Bringing sport to the smallest screen

Topic: Esendex

 Bringing sport to the smallest screenAutumn marks the start of the AFL season, and with smartphone ownership rising to 84% in 2016, its impact on how sports fans participate in sporting events is inevitable. Mobile has became a key element of fans’ experience in a live game. In fact, 67% of sports fans said they used social media at a live sports event (source). But the mobile experience isn’t limited to social media. Here are 3 trends to watch for this season.

1. User experience in real terms

Nothing makes sports fans more excited than being close to the action. Virtual reality technology is about to bring all sport fans a whole new level of experience. In this year’s Supercars championship, a virtual reality pit-stop experience will be available for race fans to experience the thrill of getting a Supercars racer out on the track in record time. In the US, NBA and NHL are incorporating virtual reality technology in their ticketing to provide a 360-degree view of venue seating locations, as surveys have revealed that 90% of users said first-person seat views are important when purchasing tickets on mobile and digital.  With virtual reality technology becoming more popular, user experience and engagement is going to take on a whole new level of meaning.But if VR seems out of your league (pun intended!), there are alternatives. One of Esendex’s sports club customers utilises a mobile web app to sell tickets to their premium seating, which delivers a rich media experience straight to recipients’ handsets. Video, testimonials and voice clips from sports stars work together to build the experience and prompt purchases.

2. GoPro for video streaming

In 2016, 60% of mobile data traffic originated from watching online video, partly attributable to how sports games are being consumed. While big leagues like the AFL, NRL and Cricket Australia are all live-streaming their games online and on mobile apps, there is also a great chance for smaller teams and games to make use of video streaming. One good example is the use of GoPro to capture and stream unique angles of the game to their fans. Sports superstar Brendan McCullum used this to raise funds for charity. It can also be used to film the team’s practice sessions and down-time, and distributed to supporters via SMS, email and social media to increase engagement and the sense of belonging.  

3. Mobile ticketing

According to a recent study, 27% of consumers surveyed said that they have made mobile purchases on a weekly basis. 45% revealed that they purchased via smartphone or tablet on a monthly basis. Among the most popular mobile purchases, entertainment tickets rounded out the top five. It’s very important for event organisers to provide a seamless experience when it comes to purchasing tickets via mobile. Over in the US, we have seen entertainment groups teaming up with mobile application companies to enable users to pre-order tickets, purchase popcorn and soda in advance, and invite friends to the movies all within the same app (source). While a lot of companies consider apps to be the golden ticket to excel in the mobile first world, promoting an app is not without challenges. In fact, only 13% of Australians have more than 30 apps in their smartphone. And that’s all form of apps combined. So promoting your app could potentially be an even more challenging task than promoting your event itself!A custom built mobile web application (like Esendex’s Mobile Journeys platform) might prove to be a better alternative. It’s essentially designed to deliver an app like experience across all mobile devices, without the need for download and installation.It can be fully branded and pre-filled with known customer information to provide a personalised experience. You can also incorporate the view of the seats you are promoting to provide a realistic experience for the user.Most of all, it starts life as a URL and you can send it via SMS, social media or email to any customer With one click they can begin their journey anytime they want. What do you think about these emerging technologies? How do you think these will impact you the event organiser or as an audience? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments.