Emerging digital technology has given those who have a passion for sport a new way of enjoying the fare on offer.
Clubs and organisations worldwide are now engaged in the discussion for how best to enhance the fan experience, whether that be online or getting supporters out of their armchairs and into stadiums.
There is a significant opportunity for increasing the value of the brand, but in order to maximise profit and market share, clubs need to get a head start on the competition.
Technology has transformed the way that supporters now consume sports. Of course, there will always be the traditionalists that hanker after a match day experience from halcyon days, but a recent survey showed that almost 70% of fans questioned agreed that emerging technologies have enhanced the overall viewing experience, whether that has been inside or outside the stadium, or online.
Early Adoption is Key
What’s interesting is that 56% noted that they would go to more games and a remarkable 92% would happily spend more on online subscriptions, despite the rising cost of the same.
Younger supporters are the keenest early adopters of technology, and fans from Hong Kong, Singapore and India lead the way in terms of their acceptance and engagement with the same.
There’s no question that the digitisation of sport is driving new avenues of growth, but in order to assuage those that have an inherent distrust of how their personal data is used, clubs and organisations must speak with supporters and ascertain their expectations before foisting any new technology upon them.
We’re already seeing, perhaps without even realising, just how much of an effect technology is having on the sports-watching experience;
Biometrics to enter a stadium to negate the need for tickets, earphones to listen to live commentary and, in the case of rugby, to hear the referee, and ordering food or drink via mobile to be delivered to your seat are just a few basic examples.
Moving forward, plans for fans at home to watch the game from different camera angles will become commonplace. Ditto, streaming matches live onto VR headsets in order to get the in-stadium experience at home will seem perfectly normal.
The potential is limitless, but identifying supporter needs and ensuring buy-in from the outset will help to convert any casual supporters into match-going fans. By enhancing the out-of-stadium experience too, those that consume sport in that way presently then become a significant target audience to tap into.
Whether supporters like it or not, emerging technology is the future, and clubs only need concern themselves with which tech to invest in, in order to ensure that their supporter base will remain fully engaged.