Taking a sporting view to digital innovation

Digital Innovation and Your Sporting Venue

In today's world, there is an ever-growing demand to provide new and exciting content for users, but it is now more possible than ever before to connect with your customers and offer them tailor-made content.

Skylab believes that venue owners and partners are continually trying to increase revenues through each seat and enhance their customer's experience.

Enhancing the Customer Experience

A smarter venue has integrated physical and digital infrastructures that ensure fans come together and share their experiences at the venue, which would offer a far more exclusive engaging social experience than watching on the TV. Customers should be rewarded with a unique and exclusive set of experiences.

Tracking behaviour patterns allows venues to respond intelligently, magnifying sponsorship revenues and future opportunities for engagement and builds brand loyalty over the long term. As a conduit, technology ensures that fans engage on their way to the stadium, and as they travel home, through pre and post-game events.

The Importance of Wi-Fi and 4G

Recent figures from eMarketer suggest that an estimated 38.4 million people in the UK will browse products on smartphones or tablets this year. In-stadium apps can support this sharing of information and connect fans at an event with exclusive content, while third party SMEs are now providing infrastructure to make this possible in existing venues.

However, interaction between the customer and venue will only truly be achieved when m-commerce becomes mainstream and high street retailers offer free Wi-Fi and 4G, allowing their shoppers to purchase in a multi-platform basis.

Clickable Options

As supporters watch their teams succeed, they become swept away in the euphoria of the moment and are encouraged to make impulse purchases such as buying tickets to the next game or merchandise through smartphone applications. This would be possible if buy-now, clickable technology was more readily available

This can further translate into consolidating key sales opportunities at the sports ground, such as real time concessions, merchandise, and ticket ordering as well as targeted promotions and advertisements, giving SMEs the opportunity to sell products to an engaged audience before, during and after a live event.

Data Mining and Increased Social Media Integration

Data mining tracks the buying patterns of customers, providing a thorough understanding of the popularity of certain functions within a venue. This can be harnessed by venue owners to drive customers to areas where their friends are, or to try out new products or areas they may not have even been aware of before.

This will be the year that smartphones will be able to react to a consumer's location and buying habits, acting as a proximity sensor and triggering a personalised experience. Should retailers and brands must harness this, it will greatly create not just another retail channel but a personal gateway to the shopper that can inform, inspire and excite by enabling a richer and more targeted experience.

  • Nigel Collier is the Managing Director at leading innovation studio Skylab www.studioskylab.com. He is a BAFTA Award winning producer, who has held several key production and senior development positions across companies including Guerrilla Games and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.