and ended up racing through 20 odd activations, even I wasn’t able to complete everything. It’s truly such an impressive sight and by this stage I’ve only walked around 10% of the stadium. I notice that the stadium has a bicycle valet service before checking out the Buick test where I and other fans eagerly sign up our personal data in an iPad survey and receive a free Broncos shirt which is the first of about 20 free items I end up picking up tonight in what turns out to be my Broncos showbag of sorts. Leaving this stand I walk 10 metres and receive a clear bag with a Broncos logo on it from a local hospital who are handing out thousands of these tonight and which is a clever giveaway given the amount of stuff people are accumulating and the fact you can’t take any bags into the stadium apart from these clear bags.

Bike Valet

Bike Valet

Broncos beer

Broncos beer

Free tee's

Free tee’s

Free tee's

Free tee’s

Walking around the ground

Walking around the ground

Free bags

Free bags

Free bags

Free bags

At this stage I’m at the back of the stadium and start to see the orange buzz of the fan zone appearing in the distance. The fan zone is pumping when I make my way into the dedicated section that features around 15 or so Broncos coloured tents where each sponsor has activities and giveaways going down while being surrounded by bars and gourmet food options.

The fan zone

The fan zone

More free tees

More free tees

Photo ops

Photo ops

I participate in the Macca’s pong game at their stand and score a pair of McDonalds football gloves, some stickers, free burger vouchers to use in Denver stores and a pair of sunglasses. While I’m waiting to do another data collection activity I’m approached to do a survey and score a free Broncos hat before returning to the line and grabbing another pair of Broncos sunnies, Broncos lip balm and some very smartly designed Broncos koozies in the shape of a cowboy boot.

Freebies

Freebies

More freebies

More freebies

The fan zone

The fan zone

Giveaways

Giveaways

More free stuff

More free stuff

The Broncos Fever stand, sponsored by a health care company, was a very clever idea where they were curing fans who may have symptoms of ‘Bronco Fever’. The staff acting as Broncos doctors and nurses would take a picture of the fans and supply them with free goodies.

Bronco Fever

Bronco Fever

The fan zone

The fan zone

Photo opportunities are abundant with the Super Bowl 50 cut out, Bronco Fever, giant Bud Light Broncos can, player cut out’s and more all scattered around the venue for fans to capture that memorable moment and upload it to social. There’s a huge Broncos Buick truck and another free t-shirt sign up tent in one corner while numerous fun and easy skills drills are scattered around the fan zone that feature throwing and kicking activities with every fan walking away with prizes.

The fan zone

The fan zone

Broncos beer

Broncos beer

Broncos Beer

Broncos Beer

The fan zone

The fan zone

Photo Ops

Photo Ops

The fan zone

The fan zone

Around 90 minutes from kick off I catch up with Glenn Hines from the Broncos who is the club’s fan manager and we discuss fan engagement at the Broncos and the importance of putting fans first, always trying to innovate the fan experience and discussing his role on game day. The game day role he tells me is very much about talking to fans and helping them get the most out of their time at the stadium so they leave feeling as though they are a big part of this family and are valued as fans. We discuss the importance of staff providing exceptional customer service in every possible way and why this focus and culture of superb customer service has contributed to the team being able to have consecutive sell out’s since 1970. This big focus on going the extra mile with customer service stood out on a few occasions for me as while just walking around the venue I had different fan relations staff members come up to me on level 1 and 5 who asked me on a personal level how I was going, what I needed, could they help me with anything, to have a great day and ‘Go Broncos’. This is not hard to do from any business let alone sports but it just makes you feel appreciated and valued as a loyal customer or fan and fans that feel that way are always going to invest in the club for years to come.

Myself with Glenn from the Broncos

Myself with Glenn from the Broncos

Having told Glenn what I’d accomplished so far on my fan experience at the stadium he points out that I’ve actually missed the miniature 1/8th size replica concrete stadium in the car park on the other side of the stadium. Sorry what? A replica stadium? Seriously American stadiums and teams can you just ease up on the crazy awesome stuff just for a season to let everyone else catch up to you!

