Give Technology a Sporting Chance

You’ve got the programme for the match.  You’ve got the perfect seat in the stadium.  As you settle in to watch the action, you fancy a snack but you can’t face those massive queues at the burger stand.

Those days may be shortly gone as technology is now been devolved at sports stadiums to ensure fans have a more enjoyable day out by cutting waiting time and minimising queues.  From the club’s point of view, they can build on loyalty, increase revenue and access vital metrics as to what are their most popular refreshments.

Cricket – Pitching New Technology

At London’s Oval ground, fans no longer face a long wait for their match-time snacks.  They are currently testing a solution which means a fan can order and pay for their favourite nibbles, from the comfort of their seat.

Using an app, called Shortcut, for their smartphones, customers can select what they want from the in-app menu and enter their card details; they then receive back a confirmation and an order number.

The orders are then sent straight through to the nearest counter where they are prepared.  The customer can either go to the counter and collect, using the confirmation code on their smartphone as identification or they can have the food delivered straight to their seat.

Such a system has enormous benefits as it means less wastage and quicker deliveries for the caterers whilst the fans don’t miss any part of the game.


Rugby – Trying New Technology

Meanwhile, at Twickenham, rugby fans are not being left behind in this particular game.  They are able to order their food by using an app called ZNAP.

Fans download the app and then order their refreshment.  They then go to special express queues to scan a QR code and collect their food and drink.

As an enticement to download the app, the first 500 downloaders were offered a £5.00 voucher – this proved hugely popular as some 40% of the vouchers were redeemed (against an average of 3%).

It all adds up to a more enjoyable experience for the fans and also offers them a chance to benefit from loyalty rewards.


 American Football – Touchdown with New Technology

Sports fans across the water have also not been forgotten.  The Miami Dolphins, an American football team have also looked into using technology but have opted for a slightly different route.

They have been trialling iBeacons to engage with their fans at games.  The iBeacons send out messages (through a Bluetooth Low Energy connection) using an app via an enabled smartphone when the owner is in a particular location.

Various messages were sent out to selected fans, advising them which queues were the shortest to join for refreshments whilst offering them discount vouchers for snacks.  Videos were also relayed to users’ smartphones, which were triggered by fans walking past a statue of Hall of Fame quarterback, Dan Marino.

Venues and clubs need to have more insight into what makes their fans tick in order to build on their loyalty.  By experimenting with such technology, they can reduce their catering costs, speed up processes and obtain valuable data on their fans’ likes and dislikes.

For the sports fans, it offers a chance to maximise their enjoyment and provide a better experience on their day out.

So, for both sides, it’s a win-win situation!


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