Soccer stadium: Why they need to increase their customer experience?

A post by Laity MBAYE, MSc student in Digital Marketing @KEDGE Business School. 

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Soccer is one of the most popular sport in the world and people have a lot of emotions while watching a game. Just assisting to a game at the stadium, seeing the 22 players on the pitch instead of watching them on the TV is an experience, with all the fans singing, the atmosphere, the architecture. Nowadays, a lot of soccer teams use the evolution of the technology to propose different ways to watch a game in the stadium. As every “revolution” there is some pros and some cons about the improvement of the customer experience inside the stadium.

Cons: people “against” this revolution are people who like to go at the stadium to see the players in real life, just enjoy the game, if they didn’t see an action they don’t need to have replays, it’s the magic of the soccer. For them, just being there is already an experience. Most of them actually don’t agree to add the video to help the referrer take good decision.

Pros: people “for” this revolution are those who have already tested it once, are convinced that this is the future of the stadium, and owners have to develop the customer experience using the technology. We can take examples of “Stadium 2.0” like the Alliance Arena, stadium of Bayern Munich FC or the Parc Olympique Lyonnais of Lyon FC (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GO0D-ym7x5Y)and Etihad Stadium the of Manchester City FC. All the clubs use connected objects to improve and increase the customer experience in their stadium.

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You can have electronic tickets on your phone or tablets to enter inside, there is free wifi for everybody and 20.000 simultaneous connexion is possible. With the wifi, they can go on the Internet of course, but also download the application of the club, where fans can have replays on slow motion with different cameras to see each angle.

Fans can also have access to the ranking in real time of their favourite team or the others teams while they are watching the game. The application permits also to the fan to order a sandwich or a drink for the half time, it allows them to save time and to go back to their seats before the second half time, they just have to show the QR code, the connexion is safe with near field communication.

This customer experience is also about welcoming fans. Fans can have a second screen which brings exclusive content before, while and after the game, with bonus if they go there, such as quiz, election of the man of the game, or attending press conferences.

Customer experience has one objective: convince the fan to come watching the game at the stadium while the Internet and the television give them a certain comfort to follow a game remotely. The customer experience can improve loyalty of the fans by personalising their experience in each touchpoints.

The customer experience can bring a lot of fan, increase loyalty and make them feel they are living a unique experience. Yet, some people still think that this will be the dead of the real soccer…What is your opinions about that?

Laity MBAYE

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