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How Technology and Social Media Have Changed Sports and Venue Management

Mon, Jun 3, 2013 @ 08:55 AM / by John Froelich

Sports Venue Management

 

Technological advancements are turning sports fans into couch potatoes. Raise your hand if you normally find yourself in your living room on Sunday afternoons? You are not alone.

While the NFL is still doing well for itself in terms of ticket sales (paid attendance at NFL games remains high), the league is well aware of the threat of large screen TVs that can feed streams of data, including live fantasy football updates and instant access to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. These high-definition TVs can capture enough authenticity of the game that fans feel like they are actually at the stadium or arena.

Eric Grubman, NFL executive vice president-business operations stated: “The at-home experience has gotten better and cheaper over 20 years, and the in-stadium experience has gotten more expensive over 20 years, and it hasn’t gotten better.”

The numbers confirm his declaration. According to The Post Game, attendance has steadily declined since 2007.  For stadium owners and stakeholders to turn the tables, they have to bring the same technology amenities to their stadiums that reside in households.

This means unfettered mobile access and killer views and replays on large stadium screens. Take the Cowboys Stadium as a prime example. In constructing his stadium, owner Jerry Jones emphasized the use of four massive TV screens that are placed high above the field. People that go to the stadium spend a lot of their time looking at the video board instead of the live-action game below.

In an interesting report in 2011 NFL stadiums were ranked by fan experience. It might surprise you to learn that the newer stadiums were not always ranked the highest for the best fan experience for a variety of reasons in the report. Today, alongside the technology of the stadium, there is an opportunity to directly affect the fan experience by better engaging with them and responding to their needs. Solutions exist today to understand, analyze and react to the fan experience. Maximizing the fan experience helps keep venues full.

Thanks to the expansion of stadium and venue features, their managers have more responsibilities than ever before. If you’re a stadium or venue manager, your day is filled with checks on merchandising sales, food and concession sales, customer satisfaction, and now, making sure that all of the technology components in the building are fully functional on game day. But the fans matter the most. The San Francisco Giants understand this and accomplish it well at AT&T Park. How is your venue maximizing the fan experience with social media? 

Click to download the SAP whitepaper Transform Your Customer Service by Delighting Customers Through Social Media and learn how SAP® Social OnDemand solution can keep your fans coming back.

Topics: OnDemand, social media, SAP cloud-based, sports, venue

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