I have been digging into Paul Kapustka’s excellent Stadium Tech Report, which gives you the lowdown on how U.S sports stadiums are getting connected via wireless technologies such as DAS and WiFi. Many pro teams are adding hi-tech wireless, social, and analytics platforms. But what struck me as most interesting is that some pro sports teams don’t have their own fan-facing WiFi networks at all!
I won’t call out the losers. You can learn more about it by downloading the report, which is produced by Kapustka’s Mobile Sports Report. But if I were a pro franchise, I’d be kind of embarrassed if I didn’t already have a WiFi system in place — though nearly all of them have a DAS system for improving cellular connectivity. As I’ve covered here before, pro sports teams are starting to do some interesting things with technologies they can leverage off of WiFi, such as data analytics.
From the report:
- 23 NBA stadiums have fan WiFi networks
- Six stadiums do not have WiFi
- Of the 23 arenas with WiFi, 17 of them don’t have any information on their Website about it.
So who’s top of the list in delivering technology to NBA fans, according to Stadium Tech Report? Brooklyn, Chicago and Golden State.
From the report:
“From the live video on mobile handsets at the Nets’ Barclays Center to the full-featured stadium app at the Bulls’ United Center to the aggressive social media campaigns of the Warriors at Oracle Arena, the new fan experience in the National Basketball Association has one thing in common: A solid, high-quality wireless network connecting everyone inside the game-day stadium.”
This isn’t surprising, of course. The Barclays Center is basically brand new. And Oracle Arena is sponsored by, uh, Oracle.
But what about all the franchises that aren’t keeping up with cutting edge technology, including fan-facing WiFi? The NBA appears to lag some of the other sports such as MLB baseball and NFL football.
Maybe it’s because of the nature of basketball. The Stadium Report points out that hoops fans may not have the need to be as connected as some other sports. Maybe because they are watching the game?
For example, the NBA doesn’t have as much as a “selfie” culture as baseball or football, perhaps because the arenas are smaller and indoors. Also, there may be less of a need to use the phone at NBA games — the action is a little quicker and closer to the fans. Let’s face it: NFL games and MLB baseball games have huge amounts of downtime — more than the NBA.
The bottom line, however, is that all of the pro sports franchises are moving toward ubiquitous access and integrating technologies such as wireless access, social networking and data analytics into their marketing frameworks, so that they can better cater to the fans.