Over the last few years, the buzz around Connected Stadium has been increasing as we try to better understand what experience fans want, whether cellular DAS or Wi-Fi is the right solution, and how this is monetized. After attending the Connected Stadium Summit in November it is clear that opinions vary greatly but it seems a common thread that stadium visits should be an experience, in order to nurture interaction, loyalty to the venue/club, and ultimately increase fans’ spend. In order to understand what fans want you need to understand what they are doing at the event and, as speaker Daniel Marion from UEFA mentioned, “Technology is a massive enabler in knowing more about your fan so you can give them what they want.” Gaining knowledge and achieving an enhanced experience can be done through wireless technology, such as cellular, Wi-Fi and Professional Mobile Radio across various elements of stadia, opening a multitude of opportunities.
These technologies would enable the real time tracking of players, from their positioning, the number of times they touched the ball, to even their fitness levels. Such information may prove useful to the coach to construct strategic play throughout the game and help fans connect more with the players. This is just scratching the surface of possibilities.
In order to attract fans and visitors, the sports arena/stadium needs to provide reassurance in terms of safety, cleanliness and comfort. Again, the sky is the limit to how equipped and state of the art a venue is from there on. But, imagine what technology could add here:
- Professional Mobile Radio for security and maintenance staff. Current research is focusing on the development of more efficient emergency models and behaviours during evacuation and for crowd control. New technologies can also be used to track the location of staff members and venue assets, in order to react efficiently in an emergency situation, but also to have accurate inventory control.
- Wireless connectivity for staff to ensure smooth running of operations – saving time and money.
Most stadium-goers want to stay in touch with the outside world and each other while attending events. They want to ‘broadcast their presence’ to the outside world, with tweets, Facebook uploads for example, get instant insights into the game, interact with the club or other fans, etc. For example, during one event at the UK’s largest stadium around 30,000 tweets were sent just from the bowl. This requires connectivity that is reliable, fast and immediate. Not to forget the large number of fans who are also outside the stadium. Venues could be looking to connect those tens of thousands of fans on their mobile devices to achieve new revenue-generating opportunities.
Not only are fans expecting to be connected, they are also willing to pay extra for a great experience that caters for their sports-related needs, as well as their stadium visit. Connectivity can help clubs and stadia capture and analyse data about its visitors and as Rob Ray from Wembley stated, “the emotional connection of fans will result in an increase of spend.” Such information would enable the venue to effectively engage with fans to increase visitors’ spend on-site, on items such as merchandise, betting, food & drink, buying more tickets, as well as off-site. In fact, Rob Ray believes “a connected stadium can increase its revenue up to 26%”.
Find out more
iWireless Solutions has the experience and capabilities to enable you and your venue to take advantage of the opportunities listed above and so much more. In fact we have provided survey, design and/or installation services to over 60% of all high-capacity stadia (30,000+ visitors) in the UK. If you would like to find out more about Connected Stadium or what iWireless Solutions has to offer do not hesitate to get in touch.