Reimagining The Virtual Fan Experience Post COVID-19

Reimagining The Virtual Fan Experience Post COVID-19
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine



In this guest post, Olaf Pietschner, Managing Director of Capgemini in Australia and New Zealand explores the impact of COVID on sport and how this is changing how customers and brands interact, as well as attitudes towards emerging tech in sport.

Reimagining the Virtual Fan Experience post COVID-19 by Olaf Pietschner, Managing Director Capgemini Australia and New Zealand A love of sport is a common feature of many Australians. It is part of our psyche and something that binds us together.

Nielsen reported that live sport dominated Aussie TV viewing with 16 of the top 20 TV programs being a live sport, but embracing upcoming technologies could revitalise interest and include a younger audience as part of the growing conversation. A major discussion topic during COVID and now as we slowly go back to normal is the recommencement of major sports in Australia and New Zealand from NRL, AFL, Cricket to A-League and Formula 1.

According to recent Capgemini research, despite 68% of Australian fans agreeing that emerging technologies have enhanced their viewing experience inside and outside the stadium, only 35% of Australian fans prefer to watch sports over digital devices. This is the lowest of all regions surveyed compared to an 80% average of Asia Pacific.

All instadium experiences such as social media and live updates are well below the global average for Australian usage – yet Australia convincingly has above-average stadium attendance frequency for all age brackets and an overwhelming 43% above the global average for attendees over 80. This has been changed temporarily and possibly forever due to the recent pandemic.

In Australia, the most common experience that fans have had with technology outside the stadium is streaming matches live on VR to simulate in-stadium experience at 24%, as compared to the global average of 40%.

With the current global situation, this could all set to change as we see the professional sports landscape facing serious headwinds on how sports will be consumed and delivered to the high expectations for entertainment experiences. To retain existing fans and breathe new life into the sport for a younger audience, the Sports Experience will need to innovate and embrace a multiplicity of preferred consumption modes that appeal to multiple demographics.

Investments in emerging technologies such as augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, biometrics, or platforms such as Twitch, have proven to enhance the overall viewing experience, both inside and outside the stadium, and new ways to reach younger audiences are in abundance. The rise of esports is an important part of the sports mix, averaging 34% of sports fans having watched esport, and 23% found to have played one.

Investing in technological innovations could deepen the link to the game for all fans and bring newfound passion among a younger audience. One of the global leaders in this area has been Formula 1, which launched its esports series in 2017 and has expanded it since.

Most recently, Formula 1 flagged off its virtual Grand Prix in March 2020 with a great deal of fanfare, entertaining their fans and possibly gained the attention of a much wider audience. Other major traditional sports leagues and teams have also in recent months staged virtual live stream events – Bundesliga organised a ‘Bundesliga Home Challenge’, while a Fifa20 tournament involved esports professionals and footballers to entertain fans and raise funds for the NHS.

Closer to home, the NRL had some of their players from West Tigers and Canterbury, contest their Round 3 NRL clash on the popular online game, Fortnite, in a bid to maintain fan engagement. In the short term, as sport re-emerges from the shutdown (Bundesliga, the world’s first major soccer league returned to action last month and the NRL set to see small crowds in NSW from this weekend), a new or modified format of sporting event leveraging technology such as augmented reality to create a ‘live in-stadium atmosphere’ experience might just be the new normal.

In time, sport will resume, albeit perhaps in different forms than we are used to, which may present opportunities in the future. With the Australian Government’s focus on delivering a high-performance system focused around sports, teams, and athletes with world-leading technology by 2030, mainstream technological support needs to change to support technology usage amongst this diminishing segment of young live sports fans. Australian sport will undoubtedly be entrenched in Australian culture for a long time and maybe now is the time they change the way they play the technology game to embrace disruption and innovation to reach its full potential with the next generation of fans.

