Improving Fan Engagement with Smart WiFi

Improving Fan Engagement with Smart WiFi featured image

If you’ve attended a sporting event in the last decade, you know that mobile technology is a fundamental part of the fan experience. From uploading selfies throughout the game, FaceTiming your friends during the halftime show, or – we hate to admit it – checking your work email, most fans use their phones regularly throughout an event. Now more than ever it is critical that stadiums and arenas provide a seamless and user-friendly online experience.

Free WiFi is an expected amenity for sports fans. From mobile ticketing to social media to concession purchases, WiFi is key to keeping the modern fan connected during any live event. But the power of fan WiFi doesn’t stop at getting attendees online. Stadiums can deliver hyper-personalized guest experiences, increase sponsorship revenue, and collect powerful venue intelligence – all via fan WiFi.

Better, Faster, Stronger WiFi Experience

First impressions are everything. Basic guest WiFi allows fans to connect, but likely involves tracking down a password or trying to decipher the illegible text on a clunky captive portal page. While this experience may have been par for the course five years ago, fans expect a much more sophisticated mobile interface today.

Stadiums can serve up personalized WiFi splash pages curated by data points such as attendance history, real-time location, device type and more. This type of interaction builds trust and brand loyalty, while allowing users to get online and start streaming faster.

Collect New Venue Intelligence

If the average event purchase includes two individual tickets, the venue might capture 50% of the desired attendee data (email address, first name, last name, and other demographic information).  Many venues work with third-party ticketing platforms, where data acquisition is even more limited.

Stadiums and arenas are challenged to gather meaningful intelligence about their audience to improve operational efficiencies and improve fan engagement.  Intelligent WiFi offers a myriad of opportunities to collect venue intelligence:

  • Survey attendees about the fan experience or to gather demographic data
  • Strengthen social following with social sign-in
  • Build fan profiles over time with progressive profiling and social data
  • Analyze real-time foot-fall data and heatmaps to understand traffic flow

WiFi analytics, marketing, and advertising should be considered one of the most powerful tools to drive on-premise concession sales. Arenas can use key data points to see how guests navigate through the property and where they most heavily congregate, and optimize experiences for purchasing.

Knowing where and when stadium goers tend to gather through the property not only informs optimal placement for vendors, wayfinding signage, and advertising, but it delivers another tool for the security team. Triggered alerts can notify security of abnormally high traffic areas or unusual patterns, enabling teams to act fast.

Of course, there are hundreds of ways to gather data on your target audience. Fan WiFi is the only channel that stadiums can use to collect known customer demographic and behavioral data, and seamlessly aggregate that with existing guest databases. A win, win.

Increase Fan Engagement

Consider this: Joey has season tickets to watch his favorite NHL team, and always enjoys the same classic hot dog and domestic draft beer while he’s at the game. During the first faceoff of the season, he logged into WiFi and answered a couple questions about his food and drink preferences.

The next time Joey enters the arena, he’s greeted with a personalized “Welcome back, Joey” message, as well as a coupon for half off a domestic beer when he tries the poutine at the new concession. The arena effectively turned WiFi from a utility into a utility player by rewarding loyal customer AND encouraging cross-departmental purchasing behavior.

We already know attendees check their phones multiple times during an event (millennials check their phones over 150 times a day). Stadiums and arenas have the opportunity to leverage each mobile interaction to influence the behavior of hundreds, if not thousands, of fans (read: largest stadiums ranked by capacity).

Perhaps VIP ticket holders are more likely to purchase craft beer or team swag – send a text reminding them to check out the team store. By using WiFi marketing, arenas can engage with fans in real-time, and based on data:

  • Greet first-time stadium goers with wayfinding tools and info on venue app
  • Reward loyal fans with coupons and insider perks, so they know their fandom is highly appreciated
  • Promote team store and concessions on the splash page
  • Send real-time messages to fans as they navigate through specific areas of the venue

Just by hopping on the stadium WiFi, fans have had the opportunity to engage with the team on social media, consider downloading the venue app, or even order that poutine directly to their seat (yes, the future is bright).

Deliver Sponsorship Attribution

Sponsors and advertisers are hard to miss when scanning a modern stadium or arena. Corporate sponsors pay big bucks to get their brand in front of the right audience, but attributing revenue to a branded scoreboard is a real challenge. Branded fan WiFi gives arenas a WiFi advertising platform that brings sponsor branding into the hands of the audience. One-to-one engagements take place on splash and landing pages, At the same time, sponsors can view real-time attribution metrics including impressions and click-throughs.

Venues can easily transform the branded login experience to a simple but effective advertising tool that gets fans to engage with your sponsors on a digital playing field.

Drive Concession Sales

Where’s the joy in attending a game without hitting the concession stand? Modern arenas are keeping up with (and even leading) foodie trends by offering brand names, local goods and healthy options – in addition to the beloved ballpark frank. How can venues make sure fans know about their new firecracker poke bowl when most of us are walking around glued to our phones?

Optimizing on-premise purchasing behavior starts with a fan engagement strategy. Stadiums do a great job of interactive games, video promotions, and digital ads, but one-to-one engagement opportunities are hard to come by.

The bottom line? Over the next decade, we’re going to continue to see major improvements to the fan experience. From collecting valuable venue intelligence to delivering personalized mobile experiences, fan WiFi will play a major role in driving these improvements.

Ready to hit stadium WiFi out of the park? We’re here to help put together the best game plan for your fan WiFi and make it a powerful fan engagement tool. Contact us today to learn more or schedule a demo with one of our all-pro team members to show you how you can unlock the power of Smart WiFi.

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