I thank Glenn for the hospitality and head round to check out this replica stadium which is a homage to their former Mile High stadium. The space takes up 200 car parks and can seat close to 200 fans in tiered seating who are treated to marching band performances, live screen highlights and analysis and tailgate food options. This was one of the most impressive things I’ve seen in all my stadium visits over the years and I think my girlfriend is going to have a hard time convincing me that I can’t replicate this idea for our backyard one day.

Replica Stadium

Replica Stadium

Replica Stadium

Replica Stadium

Barrel Man

Barrel Man

Replica stadium

Replica stadium

Replica Mile High

Replica Mile High

Before making my way inside the venue I sample a local BBQ sauce retailer’s southern style sauce on some delicious chicken wings and pick up a sample to take home. These US stadiums at time’s truly feel like you’re at an expo or trade show such is the showcase of interesting local products and services and this stuff is all open free to the public as fans without tickets can participate in all of this action for free.

Free sauces

Free sauces

Free wings!

Free wings!

It’s 6pm and I line up at gate 8 where the pat down, scan and metal detector walk through takes place. The ticketing crew scan my phone for my ticket and I’m in. I’m handed a free 100+ page program and a couple of stickers and proceed up the escalators to level 5. I shell out $8USD for a ‘regular’ (really 2L or thereabouts) souvenir Broncos cup of Coke Zero that I can barely wrap one hand around before taking my seat up high in the last row of section 538 before turning around.

Entering the stadium

Entering the stadium

Stadium inside

Stadium inside

Free programs on entry

Free programs on entry

$7 soda

$7 soda

Look at this view! No words. What a stadium.

The view

The view

Up high at Broncos

Up high at Broncos

The digital in game stadium activations included a few of the usual things like fan cams (Bronco Fever), military appreciation moments and ‘Know Your Broncos’ where the players share stories about their teammates. Further fan engagement included the ‘Kick Off Kid’ who took the tee back to the sideline, the ‘Coin Toss Kid’ and the continuous screen prompts for the crowd to ‘Make Some Noise’, ‘Get Loud’, ‘LOUDER!’ and the decibel readers which saw this fan cheer get up to around 112dB which comes close to the 114dB I heard at the 49ers last year. There was also a cool giant helmet VR experience taking place as well in the concourse from sponsor Verizon. 

VR at Broncos

VR at Broncos

Broncos Fever- Get Loud

Broncos Fever- Get Loud

Concession stands

Concession stands

The concession stands offered a multitude of options and incentives or giveaways and included mega Broncos hot dogs, big pizza pie, supreme massive nachos and other delightful and out there food items that were easy to get food from. 

Game day food promos

Game day food promos

Signature merch items

Signature merch items

Sports Authority Field Concessions

Sports Authority Field Concessions

Sports Authority Field Concessions

Sports Authority Field Concessions

Sports Authority Field Concessions

Sports Authority Field Concessions

Concessions

Concessions

Overall the Broncos fan experience really showcased the best in customer service, fan zones and sponsor activations. A highly enjoyable experience made even better by the Broncos getting the win and this mountain of giveaways which I walked away with for friends back home.

Broncos giveaways

Broncos giveaways

Sadly on the night a fan died at this game and I’d just like to acknowledge that as being such a horrific thing to happen to a family and a fan that no one should ever have to go through. 

100+ Fan Engagement and Fan Experience Articles From September 2016

Here’s a quick round up of 100+ interesting fan engagement and fan experience reads from the sports business world from the month of September 2016.

