Football is often said to be the most popular sports season – whether you refer to the brand played in North America or the round ball style enjoyed in the rest of the world. There is a fascination with either kind of team sport. Multiple players working in unison to achieve one desired outcome … a score, a goal, a stop, a takeaway. That mental image got me to thinking about the parallels between what you see on the field and what a fan experiences in the stadium, as it relates to stadium and arena fan engagement.
Fans come to the game for a variety of reasons, but they all relate back to a central theme – fans want to engage personally with the team and other fans. It’s really no fun to watch a game by yourself or to even go to the biggest game of the year without a rabid partner. You want the camaraderie, the high fives, the energy, the atmosphere. You want the intoxicating engagement.
Owners buy teams because they know that engagement drives revenue – at the stadium and on the airwaves. Every owner and team knows that the more engaging the fan experience, the more fans will covet a ticket to the live event. Sometimes teams stop just short of thinking about the many ways to engage fans at the games, and miss opportunities to lead the pack.
There is no better way to engage a fan in your stadium than to make intelligent and professional use of digital communications. In addition to the research proving that electronic devices and images catch our eyes more easily than any other medium, there are also the efficiency factors associated with engaging your fans through the use of digital signage software. Messages, menus, merchandise, and information can be altered quickly and easily, allowing teams, concessionaires, and stadium management to interact with fans like never before. Think about what is going through the use of digital signage in stadiums today:
- Fans are welcomed to the stadium, directed to seats, given critical information, and generally made to feel comfortable with the rules and environment without a word ever spoken to them.
- Fans who are hungry and thirsty are easily told what is available to eat, where to find certain foods and beverages, given pricing information, told about specials, given images of the menu items available, and even told when it’s time for “last call”.
- Team gear aficionados are directed to merchandise shops where they can see and purchase the latest jersey, hat, or other paraphernalia … which helps them identify with the team and other fans.
- Suite and box seat patrons can see tablet menus and options to help them order food and gear without ever missing a moment of the game.
- Advertisers can gain the attention of tens-of-thousands of potential customers and engage them with their message, using the brand of the team to create greater credibility and commonality.
- Fans are inspired to become part of the team through encouragement to cheer, stand, applaud, or participate – all driven by digital content and messaging coming across the stadium’s digital media.
- Stadium management can change messaging, menus, merchandise, and information on a moment’s notice by simply setting up the software to support football or futball depending on the team playing in the stadium today.
Let me connect back to the parallel that I described early on. The one about players working in unison to achieve a desired outcome. See, that’s the way stadium digital signage works. It ensures that all of your devices, displays, and messaging are working in unison toward a common goal – engaging the fan. When the fan is engaged, it’s great for the team and the common goal. Every team wants to win, every owner wants to make money, every stadium wants to make history. Digital devices and software help that to happen through engagement and efficiency. And every team and fan benefits from increased engagement.
Take a look at the digital options available to you. Think about how you might deploy some of them to drive greater engagement, revenue, profit, and excitement. You’re leaving fans in the lurch if you don’t. And you’re leaving money on the table.