I spent 10 years working at ESPN trying to keep people on their couch watching a game rather than going to see it live. Now I am working with teams and venues to improve the game day experience to get those same fans off the couch.
I recently had the pleasure of directing the live content for the video boards for five post-season football games at the Orlando Citrus Bowl. Three of these were college bowl games including the Russell Athletic Bowl and the sold out Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl. For these two games we had six cameras plus four channels of replay of every play. Other sources included an aggregated social media feed and live feeds from two Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants in Michigan and Florida to get live reactions from fans there. We were able to provide exclusive content that enhanced the event for the fans in the stadium while also providing sponsors with creative sales integration. We knew we had good content when we would show multiple angles of close or controversial plays and hear the 70,000 fans react. The expectations have changed for fans. They want the same, if not better experience in the stadium as they have at home. This opens up many opportunities to deliver experiences exclusive to the stadium. It also opens the door for new in-game sponsor opportunities beyond kiss cam.
During these bowls we introduced a new technology that will be a game changer for the in-stadium experience. LiveEventTV allows fans to receive up to eight channels of exclusive content via a UHF signal to their own smart phone or tablet. I worked with company founder Gary Bonner to debut this technology at the Citrus Bowl this bowl season. I oversaw the content development and live production for this unique in-stadium experience. I’m continuing to work with Gary and his team to roll this out across the country. Please contact me for more information. The Orlando Sentinel did a story on them prior to the first game. http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/technology/os-citrus-bowl-app-broadcast-tech-20151228-story.html
Fan engagement isn’t just about connecting fans who are at the event but also at home. This is a perfect example of how to modernize a classic event and to evolve the fan experience no matter where the fan is. It also shows how to keep an existing partnership fresh.
A lot of great insight and ideas in this article. When major upgrades aren’t possible there are innovative ways to utilize mobile for a similar fan experience. The key is of course infrastructure and wi-fi which can be monetized by the team and/or facility.
OrlandoiX is less than six months away. This will be a great opportunity to showcase all that Orlando has to offer in technology and digital media. Read more on the plan from organizer David Glass.