  1. VIRTUALLY THERE FOR VR
  2. Fans and players compete for stardom in the stadiums of the future
  3. New MIS president to focus on fan experience
  4. Golden 1 Center is 1st arena to have 23 all-gender bathrooms
  5. Turner Sports Enhances Ryder Cup Fan Experience With Google Technology
  6. Atlanta Braves to Feature 15 Seconds of Fame Technology During Final Games at Turner Field
  7. Hockey and beer with a view: Sea Dogs add ice-level bar
  8. SPORTTU’s Groundbreaking Media Technology Provides Personalized Sports Fan Apps to Telcos, Media Companies and Pro Leagues
  9. The psychology of a sports fan They psychology of winning and losing
  10. Stubhub’s Philadelphia 76ers Ticket Marketplace is Live
  11. Associated Bank’s Ultimate Packers Fan Program puts fans in center of the action
  12. Wi-Fi upgrades underway for Lions fans at Ford Field
  13. Virtual Reality Arrives at Sports Venues, Giving Fans Immersive Experiences
  14. WHO ARE YA? MIAMI HEAT ON POINT WITH DNA
  15. Sports and technology innovation collide as Sounders and Sportradar host hackathon in Seattle
  16. Twitter launches NFL hashtag emojis
  17. Fun job: Firing up Packers fans, players
  18. Lisnr, FC Cincinnati team up on new app
  19. NE Patriots Use WiFi Technology to Enhance In-Stadium Fan Experience
  20. With stadium all but done, Dolphins turn attention to fan experience
  21. ReplyBuy Brings Artificial Intelligence To The Fan Ticket Purchasing Experience
  22. New Falcons Stadium To Offer Plenty To So Many: Maria Boynton Reports
  23. How Manchester City’s partners are fueling the club’s innovation drive
  24. Manchester City: Introducing #CityPulse – Interactive Matchday Boards
  25. Behind the scenes at high-tech Levi’s Stadium, where the WiFi is never more than 10 feet away
  26. Highly Popular New England Patriots Fan Engagement Activity – Fancam – to Be Offered Throughout 2016 Regular Season
  27. Carolina Panthers kick-off improved fan experience
  28. The New Tailgating Experience At U.S. Bank Stadium
  29. BCCI launches new initiative that lets fans pick India’s ‘Dream Team’ to mark 500th Test
  30. The Fan Experience At The Rams’ Stadium Sounded Like Hell [Update]
  31. Sacramento Kings Redefining Fan Experience At Golden 1 Center With New ‘Remote Control’ AppInspirational Woman: Amy McNiven | Cardiff City Player HD TV Presenter and Fan Engagement Manager at Cardiff City Football Club
  32. Devils make deal with app company to further engage fans
  33. NAHL announces partnership with Digital Auction Showdown (DASH)
  34. Fan Engagement Through Social Digital Broadcast Platforms Reached New Heights During Rio 2016 Olympic And Paralympic Games
  35. When customers are fans: What sports teams can teach us about engagement
  36. Sports Venues Work to Balance Security and the Fan Experience
  37. Baseball glove kiosks will be part of the SunTrust Park experience
  38. Utah Jazz unveil Vivint SmartHome Arena renovation plans
  39. Big Data: the game changer
  40. Man City link with new launch Ballr app for fan engagement in Asia
  41. Inspirational Woman: Amy McNiven | Cardiff City Player HD TV Presenter and Fan Engagement Manager at Cardiff City Football Club
  42. BIG TICK FOR NRL FINALS FAN EXPERIENCE
  43. Women of RED Host Epic Fan Experience
  44. Devils will provide personal videoboard replays to fans
  45. Clubs and fans connect in a new digital world
  46. Football takes to social media in crowded contest for fan allegiance
  47. Summer of Sports: Stories, Stats, and Fan-Driven Content
  48. SportsManias, NFLPA Partner To Create Real-Time Emojis
  49. Will humanoid robotics score for Manchester City?
  50. Sacramento Kings app lets you hail an Uber and talk to a chat bot
  51. Texas Tech, Stanford Football Big Believers In Virtual Reality
  52. Romain Grosjean: American owners could revolutionise F1 spectacle
  53. #Portada16: Marketers Talk About The Challenges of Reaching Soccer Fans
  54. OSU football: Stadium striping latest evolution of fan experience in Stillwater
  55. SAP ENHANCE MATCHDAY EXPERIENCE WITH #CITYPULSE
  56. How virtual reality is transforming the sports industry
  57. Bills ‘Color Rush’ Home Opener vs. Jets Features Enhanced Experience for Fans
  58. For the 2016 Season, the NFL Turns Up New Wireless Communication, Virtual Reality
