Advertising Week Europe

Advertising Week Europe 2017 Official Guide

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SECTION SECTION Since the days of transistor radios, sport fans have always packed the latest in personal tech when going to a game. And stadiums have continually upgraded the way they com- municate with spectators, including digital scoreboards and high-definition video screens in recent years. Today, the combination of fans' smartphones and stadium Wi-Fi is leading to a whole new in-game experience. Mobile apps, hyperlocal ads, social media and virtual and augmented reality are adding more ways than ever for teams, events and brands to interact with fans—including those who can't actually get to the match. "The challenge of technology in sport has always been mak- ing sure it enhances the fan experience rather than distracts from it," says Joel Seymour- Hyde, Senior Vice President of Strategy in Europe at Octagon. THE STADIUM EXPERIENCE Technology at the stadium, Seymour-Hyde says, serves three purposes: utility, which is about making the fan experience bet- ter; collecting data, which can support personalised marketing; and social media, allowing spectators, especially the younger generation, to share their experiences online. The technology experience differs by sport. In football, it is all about being with friends and watching the action on the pitch rather than the entertainment off it. In contrast, Seymour-Hyde says, "in sports like cricket or golf or Formula 1—basically any one where you're at the event longer, and there are more natural breaks in the action, those lend them- selves really well to technology, especially mobile technology." He sees value in apps that give fans more information about the event they're watching; let them share and discuss the event; and support buying merchandise, food and drinks. Brands can get involved through sponsorship or, better yet, by adding other tech that enhances the fan experience. Mastercard, for example, has introduced contactless payments that shorten queues. Apps also collect information that can help with personalised marketing. "Sport fans are very happy to share data and also be communicated to with push marketing," says Seymour-Hyde. Social-media innovations are important, too, especially to mil- lennials who like to share "I was there" moments. "Technology which enables fans to celebrate—that is very, very powerful," says Seymour-Hyde. Brizi, for example, snaps and shares photos of fans in their seats. Technology Has Created A Whole New Ball Game Teams, Stadiums And Brands Are Using The Latest Tech To Change How Sport Fans Experience The Match by Elissa Gilbert INNOVATION

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