It seems that no experience can match being in a stadium with thousands of people cheering on the same team or artist at the same time. The team’s wins and mistakes are shared. A song is echoed by thousands of people. Some would argue that this collective experience makes feelings more heartfelt.
The excitement of game day also includes the traditional in-stadium snacks and beverages, as well as the massive screens that show fellow attendees and help create a sense of belonging –even if it’s just for a couple of hours.
However, the current state of home entertainment is challenging the appeal of live sports. TV screens come with ultra-high resolutions and seemingly ever-increasing sizes. Internet speeds allow for faster, more reliable connections. Smaller sports leagues and a broader selection of disciplines are beginning to be available for streaming. And no one can deny that snacks and beers are much cheaper (and tastier!) at home than at a massive sports venue.
It’s not that at-home event viewership is making stadiums go broke. But there has been a considerable decrease in attendance. Empty seats are a common scene in most venues and marketers are reconsidering investing in stadium sponsorships or ad campaigns.
So, what can stadiums do to stay competitive –especially in a post-Covid world, where people are increasingly comfortable with being entertained at home? Here are a few ideas:
- Go above expectations when it comes to user experience. Having an app that works for all purposes in a stadium is a way to win the hearts of attendees. From ticket booking and buying to ordering snacks, cutting queues, and even logging into on-site WiFi, a single app makes things easier for fans. As long as it works well and makes people go back to the stadium, the investment is worth it.
- Leverage on users’ phones. While a custom app might be a good alternative, using the existing apps on attendees’ phones might be even better. However, to truly make the most of them, stadiums can offer exclusive live streams and different angles to choose from. Thanks to OTT and its personalized experiences, they might cater to one of the most demanding consumer populations: Gen Z.
- Find a way to be in two places at once. Even if fans choose to stay at home, whatever they are streaming from their couch should replicate the live experience in the stadium. Again, OTT can be the best ally to achieve this. Multi-angle technology, ultra-low latency streaming, and even a play-by-play feature could be made available for fans at home.