Do you remember a time when you attended a sporting event without a cell phone? I barely do and future generations will never know that feeling. The rise of smart phones has brought about many unexpected issues. Always being plugged in has changed our society in ways we never imagined and will continue to do so. Now, more than ever, are we turning into a short-attention-span culture. Everywhere you go you will see at least one, if not multiple, people staring at their smart phones instead of seeing what’s directly in front of them. This lack of seeing what’s right in front of us has a profound effect on our experiences and, in my opinion, in no place more than a sporting event.
Go to any sporting event and you will see most people at least glancing at their phones from time to time if not outright staring at them. With the rise of fantasy sports and always being plugged in, it’s harder to separate ourselves from the phone and enjoy the game we are watching. Sports teams need to find a way to tap into the smartphone to keep people engaged in their events, not the outside world. Mobile devices aren’t going anywhere and management for these teams need to take advantage of this huge opportunity to engage their fans.
Some teams are already jumping on the bandwagon. On a small scale, the Detroit Lions’ Ford Field allows fans to tweet their seat location and inform security of any unruly fans in their sections. It’s a simple addition, but a valuable one as it makes fans feel safer and allows them to continuing viewing the event. The Barclays Center in New York, home of the Brooklyn Nets, has its own app that allows fans to watch live coverage, view replays, or even order food right from the comfort of their seats. That has to be a huge plus for any family going to a game as it allows them to order their food without having to drag their kids around the stadium.
This is still just the tip of the iceberg for the technology and ideas behind them. Any team that figures it out more quickly than the rest will have a huge advantage when it comes to keeping their fans engaged and filling up their seats.
Jim Korona is the Staff Accountant at Airfoil, an integrated marketing communications firm with offices in Silicon Valley, Detroit, London and Hong Kong. Follow Jim on Twitter: @koronajim