Stadium tech: keeping live sport in the game

High-speed internet access driving digital consumption, and the rise of OTT platforms allowing fans to consume sport as and when they like, means the modern sports stadium must evolve if it is to convince audiences to leave the comfort of their home entertainment systems and experience live sport in real-time.

In order to cater to the sports fan of today, venues are embracing stadium experience technologies; in-venue services, security and biometrics are helping to provide even more immersive and enjoyable experiences. Here, we look at some of the most innovative companies changing the game for the fan.

Playing it safe

Security provisions at sports facilities have historically been inconsistent, but this is beginning to change. Venues are integrating facial recognition and ID tracking to identify people inside and outside the sports ground, in order to build safer, more efficient environments for fans.

FaceFirst uses biometric facial recognition and video analytics to improve security and identity verification. Cameras, kiosks and IoT hardware can be equipped with identity verification technology that can improve security, enhance the customer journey, and reduce fraud.

Colosseo supplies advanced access control systems with built-in biometrics linked to a ticketing and cashless payment system which provides full control over who gets in and out of the venue. The security systems help stadia operators to reduce the likelihood of violence and hooliganism, safeguarding sports events.

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Have a look at some pictures from yesterday’s Fortuna liga match between ŠK Slovan Bratislava and FK DAC 1904 Dunajská Streda at the brand-new Slovak National Football stadium Tehelné pole in Slovakia that received massive & complete technology equipment from Colosseo – EAS. Colosseo designed giant LED display screens, perimeter, Ribbon boards, Single Media Platform or Biometric Access control makes the stadium technologically most advanced multipurpose venue in Central Europe – read full story here: #football #giantLEDdisplay #leddisplay #scoreboard #SlovakNationalFootballStadium #LEDperimeter #LEDRibbon #SingleMediaPlatform #Ticketing #Cashlesspayment #highlights #Slowmotion #Colosseo #ColosseoEAS #InteractiveIPTV #IPTV #digitalsignage

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Smooth operator

Sports properties need to ensure the fan experience at any given venue is as smooth and efficient as possible. The time-honoured tradition of the half-time pie and a pint at a football stadium is dominated by long queues, overcrowding, and slow service— elements of friction common to all sporting venues.

Tappit, the global payment ecosystem for events, stadia and venues, is solving this through its unique end-to-end solution including cashless payment, white-label payment apps, RFID and event analytics. Tappit’s system is designed to streamline the fan experience at large events, providing greater customer insights for organisations through the collection and analysis of data.

Meanwhile, biometric scanning systems are being brought in to reduce queueing times— Verteda uses biometrics to allow fans to make purchases with a simple fingerprint, while Fingopay facilitates fast, safe and secure payments using infrared light to map the unique pattern of veins inside a customer’s fingers. Unlike fingerprints, vein patterns leave no trace and so cannot be copied. Fingopay also provides stadiums and hospitality venues with the ability to collect more insightful data about customer behaviour and purchases to improve service delivery.

Knowing the score

AR and VR offer a cornucopia of opportunities, from facilitating social sharing via interactive add-ons and pop-ups, to serving as an intelligent lens displaying information about live action on the pitch. Sensors in athletes’ kits mean teams get more real-time data about their players, but this can also be brought to the fans to provide an added layer of information about the performance they are enjoying.

VR, which is currently being used increasingly to offer preconstruction views of stadiums in development, could also be used to offer a VR post-game locker-room experience or a 360-degree helmet-cam.

Zappar, an AR platform and creative studio, creates experiences for some of the world’s biggest brands, and has worked with Manchester City to create an experience which allowed fans to access statistics about matches and players, and even take a virtual selfie with a footballer of their choice.

Changing the game

Technology is continuously evolving the fan experience in stadiums, boosting interactivity and creating a seamless and immersive journey from door to door for the sports consumer. It’s far from goodbye for the future of live sport; innovation is ushering in a new age for the raw sporting spectacle.

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