Friday, July 27, 2012

Teams Getting Innovative

Previously I wrote an article on the Minnesota Timberwolves and their new social media website. After writing that piece, I was thinking about how important it is for professional franchises to be innovative. Franchises that are innovative set the standard for their leagues and provide a path for others to follow. I found some teams utilizing interesting ideas to help excite the fan base.

Detroit Pistons
It is no secret that the Pistons have struggled in recent years on the court. For the 2012-2013 the Pistons have found a way to make current fans happy and potentially attract new fans to come to games. The Pistons have decided to give season ticket holders a jacket with a radio frequency chip embedded in the jacket. The embedded chip can be used for discounts that include 20% off food and 30% off merchandise. The Pistons may not be considered true innovators of the idea, but they are trying to mimic success. The first teams to use the RFID (radio frequency identification) technology come from the Tampa Bay area. The Rays and the Lightning use similar technology. The purpose of this technology can be overlooked. Not only does the technology provide fans with a unique experience that can get fans of all ages excited to go to games, the technology can help teams learn about their fans. The technology can track what food and merchandise certain fans like to purchase. This information can help teams when it comes to providing items that they believe fans will purchase.

Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles have partnered with Aurasma to enhance the ticket experience for fans. For the upcoming season the Eagles will be the first NFL team to have the new technology on the front of their tickets. Fans will be able to use the official Eagles Mobile App to get highlights, game previews, and messages to fans from Eagles players. Fans will use the camera like technology to scan the ticket which will trigger all the available content. Each game will have a different player printed on the tickets, and each game will offer different content. The Eagles are not in a position where they need to sell tickets, but staying ahead in technology will benefit the Eagles.

Final Thought
Innovation is imperative in all industries, sport included. There are always new ideas that teams and leagues are creating to make games more interactive and fun. As technologies get more advanced, the comfort of watching a game in HD or even 3D from a family room is enticing. Fans do not need to worry about traffic, high parking cost, weather, and high food cost. Teams and leagues need to feel the constant pressure to improve or risk losing fans to technology. I would like to see and expect further innovations in the future. For the NFL, a major problem for fans is fantasy football. Fantasy football has become widely played and fans are constantly needing to see statistics on games. On an application like the Eagles Mobile App, I fully expect a place where you can list your fantasy players and statistics will be given throughout the game. For Major League Baseball, they face a different challange. The game is often considered too slow for the average fan. I think applications that allow fans to stay involved in the game are necessary for success. When it comes to technology... the options are endless. I look forward to see what future innovations teams and leagues have in store.


1 comment:

  1. Great job Drew. I agree with you that I love how the Eagles are staying ahead on the technology front even though they have no problem selling tickets. It happens all too often that teams get complacent and when they are faced with a situation that they needed the foresight that they had lacked for so long, they don't have it. Teams MUST stay on top of trends and not lag behind because the drop of could mean an exponential drop. Eagles are doing a great job with that.