  59. Notre Dame Enhances Fan Experience and Energy Efficiency with New LED Lighting System
  60. Lions upgrading fan experience at Ford Field
  61. Mobilitie Brings Wireless Connectivity and Fan Experience Full Circle at Toyota Park
  62. The New Tailgating Experience At U.S. Bank Stadium
  63. NASCAR aims to make the Chase an interactive fan experience
  64. Hyundai’s Promise To Give NFL Fans A Better Experience Begins At Kickoff
  65. North Harbour Rugby delights fans of beer
  66. Seahawks Throw for Delta SkyMiles with Launch of 12status Engagement Program
  67. Cardinals rank among most affordable fan experience
  68. New Flight Tool Helps Football Fans Experience the Season in Stadium
  69. Yulman teams up with AT&T to provide more interactive fan experience
  70. Octagon Singapore Launches Virtual Experience For Standard Chartered Bank And Liverpool FC Fans
  71. NASCAR’S INAUGURAL FAN APPRECIATION WEEKEND KICKS OFF AT RICHMOND
  72. How the Dallas Cowboys Use Your Nose Against You
  73. Zebra Technologies Implements Chips Into Footballs For NFL Thursday Night Games
  74. SportsGeek: Josh Biren from FamousFan: Sports Start Up Series
  75. 2016 Rio Paralympics: Fan Zone lets spectators participate in events as athletes do
  76. Amazon partners with San Francisco 49ers to offer one hour Prime Now deliveries for tailgaters
  77. Bud Light Toasts Broncos Fans With Season Kickoff Beer Giveaway
  78. NEW UMD BULLDOG FAN INITIATIVES ANNOUNCED FOR 2016-17
  79. Liverpool FC ranked No.1 by VisitFootball
  80. City Football Group’s chief commercial officer Tom Glick shares insights on its sports model
  81. CFL LAUNCHES UPDATED MOBILE APP WITH FAN-FOCUSED FEATURES
  82. Two New Fan Zones Coming to EMU Football Gamedays
  83. How brands can feed the appetite of the 24 hour sports fan
  84. FALCON STADIUM ENHANCEMENTS TO IMPROVE GAME DAY EXPERIENCE
  85. Reviewing An Innovative Connected Experience With Manchester City’s CityMatchDay App
  86. New emphasis on fan experience at football games a welcome change
  87. Schwartz: American Express Fan Experience Gives US Open Ticketholders Chance To Feel Like A Tennis Star
  88. FanNav Sports App Sets Launch Record across Big Ten, SEC & Big 12
  89. Brands Adopt Clutter-Breaking Digital Marketing Strategies through US Open for Fan Engagement
  90. Blackmagic on improving the ‘match day experience’ with AV
  91. Ole Miss and Hopscotch Launch Mobile App for Rebel Fans
  92. Fan engagement experts announced for ConfEx panel
  93. Step off the wood: New policy asks fans to not stand on bleachers at Kyle FieldAn NBA journeyman wants to take you inside his life via virtual reality
  94. IBM’s Watson makes US Open debut
  95. Soccer fan support in Portland continues to rise, but can Timbers meet demand for more seats in the stands?
  96. UCF, FSU football fans urged to prep for new security policy
  97. Free events surround NFL kickoff festival in Denver
  98. UConn Fans Bring High Expectations For Opening Night Football Game
  99. eSports: What’s next for brand sponsorship now gaming’s gone mainstream?
  100. Embracing the ‘Game-Day experience’
  101. Andy Roddick Demonstrates New Monetization Strategy For Twitter During US Open
  102. Friday Night Lights brighter at Prescott High School
  103. Switch Digital Appointed By Football Federation of Australia
  104. Baseball Hall of Fame Tour brings fans into the baseball experience
  105. Urban Meyer: Ohio State players, fans get to experience magic
  106. Fans generally unfazed by heightened security measures at Beaver Stadium
  107. Mercedes-Benz Stadium progress and impressions
  108. How technology is making the US Open a better fan and player experience
  109. Responsible Fans Rewarded at Darlington Raceway
  110. Liverpool offers Premier League’s best matchday experience, says stadium assessment scheme
  111. Disabled sports fans ‘feel frustrated and isolated’ by unfit venues says charity
  112. Liverpool win Anfield accolade ahead of Premier League rivals
  113. Attending the Battle At Bristol? 11 tips/hacks for the ultimate fan experience
  114. Daytona Rises to the Top of the World for Fan Experience and Stadium Technology
  115. Nine times female sports fan engagement was condescending and sexist
  116. Open house was “cool” experience for young UK women’s basketball fan
  117. Why Sports is the Next Digital Innovation Hub

