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Survey: Sports fans desire immersive stadium experience

August 11, 2022

From their mobile devices to the metaverse, consumers are looking to tech to level-up their stadium outings, according to an Oracle Food and Beverage survey. For example, 57 per cent of stadium goers would like to pre-order food and drinks to avoid the lines and 53 per cent think it would be amazing to engage with their favourite teams and artists in the metaverse.

“Stadium visitors want the best of both worlds; they seek the excitement of live in-person viewing but want the experience to feel as convenient as other parts of their life, such as ordering take-out,” said Simon de Montfort Walker, senior vice president and general manager at Oracle Food and Beverage. “While providing an immersive and seamless journey presents challenges to stadium operators, fans’ increased expectations have also created opportunity to bring innovation and digitalisation into the traditional stadium sphere.”

The survey conducted by Oracle research partner Untold Insights, polled 5,640 global consumers in May 2022. Further finding include:

Tech creating a homerun experience before, during, and after the game

From entering the stadium through to getting player stats, consumers want technology that will give them more bang for their stadium buck:

  • 53 per cent think it would be great to engage with their favourite teams and artists in the metaverse (such as virtual backstage/stadium tours and meet-ups, shopping for merchandise, etc.). This sentiment was especially true of sports fans (64 per cent), and millennials (65 per cent)
  • 42 per cent say they’d like to use their fingerprint, rather than a ticket, to enter a stadium
  • 38 per cent (the #1 preference) want to view sports stats through their mobile device
  • 53 per cent of respondents are interested in receiving special offers for pre-game activities

Speed and convenience of digital wins over fans

With staffing shortages lingering, fans believe customer service is getting worse at stadiums and are counting on tech to speed the process and shorten wait times:

  • 42 per cent are frustrated with waiting in long lines for concessions
  • 53 per cent would prefer a more flexible, self-serve digital experience versus interacting with staff during live stadium events
  • 57 per cent love the idea of pre-ordering food and drink for pick at a specific time
  • 33 per cent of people will pay extra to pre-order their meal if it means a shorter wait

“Today’s fans expect an experience that extends beyond the game. They are looking for great food, friendly service, engaging promotions and hopefully a win for the orange and black,” said Bill Schlough, senior vice president and chief information officer, San Francisco Giants. “Technology is playing an increasingly important role in delivering these experiences from the moment a fan begins planning their trip to Oracle Park. For example, more and more fans are bypassing the concession lines by ordering food on their mobile device so they don’t miss any of the action on the field. Oracle’s technology is helping us bring these offerings to life and continually reimagine how we can enhance the experience for our fans.”

Robot recruits – foe or friends?

The survey showed that fans are mixed on the contentious topic of moving to robot umpires and referees across various sports. While many consumers are indifferent, whether they are rooting for or against the robots largely depends on their region:

  • 42 per cent of consumers globally hated the idea (36 per cent for US), 29 per cent loved it (30 per cent for US), and 29 per cent are indifferent (34 per cent for US)
  • Leading-off for the ‘hate the idea’ team is Germany (58 per cent), Italy (53 per cent), Spain (52 per cent), Australia (50 per cent), France (48 per cent), Brazil (44 per cent)
  • Meanwhile, China (54 per cent), and UAE (53 per cent) ‘love the idea’ of robot umps and refs

Categories: Articles, Consumer Behaviour, Mobile, Research

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