Smartphones and live sporting events may not fit together the way you think they do. Most people, 74 percent according to a recent study, think of smartphones as a way to pass the time when play on the field has come to a halt, but there is much more to it.
Home Sweet Home
As mentioned in our earlier post about smartphones and live sporting events, it is getting harder and harder for stadiums to compete with the comforts of the modern home. A big screen tv is just a short walk from the kitchen and bathroom, neither of which you have to wait at least 10 minutes to use, broadcasts provide in-game analysis, replays and other info from around the league, not to mention the ability to pause and rewind at your will. Perhaps the biggest advantage is a chair that is lightyears more comfortable than a plastic one in the stands. All are solid arguments for staying at home to watch the game, but don't count out the stadium just yet.
Make Yourself at Home
Stadiums are constantly trying to compete with the home-watching experience, and the way to everyone's heart these days is through their pocket. No, not their wallet, their smartphone. With social media apps and the ESPN app, all the injuries and highlights you were missing at the ballpark are right there in your pocket. Gone are the days of missing the big plays and storylines from other games around the league just because you went to a different one.
You Control the Scoreboard
Some teams are taking advantage of the fact that a recent study found that people age 18-34 are on their phone for 31 percent of a live performance or game. Social media interaction is a huge part of keeping customers happy, so why should it stop once they've paid their entry fee? Well, it shouldn't if you want to continue to delight them. Interaction methods can be anything from a call-to-action on the scoreboard to posting a picture with a certain hashtag for a chance to be placed on the jumbotron, to something like Auburn Baseball's "Twitter Tunes" where they select what songs will be played betweeen innings from fan tweets. Injury updates, behind-the-scenes pictures and videos, and even post-game interviews are all things that fans want to see, and social media they can, if their teams are active enough.
More Where That Came From
As we all know, tehnology is constantly evolving, and new apps come out every day trying to be the next big thing. In the realm of smartphone and live sporting events, the same is true. A recent study showed 70 percent of people age 18-34 are interested in using their smarphone as their ticket, and Apple has already come out with the Passbook app which completes this task. Ticket companies are catching on to it, with more mobile entry allowed at more venues. The MLB said that 80 percent of single-game tickets for 2014 were delivered digitally, and that number is expected to increase.
In addition, 67 percent of that same age group want to use their phone to pay for food and merchandise, yet only 3 percent of that faction currently do. Other wish list items included push notifications for deals on merchandise and concessions while at an event. Some teams are already trying to devlier on their customers' wants with apps specific to the team's stadium. The San Francisco 49er's Levi's Stadium has an app that shows how long concession lines are, and even allows you to order food and have it delivered to your seats.
Smartphones and live sporting events may combine to replicate your living room pretty closely, one thing is for certain though, we are a long way off from stadiums trying to replicate your living room recliner in the stands.
If you're intersted in learning more about the capabilities of smart phone technology and sporting events, check out our case study below. Through social media, AU Concessions and UL Concessions are able to live tweet throughout sporting events and point people to the shortest concession lines, keep people informed about different food items and provide an overall better staduim experience for fans.