 

 

100+ Fan Engagement and Fan Experience Articles For March 2016

FE Monthly Round Up Articles

FE Monthly Round Up Articles

Here’s a selection of some of the stories from March on fan engagement and fan experience that made headlines in the sports business.

  1. New FIFA President Ushers In Refreshing Era Of Fan Engagement And Technology
  2. Analysis: Why F1 should take a page from the NFL’s playbook
  3. Stadiums Boost Wi-Fi, Apps to Improve the Fan Experience — and Revenue
  4. Everton team up with Verteda to boost fan experience
  5. Converting fans to paying members is an untapped market for AFL clubs, writes Michelangelo Rucci
  6. Floating fans in Frisco’s outfield: Lazy river construction underway at Dr Pepper Ballpark
  7. Sacramento Kings To Host Tech Start Up Competition That Embraces Entire Community
  8. Hawthorn Football Club re-engages fans with personalised videos
  9. Keeping the Fans on Your Side
  10. Missy Franklin brings fans along for Olympic ride with GoPro
  11. Bayern Munich’s Digital 4.0 project could revolutionise how clubs engage with fans
  12. America’s First Pro Rugby League Wants to Convince Millennials It’s the Sport for Them ‘New attracts young,’ CEO says By Christine Birkner
  13. Motorcyle racer app MotoGP wins by treating games as a media business
  14. Avaya, San Jose Earthquakes Make Major League Soccer’s Best Stadium Even Better
  15. Liverpool FC unveils new social portal intended to drive fan engagement
  16. AFL kick-to-kick confirmed at MCG, Etihad Stadium in 2016 as part of fan engagement
  17. SportTechie Startup Profile Series: Sploops Is A Video Sports Forum For Mobile
  18. Powering the Next Generation of Boxing Fans: How Facebook and Facebook Live Grows Premier Boxing Champions’ Digital Audience
  19. South by Supporters: MLS fans bring supporter culture to SXSW
  20. Bundesliga miles ahead in fan engagement
  21. SportsGuru Gives A Voice To The Fans With Their Video Sharing App
  22. Fans can now find shortest lines for bathroom, beer in real time at The Palace
  23. Sloan Sports Conference 2016: Boston Red Sox president Sam Kennedy on handling Liverpool ticket controversy
  24. South Bend Cubs looking to enhance fan experience
  25. Pac-12 mailbag: What makes a great game experience?
  26. How to engage the next generation of football fan
  27. Metricon Stadium completes Wi-Fi roll out
  28. Responsible Fans Rewarded at Phoenix International Raceway
  29. Scoring Big with Fan Engagement
  30. Bayern Munich’s Digital 4.0 project could revolutionise how clubs engage with fans
  31. Why attendance keeps falling at soccer stadiums
  32. Why Live Sports and Social Media are just at the beginning of a fabulous love story
  33. Is Snapchat becoming sport’s most exciting marketing channel?
  34. KCK startup’s new app simplifies game-day experience for fans
  35. U.S. Soccer’s Rebranding Gets an Assist From Virtual Reality
  36. Watching sports in virtual reality: Q&A with NextVR chairman after startup inks deal with FOX
  37. Burst Teams With FOX SPORTS Australia to Bring the Passion of Mobile Fan Video to Live Sporting Events
  38. Digital transformation in sports: from diamond to gridiron
  39. ACC Tournament and beer, together at last
  40. NBC Sports Brings Immersive Fan Experience to SXSW with the NBC Sports Lawn
  41. Samsung surprises Rugby fans with very real virtual reality experience
  42. ExteNet Systems Enhances Mobile Experience at the 2016 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments
  43. Free photo booths at March Madness Experience will make hoops fans stars
  44. Cousins Subs, Milwaukee Bucks team up to award fan
  45. ICC World T20: Twitter to drive fan experience
  46. Avaya Giving San Jose Earthquakes Digital Boost For In-Stadium Fan Experience
  47. Ultra-modern fan acoustics for Al Bayt Stadium
  48. You’ll be able to watch this year’s Big East tournament in virtual reality
  49. Build It And They Will Come? A Cautionary Tale Of 3 Cities
  50. Audi And MLS Debut Player Tracking System For 2016 Season
  51. Fan experience soars with arrival of Wi-Fi at Montreal Canadiens’ Bell Centre
