Heading out to the sports stadium to see the game in vivid reality has been a favorite for sports fans for generations. However, with TV and online streaming making it easy to enjoy the game from the comfort of your home, venues and sports organizations are finding that only 29% of sports fans ever attend a live game.
With a technological problem, we need a technological solution, and Big Data offers the answer. Using its abilities to gather detailed information about what fans want, enjoy, and find irritating, venues can customize the sports experience and give back that exciting real-life experience, all with half the trouble.
1. Better Views
While everyone wants to be right there on the field with the players, very few have the bank account to allow this luxury. This leads to the most die-hard fans being forced to sit in the distant and high seats, away from the action. When one could be at home and see the camera angle placing them right on the field, why should they take the extra time and expense to go to the stadium? Big Data is offering a solution to this problem, and so is wearable technology. With Google Glass and other devices allowing coaches, mascots, cheerleaders, and the like to record live footage right on the ground, fans can have the dual experience of a wide shot from high up and an on-the-field experience. Big Data then takes this information and narrows down which fans are most likely to be interested by special offers, and which portions of the stadium offer the least appealing perspective, which the owners can then modify.
2. Better Methods for Navigating the Stadium
There are plenty of drawbacks that attending a stadium offers – most of which aren’t found when you relax on your couch and enjoy the game. Finding a place to park, struggling through the crowds to find your way to the seats, actually reaching your seats, and other similar issues discouraged fans from making the trek. However, Big Data can monitor the common routes of fans and gather information on which places are particularly bottlenecked, offering alternative routes for making your way to and from your seat. GPS devices even give fans an interactive map that allows them to navigate the stadium with less difficulty, with up-to-date information on particularly crowded places.
3. No Waiting in Line
Now you’ve found and claimed your seat, but what about snacks and drinks? Not only will it be difficult making it back through the crowd, but you can be sure of the long line awaiting you once you reach your destination. Many venues have created customized apps that allow fans to order food from the comfort of their seat and see it delivered, all without the trouble of leaving or having to signal down an employee of the venue. Big Data then gathers information on their usage of the app, recording which features were most used and what types of fans enjoyed it most, so it can be tailored for the best experience.
4. Greater Interaction With Fans and Players
Take Me Out to the Ballgame personifies the real sports fan experience of being in a stadium; it’s about more than just the game. The aroma of hotdogs and fries, the euphoric cheer of a churning crowd, the buzz of activity in the air – all these things call back to the more primal part of humanity that wants to be a part of the crowd. Big Data helps eliminate the drawbacks, but it also helps to emphasize the advantages. By pooling together information about a player’s condition, the statistics of the game and certain plays, and other real-time information about the game, fans can receive a deeper look into the status of the game and how to place their bets. This is something at-home sports fans could never experience.
Big Data is all about finding out the desires of an audience and tailoring their experience to be the best. With its help (along with the aid of big data vendors), the sports stadium experience could become better than ever, taking away the struggles and adding in the fun, ultimately increasing the number of fans who head out to the ballgame.