Aug 29 2017

3 Keys to Delivering a High-Tech Experience to Fans

Universities can attract and retain new fans thanks to Wi-Fi and IoT tech.

With technology becoming an integral part of every college campus, it’s not surprising that it’s now emerging in a big part of college life: athletics.

Universities are embracing iPads to give players and coaches more adaptable playbooks. And 3D printers are effective at creating custom braces to keep students with minor injuries on the field and court.

But outside of its usage with athletes, technology also has the power to deliver a better experience to college sports fans.

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1. IoT Creates a One-of-a-Kind Experience

As part of its Smart Campus initiative, Arizona State University has turned to innovative tech to cultivate a stadium experience with fans in mind. The Internet of Things technology that the school rolled out in its 2016-2017 Sun Devil Football season has been so effective it won a Best Game Day Technology Experience award from the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and CDW•G.

Using IoT, ASU collects and exchanges data to facilitate smart parking, a smart noise meter and a smart suite to provide stakeholders with a data-enhanced experience.

2. Wi-Fi Access Keeps Stadiums Relevant

When the University of Maryland was in the midst of upgrading its Xfinity Center, in addition to digital signage and displays, the athletics department identified Wi-Fi access as a critical component.

By providing basic internet access, UMD is poised to offer custom apps and social media integration to make the fan experience even more digitally interactive.

At the University of Kentucky, the 41-year-old Rupp Arena was able to stay relevant and continue to draw fans to games thanks to Wi-Fi.

“We’ve got huge video screens in Rupp Arena, but for some reason people still want to look at the 4-by-6-inch screen in their hand, check in on Facebook and post pictures to Instagram,” jokes the facility’s president and CEO Bill Owen.

3. Interactive Spaces Bring In a New Generation of Fans

The typical college student is coming to campus with more devices than ever before, and collegiate sports experts agree that to engage this new audience they need to embrace technology.

Using video boards, universities can give fans access to a shared experience they wouldn’t get if they watched the game from home. By creating mobile apps, colleges can also give these fans exclusive content, boosting their connection to their teams.

Experts believe this exclusivity can help to attract and retain millennial sports fans.

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