Beacons Make Stadiums More Interactive

eFan24 uses beacons to make stadiums more appealing to Millennials has delivered thousands of innovative companies the tools they need to create and deliver unique customer experiences with our beacon / iBeacon platform. In this Partner Spotlight, we’re featuring eFan24, a beacon based solution for stadiums and arenas.
eFan24 noticed that stadiums don’t deliver the kind of rich, multimedia and connected experience that Millennials have come to expect from practically every area of their life, and decided that they needed to tackle this problem.

A new generation of fans?

Millennials have totally different behaviors than older generations; most of them don’t remember life without access to personal computers, the Internet, and even smart Mobile devices. Their expectations, driven by social media, gamification, and retail establishments that have integrated new tech to engage them, is that all spaces in the physical world should have active interactions with the digital one. For many social media connected Millennials, being able to share the experience during an event is as important–or more important!–than actually being at the venue.
Let’s look at some simple numbers:

  • 87% of fans own a smartphone and 75% of fans use it in the stadium
  • 72% of fans would use mobile application options at the next match
  • More than 60% of fans admitted using social media during mass events
  • 95% of sports fans use social media during a typical day
    (Data from a survey conducted by BTD Gruppe and a study conducted by Wasserman and Navigate – ‘The Social Media Scoreborad’.)

beacons on stadiums survey
We found that fans already use smartphones and social media when on the stadium but are lost and overwhelmed by the amount of event related content that is irrelevant.Rafał Dylewski, eFan24 project manager, IQ Sport Advisory Group

How to tackle the new generation of fans?
This is when eFan24 comes in

eFan24 is a mobile application and platform that enables users to share emotions and experiences easily, live from events. Basically, it’s like the traditional home viewing “second screen” but transferred to the stadium experience. The moment an eFan enters the stadium he or she is being assisted by a mobile device, which guides the eFan to a seat and informs the eFan where places like food stands and bathrooms are. Every time something important happens on the stadium, like a football match halftime or the end of set, the eFan app can prompt the users to express their emotions both online with a text comment, a photo, or even an audio recording. Everything happens seamlessly and smoothly, bringing the interaction to one window and one click, keeping eFan’s members from being pulled out of the experience.
The application and platform work flow is based on Beacons infractructure on the stadium.

Interactive stadiums: how did it all work in real life?

The initial test deployment was relatively simple: there were 16 Beacons deployed around the venue at the PGE Arena in Gdańsk, Poland. The beacons were placed at the entrances, stands, and VIP areas.
beacons on stadiums
There were 9 different proximity messages defined and 29 unique proximity interactions.
The application enables seamless and smooth interactions for the new generation of fans:

  • Social Experience: Provides one, curated, well designed crowdsourced feed of event real-time social content to get the feeling of the game (full integration with Facebook and Twitter)
  • Social Fan Service: Answering fans questions in real-time
  • Social Sharing: Prompts fans to engage and share on social media
  • Navigation: Recommendations how to get to the closest points of interest
  • Best Deals: Getting Access to current best event offers and discounts
  • Get Informed: Receiving relevant and tailored, context aware and location based rich-content directly to mobile devices during events

The content creation to express emotions that refers to specific facts is quick and easy. Emotions are expressed by intuitive swipe moves.
How to make stadiums more interactive?

Conversations and emotions are grouped by things that are just happening during a game – so all user generated content is given an emotional and observed fact-based context. Audio context is available to express event flow and atmosphere. It is possible to retrieve all tweets and instagram photos from fans attending the game meeting given hashtag and geolocation to get the feeling of the game.

interactive stadiums 
What’s in for organizers and sponsors?

  • Gives the traffic insights, including proximity and check-in data input for loyalty programs
  • Provides the communication tool with fans
  • Advanced targeting capabilities for proximity communication based on fans profiles, social and on-site behaviours
  • Upselling opportunities
  • Easy coupons distribution
  • Monetization opportunities in real-time, based on fans’ current emotions and reactions
  • Advanced in-app content caching mechanism to avoid problem with internet coverage on mass events

eFan24 creates value for sponsors and business partners by offering a way to reach and talk to fans that actually attends the event in the personalized way, based on emotions they’re sharing. However it is important that messages delivered by sponsors are useful and relevant to what is happening on the football pitch.Rafał Dylewski, eFan24 project manager, IQ Sport Advisory Group

How helped eFan24 make their first iBeacon app and first Beacon deployment

We partnered with IQ Advisory Group to ensure that they could deliver the solution they needed using beacon technology.
‘ was our choice beacause this is a fast growing company that stands out by the quality of its products as well as creativity. Every contact with team is an exciting and inspiring event and the solution they provide: beacons, API and SDK are of a world-class.’ Marcin Ciącio, IQ Advisory Group

How did fans react to eFan24?

Here are some stats from the test launch during the Lechia Gdansk match on 8th of Dec 2014, PGE Arena.

  • 83% of the fans with Bluetooth on who received a push notification clicked on it and saw the proximity message
  • 8 out of 10 fans engaged with the proximity message, scoring it or sharing with others
  • 50% of users created a social media post on matchday
  • Audio content resulted to be the most engaging with the engagement rate of 70%

What next?

The results of this beta deployment are very promising. Fans started exploring and engaging straight away, and quickly felt at home with the new platform. They won’t have to wait for long to see the full deployment at the PGE in Gdansk as well as at other major locations in Poland and Germany.

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