Why Digital Transformation Matters. And How to Achieve It…

The stadium experience is changing. It is no longer enough to just consider leg room, pie selection, or the cost of a half time pint.

We all understand the challenge of prising fans away from their sofas and beer filled fridges. Why should they choose to sit in the stadium when they can watch the match on a 60” screen, while browsing social media and live stats on their mobile?

Of course part of the reason fans do manage to exchange the remote for a seat in the stands is to say “I was there”, which is all very well when talking about the Champions League Final, but what about a cold Saturday in February? What’s going to motivate fans to actually come to the stadium to cheer on their team?

That question is especially striking when considering fans have so many more ways in which they can consume the game – in the living room, on the go, or by catching up when it suits them. The fact is, however, the experience economy is booming. People are spending 4x as much on experiences as they are on physical goods. And sport is in a really good place to capitalise on that. Millennials, in particular, are more likely to want to be in the stadium than watch on TV.


Competing for Fans’ Attention

But a thriving experience economy means there is more competition than ever. Not from other teams, but from other leisure activities.

The expectations of younger generations are changing, and the matchday experience needs to adapt to attract them and engage them at the stadium.

Technology plays a big part in helping clubs to enhance that experience – not just for the benefit of fans, but for commercial partners too.

The clubs who will achieve the most commercial success over the next decade are those who can design a matchday platform that excites fans and delights commercial partners.


Building a Platform for Success

It’s no longer enough to think of the matchday platform as a big screen and souvenir programme. To create real value for fans and sponsors, the matchday relationship must begin long before fans even take their seats.

The emergence of the fan zone is one way in which clubs are extending their platform – reaching out to fans well before kick off, with big screens, interactive gaming, retail, F&B and live events all converging to create an experience fans want to be a part of.

Once through the turnsitles, it’s not uncommon to see new stadia being furnished with thousands of HD TVs to ensure every second of a game can be viewed when not seated, whilst thousands of square metres of LED displays are installed in the stadium bowl to ensure fans get a ‘front row’ view and uninterrupted access to player stats and social media content.

With so many more digital touchpoints clubs have far greater opportunities to shape the fan experience and interact with fans. Clubs who can capture – and keep – their fans attention can create the biggest value for partners.


Joining the dots

Inevitably, with more technology, and more touchpoints, more content to manage, there are challenges. With so many competing – and complementing – technologies, who can clubs turn to in order to sole these challenges?

In truth, there is no single provider who can deliver the technology, content, and commercial tools needed to create a cohesive platform that can guide fans through the matchday.

That’s why clubs must turn to providers who are both specialists in their field, but also resourced and experienced at integrating with other technologies.

The 2020 Stadium Tech Roadshow will bring together technology experts from across the stadium and leisure industries – showcasing the powerful ways in which integrated tech solutions can help clubs deliver exciting fan experiences, whilst creating a hugely powerful platform for partners.