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Helping Teams Become More Social

By Joe Contreras

Child Interacting with Touch Screen

A favorite childhood memory growing up in Houston was receiving a free Astros cap while attending a game at the old Astrodome. From that moment, my lifetime loyalty to the Astros was sealed! As many sports marketers will readily attest, this experience is common for young fans throughout the world. Once kids begin wearing a cap (or other team gear) at an impressionable age, that fandom to a given club is likely to continue.

And while people young and old still love receiving a shirt, cap or bobble head from their favorite team, it is likely they will accept the items in one hand while carrying their smartphones in the other. Aside from catching up on texts, there is also a strong possibility these patrons will take and post photos of themselves at the game on one or more social media sites.

Sports and entertainment venues may leverage this trend while better engaging their respective fan bases. By integrating specific areas dedicated to highlighting fans’ social media posts, stadium and arena operators would go a long way toward building deeper fan engagement.

One example of a sports and entertainment venue incorporating social media for its benefit is STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. Through its state-of-the-art LA Interactive powered by Toshiba (LAI), which is situated on the arena’s main concourse, the fan experience is enhanced with exclusive team content, social media interaction, live game action, player stats, game scores and out of town highlights. There are a variety of digital signage elements including video walls, interactive touch displays and high speed data transfer kiosks all working towards building the fan experience and providing information at the fans’ fingertips.

As with that giveaway at the Astrodome years ago, professional sports teams may secure similar fan buy-in by conversing with followers before, during and after games via social media. If you are seeking to bolster the fan – or the customer – or even the employee experience, consider a unique interactive digital solution.

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