The Super Bowl may be over, but there’s still plenty of opportunity left this year to engage with sports fans. Think about it: when was the last time you went to a sporting event and didn’t use your phone…to text, browse or snap photos? And with the number of ads flooding these stadiums, now is the time to play into the hands of fans and use mobile to bridge the gap between offline and online marketing.
Today we’ve seen many teams creating apps to boost the in-stadium experience of the fans. This lets the organization interact with the audience on a more personal level, and ultimately enhance the relationship between the team and its fans over time. These apps can help stadium-goers order food, check bathroom lines, and receive exclusive event content like instant replay and live stat updates. Some teams are taking the mobile experience even further with mobile-activated sweepstakes, leveraging geo-location targeting to deliver immediate discounts and rewards, providing exclusive mobile-only content and even utilizing digital scoreboards with movement recognition interfaces and social media integrations to activate fans in exciting new ways. All of these tactics are working toward one goal: Allowing teams to connect with their fans on a deeper level and keep them coming back for more.
Check out some of our favorite brands using the in-stadium experience to further drive engagement, cement loyalty and enhance the overall experience for fans via mobile:
NASCAR recently created a comprehensive race day app that greatly enhances the experience for fans at the track. Complete with real-time track position and leaderboard, on-board car telemetry, driver audio and in-car camera angles the fans know as much about the action as the actual race teams do. They even integrated use of a number (NASCAR) to give users access to premium app downloads.
Race fans were extremely receptive to the campaign, and NASCAR continues to update and improve the app for each new season. Clearly, giving fans access to this high-level and in-depth information and insight made their overall experience at the track better and is keeping them coming back for more.
2. AT&T and the NCAA
Another way for sports and other consumer brands to engage with larger audiences is to work together to provide unique experiences that couldn’t be offered otherwise. This is precisely what happened when AT&T used a sponsorship with the NCAA to provide a real-time mobile voting experience to help fans in the stadium and at home vote for the Naismith Award winner throughout the March Madness competition. With over 20,000 people calling in over the first week alone the campaign was a huge success and a prime example of how brands with complimentary audiences and functions can team up to extend their reach.
3. Travelocity & the Dallas Mavericks
Last year, Travelocity parlayed a sponsorship with the Dallas Mavericks into a mobile offering for their fans—the chance to win free tickets to a future Mavs game by simply using their phones to respond to a mobile-activated sweepstakes promotion throughout the game. The campaign also offered respondents a free download of Travelocity’s app that offers deals and discounts on flights and hotels around the globe. The campaign had a significant activation rate with almost 20k callers during each game and an app download click-through rate of almost 70%.
Not only did this promotion offer real value to fans on two fronts from two different brands, it shows how mobile can be used to enhance fan experience while also creating opportunities to leverage brand partnerships effectively within the stadium atmosphere.
There is no doubt digital technology is elbowing its way into every facet of our analog lives, and live sporting events are certainly no different. Ultimately, by enhancing the in-game experience with this technology teams and leagues are turning regular fans into fanatics, fair-weather fans into full-time converts and ensuring that live events remain an unforgettable fan experience.