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Step up your game – Why football stadiums need WiFi

When we were kids, we didn’t have phones to take pictures of our favourite players and video a great penalty goal at a match. We didn’t have social media accounts where we could rant about the referee’s ‘bad’ decision or check-in to the stadium and brag about our beloved team winning the game. But that’s all changed now, and today, that’s exactly what people want to do at a match. The problem is they can’t because many stadiums are currently unable to support this by offering free WiFi. The stadiums that do however are already reaping the benefits, and there are MANY, we’ve listed the key ones below:


  • Expanding reach of teams and leagues

The power of social media has never been stronger than it is today. People have devices with better cameras and are using them religiously to take videos and upload them to Snapchat and share them on Facebook and Instagram. They want to be able to communicate with friends outside of the stadium and Facetime those who couldn’t make it to the match. They want undisrupted access to social media to tweet their opinions, check-in at the stadium and like official club status updates. Ruckus tracked the top five applications used through WiFi at a grand slam tennis tournament in Europe. Social media and photo sharing accounted for all five. All of this drives the need for more data capacity and in turn expands reach, gaining more people’s attention of the game and the club.

 

  • Creating a better fan experience

Some fans rely on social media for analysis and opinions on the game, not wanting to miss out on any vital information which they can get minute-by minute online. They can keep up with scores from other matches, find directions for their way home, check for delays on public transport, or contact their friends to see where to meet after the game.                                                                          

Giving fans exclusivity at matches is particularly important when considering the reality that it’s cheaper and easier for fans to watch the game at home. There needs to be incentives to lure them away from their big TV’s and comfy couches. With added features through WiFi, fans can get an experience at the stadium that they can’t get anywhere else.                                                        

Club-branded apps can be created which allow only fans in-house to upgrade their seats after arriving or watch instant replays with different camera angles, behind-the-scene footage, highlights and even access to betting. Stadiums can offer discounts on merchandise and food via text message, offer hashtags and even as Manchester City has done, promote selected tweets onto screens in the stadium to encourage further tweeting.                                                                                                                              

The WiFi network becomes a platform for the Internet of Things, allowing fans access to helpful information such as how long the nearest bar or food stand wait is going to be, and can even give them the ability to order food from their seat. WiFi will increase efficiencies and create a better fan experience, encouraging more people to come to the stadium and support their team.

 

  • Gaining better insight and knowledge of your fans

Wireless technology can transform the stadium experience, information can be transmitted in real time creating countless opportunities. It will allow you to collect and analyse data to gain better understanding on where fans are going in the venue, what they are doing, what they are buying and when. Using this data, a precise picture can be formed of where traffic congestion is likely to occur, and when and why some concessions have longer waiting times. The venue’s app could be advertised on the guest’s WiFi login page, increasing the likelihood of them downloading it and in turn, giving the team a new channel to engage with guests and a better understanding of their behaviour and preferences.   

 

  • Increasing revenue

Armed with more specific data about each guest, along with a direct communications channel, teams can create customised campaigns tailored to individuals. Increasing additional purchasing, whether from food and drink, merchandise, seat upgrades or tickets for future games. Stadiums can offer in-seat ordering and send out push notifications depending on where the fans are at that moment in the venue, for example people located near the hot dog stand could receive a promotion on hot dogs. Promotional texts can be sent at half time to encourage fans to purchase particular goods, or exclusive discounts could be sent to them on their birthday.                                                                                                                     Measuring traffic and footfall analytics can be used to pinpoint optimal times to turn on air conditioning and heating systems in different parts of the stadium; knowing where and when to adjust environmental controls will drive energy savings.                      

There are so many revenue opportunities that come off it, whether from activating sponsorships for advertising or speed of service to increase sales.


Thousands of fans sharing videos and uploading pictures online places a large demand on a venues WiFi, so you need to make sure you have a secure wireless infrastructure to support it. The problem that many football clubs face is the sheer amount of investment that is required to physically buy, install and maintain an enterprise level WiFi. However, this is an opportunity, not just a cost. Pinacl can offer you an end-to-end to wireless solution, providing, installing and maintaining a highly reliable and performant WiFi Infrastructure, so your club and your fans can kick back and enjoy the benefits.

To find out more about how a Wireless solution from Pinacl can benefit your venue contact us now.

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