 




Please login with linkedin to comment

AFL NRL Sport virtual fan exeperience

Latest News

Did Somebody Say ‘Spend Less’: Menulog Parent Axes $250m From Marketing Budget
  • Marketing

Did Somebody Say ‘Spend Less’: Menulog Parent Axes $250m From Marketing Budget

Just Eat Takeaway.com shaved 20 per cent from its global marketing budget in a year Christina Aguilera and Latto took over ‘Did Somebody Say’ duties from Katy Perry. Its ad business grew by 28 per cent. Menulog’s parent company, Just Eat Takeaway.com, cut its global marketing spend by 20 per cent to €588 million ($981 […]

“There Was A Sense Of Barbie On Every Corner” – B&T Chats With Universal’s Director Of Marketing Suzanne Stretton-Brown
  • B&T Exclusive
  • Marketing

“There Was A Sense Of Barbie On Every Corner” – B&T Chats With Universal’s Director Of Marketing Suzanne Stretton-Brown

After just a few moments of speaking with Universal ANZ’s director of marketing Suzanne Stretton-Brown, one thing is very clear: she loves her job. For those of you not aware (where have you been!?), Stretton-Brown is the power house behind marketing last year’s juggernaut Barbie.   She chatted with B&T during our recent CMO Power List. […]

The Coffee Commune’s “Finding Brisbane’s Best Cafe” Achieves Record Entries
  • Campaigns

The Coffee Commune’s “Finding Brisbane’s Best Cafe” Achieves Record Entries

To promote the launch of its latest campaign, ‘Finding Brisbane’s Best Cafe’, The Coffee Commune (TCC) harnessed the power of radio, digital and programmatic OOH. The seven-week campaign also served to increase The Coffee Commune’s membership, and via TFM Digital, it saw a record 39,633 entries garnered (28,774 unique), with 880+ cafes nominated. Teaming up […]

Are Media Nabs Carly Bowra From Seven Network
  • Media

Are Media Nabs Carly Bowra From Seven Network

Are Media, Australia’s leading omnichannel content company for women, today announced the appointment of Carly Bowra to the new role of director of marketing, effective immediately. Reporting to Are Media chief executive officer Jane Huxley and joining the executive leadership team, Carly will be responsible for consumer and channel marketing across the company’s digital and […]

OMA 2023 Creative Collection: UberEats Delivers A Win
  • Campaigns

OMA 2023 Creative Collection: UberEats Delivers A Win

The Outdoor Media Association (OMA) today announced the Grand Prix winner for the 2023 Creative Collection competition as UberEATS’s Get Almost Almost Anything campaign. The Grand Prix winner was chosen from 20 campaigns— all winners of the quarterly Creative Collection competition, which has been run by the OMA since 2013. In total, 135 campaigns were […]

QMS Helps Brands Shine With Pride For Sydney’s Mardi Gras Festival
  • Campaigns

QMS Helps Brands Shine With Pride For Sydney’s Mardi Gras Festival

With the iconic Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival dazzling the Harbour City in recent weeks, QMS is embracing the colour, creativity and pride of Mardi Gras with a strong collection of advertisers for the annual celebration of love, equality and inclusion. QMS’ world-leading City of Sydney digital street furniture network is proudly showcasing […]

The Pistol Locks & Loads New Leadership Team
  • Advertising

The Pistol Locks & Loads New Leadership Team

Digital solutions agency, The Pistol, has announced the appointment of marketing executive Ashley Grey as one of two new Group Account Directors, along with the promotion of long-standing senior staffers, Yulia Edirisinghe and Julia Lake, as it significantly bolsters its senior leadership team. Lead image: L-R Yulia Edirisinghe, Ashley Grey, Julia Lake Grey brings nearly […]

“Genius!!” – Network 10 Gives Tillies Goalkeeper A Hilarious Job Title Switch
  • Media