  52. Cousins Subs, Milwaukee Bucks Award ‘Super Sub’
  53. MLB Players To Snapchat Live From Spring Training Games For The First Time Ever
  54. The crazy technology that could change NBA players in the future
  55. Growing the fan base is still a challenge for Royals
  56. FOX SPORTS HOPING TO MAKE VIRTUAL REALITY THE NEXT BIG THING
  57. AFL and AFLPA must not forget the fans in CBA talks
  58. FanConnect Enhances Fan Experience Through Digital Marketing
  59. Tracking Harps – find out about the new media experience
  60. FANS GET CLOSER TO RACE ACTION WITH VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCE
  61. LA Galaxy launch partnership with Uber
  62. MLB Expands Snapchat Content Partnership
  63. Sacramento Kings will host a startup pitch contest during an NBA game
  64. Beer sales may help plug budget gap
  65. Transforming the Fan Experience
  66. Buffalo Bills – Transforming the Fan Experience
  67. How big data will influence ice cream sales at the next Washington Nationals game (Video)
  68. How to fix F1
  69. Football: Premier League fans still look on enviously towards fan focused Bundesliga
  70. Cambridge United Community Trust aim to widen scope with fan experiences
  71. ESPNcricinfo introduces four digital video series for World T20
  72. Bruce Allen says Redskins fans were much happier with game-day experience in 2015
  73. Improving game-day experience a major focus at Business of Sports summit
  74. Official MotoGP Mobile Game Will Decide MotoGP Fan World Championship
  75. Take a look at the giant flags that will greet every Cardiff City goal as club follow Chelsea and Arsenal’s lead
  76. 49ers Plan to Extend More Rewards to Loyalty Program Members
  77. Ted Leonsis Wants His Arena Football Team to Be “Millennial-Sensitive”
  78. Data Analytics Drives New Fan-Team Relationship for NBA’s Orlando Magic
  79. Sox Lunch Looks To Cut Through The Social Media Clutter And Unite Red Sox Fans Through Email
  80. Are the Buffalo Bills embarrassed by fan behavior at Ralph Wilson Stadium?
  81. As March Madness begins, Hopper update lets Dish users watch 4 channels on one screen
  82. Mexican GP organisers consider crowd capacity increase for 2016
  83. 6D Global Technologies, Inc. Launches Fan Engagement Mobile App for NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder
  84. Interview: Steph Curry Teaming Up With Nike Alumni To Develop A New Social Platform
  85. Football Fan Zone to add fun to match
  86. WVU stadium upgrades to be complete in time for season
  87. FSU To Install New True HD Video Boards For 2016 Football Season
  88. MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference: The Future Fan Experience Is Customized, Mobile
  89. AFL fans outraged after Ticketek system failure leaves them stranded outside the MCG
  90. DIY fan buses: NASCAR hotels on wheels for true fans
  91. PawSox focus on improved fan experience heading into 2016 season
  92. Follow LA Galaxy II on Snapchat and you can win a swag bag from USL
  93. Seattle Sounders FC LAUNCHES NEW VIDEO APP WITH DESKSITE
  94. Cigars, not Cracker Jack: The scene in Havana as the Rays defeat Cuban team
  95. West Ham Submit Stadium Wrap Plans
  96. Top 10 Sports Business Trends to Watch in 2016
  97. New NRL CEO Todd Greenberg highlights digital as a priority to get fans watching
  98. Why the sports industry should pay more attention to podcasts
  99. HOK Reveals Design Details for FC Barcelona’s New Palau Blaugrana Arena
  100. Man City launch WhatsApp group
  101. Record with David Guetta below and you could win tickets to UEFA EURO 2016!
  102. Major League Baseball is making some serious moves in fan engagement
  103. Fan Engagement | How to get bums on seats and keep them there
  104. Team by Team: 2016 AFL Fan Engagement and Fan Experience Activations
  105. FSU will add new True HD video boards to Doak Campbell Stadium
  106. Boring athletics needs radical change, says Lord Coe
  107. Ritas, Chick-fil-A & ‘Bizarre’ Sandwich New to Phillies Fans at Citizens Bank Park
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