Digital – particularly data – is fundamentally changing a fan’s experience at footy matches says the AFL’s general manager of media, Peter Campbell.
Speaking at the Broadcast Digital Summit in Sydney yesterday Campbell said data is the new way for codes to engage with fans – or “data-tainment” as the AFL calls it – particularly when they’re at the game.
Campbell said fans wanted a lot more than just the action out on the field and gone were the days when “putting on a scarf and beanie” and sitting in the bleachers was all you had to do to give fans a “sense of tribe and community at a match”.
“It’s not just what’s going on on the ground anymore,” Campbell said. “It’s what’s on the big screens, the perimeter hoardings; the music over the PA, a fan’s engagement with their friends and other supporters on social. There’s just as much uploading at games these days as there is downloading.
“The next big thing, the next evolving shift for us as a sport and the fan experience is what’s happening at venues. The ability to be connected at all times within the venue, to be able to access live matches, stats, highlights, news information, and particularly being social with other supporters,” he said.
Fans, Campbell said, now want full-time connectivity; they want to upgrade their seats, be polled on the result of the toss, order a beer or a pie at half-time, share pictures on social, check real-time scores of other games, watch highlights and engage with the perimeter signage.
“Fans want to be more deeply engaged and immersed and we want to help them do that,” he said. “It’s about an integrated visual content plan, an execution plan, throughout the venue, through the scoreboard, through the LED perimeter hoardings, audio, IPTV, corporate boxes – it all makes for a holistic match day experience for the fans and so much of that can now be facilitated by what’s in a fans pocket – their mobiles.”