“Genius!!” – Network 10 Gives Tillies Goalkeeper A Hilarious Job Title Switch

It was an incredible win for the Matildas last night with the home side annihilating Uzbekistan 10-0, catapulting themselves to a place in the  2024 Paris Olympics. Network 10, who picked up the rights for the Matildas matches back in 2021, wasted no time in celebrating the victory with a very creative use of Mackenzie […]

In A League Of Its Own: NRL Season Kicks Off On Nine This Weekend
  • Media

In A League Of Its Own: NRL Season Kicks Off On Nine This Weekend

NRL on Nine is in a league of its own. With the 2024 Telstra NRL Premiership season kicking off this weekend, brands have more league to leverage across Nine’s unrivalled Total TV, Total Audio and Total Publishing assets than ever before. With more than 145 games free and live for all Australians on the 9Network […]

DoubleVerify Launches Pre-Bid ‘Made for Advertising’ Tiered Categories For Elevated Brand Suitability
  • Advertising

DoubleVerify Launches Pre-Bid ‘Made for Advertising’ Tiered Categories For Elevated Brand Suitability

DoubleVerify has unveiled its latest innovation in brand safety and suitability with the introduction of tiered “Made for Advertising” (MFA) brand suitability categories for pre-bid avoidance. This first-to-market innovation, integrated into DV Authentic Brand Suitability (ABS), complements DV’s existing post-bid offering and provides advertisers with a full spectrum solution to maximise ad effectiveness throughout the […]

Havas Wins Viatris & Uniting Property Services In Competitive Pitches
  • Advertising

Havas Wins Viatris & Uniting Property Services In Competitive Pitches

Havas Media Network has been appointed media agency of record for global pharmaceutical company Viatris and Uniting Property Services. Lead image: Virginia Hyland CEO Havas Media Network. The remits for both brands cover media strategy, planning, buying, digital performance and search, with Viatris also including retail marketing. A best-in-class global healthcare company, Viatris’ mission is […]

Fictious police desk with crime case records containing gun, blank photos, crime scene information sheet, cd roms, magnifying glass, keys, mobile phone, bullet shell and police reports.
  • Advertising

Crime Pays: Global-First IAB Australia & Neuro-Insight Proves Effectiveness Of True Crime Podcast Advertising

A global-first neuroscience research study has found that True Crime podcast content delivers advertisers’ engagement and memorability at levels known to be effective in influencing consumer decisions and changing behaviour. The Crime Pays: Guide to Understanding True Crime Podcast Audiences and Advertising Opportunities report from IAB Australia and Neuro-Insight, the world’s preeminent neuro-marketing and neuro-analytics […]

Spotlight On Sponsors: Melbourne FC Rocked By Off-Field Scandals But Partnership Portfolio Remains Solid
  • Marketing

Spotlight On Sponsors: Melbourne FC Rocked By Off-Field Scandals But Partnership Portfolio Remains Solid

It’s been a rocky few weeks inside Melbourne FC, with star Demon Joel Smith facing drug trafficking or attempted drug trafficking allegations just a week out from the season’s kick-off. Welcome back to B&T’s Spotlight on Sponsors series, where we unpack all the major sponsorship news from each NRL and AFL team in the lead-up to the new season. Despite a […]

“Cornerstones Of Community Strength”: CARE Spotlights Vital Role Of Women To Overcome Poverty & Recover From Conflict & Disaster
  • Campaigns

“Cornerstones Of Community Strength”: CARE Spotlights Vital Role Of Women To Overcome Poverty & Recover From Conflict & Disaster

This International Women’s Day, CARE Australia will celebrate women as global change-makers amid increasingly frequent conflicts and climate-related crises, with Ashleigh Streeter-Jones, Natalie Kyriacou OAM, and Justine Cullen spearheading the initiative as ambassadors. Lead image: Ashleigh Streeter-Jones In its third consecutive year, the ambassadors will champion CARE Australia’s Her Circle initiative, which recognises that: when […]