Airship Partnership: Product Enhancement of Push Notifications & Messaging

Contributed by Lindsay St. Lawrence 

VZ Airship copy

We are continuously investing in ways to enable clients to better engage with their fans, consumers, and users via our solution, moving to a “customer engagement platform.”

 

We’ve partnered with best-in-class market solution, Airship, for enterprise delivery of push notifications powered by the advanced Audience Segmentation from Venuetize. Audiences are synced between systems in real-time to deliver the right message, at the right time. What about users not opted-in for push notifications? We’ve implemented a message center and in-app messaging to continue to deliver messaging in a non-obtrusive way to ensure all users are delivered communications.

 

Valuable data, such as how users interact with the product, is orchestrated between Venuetize and Airship so we can better communicate, benefit and reward, and provide new experiences in a more personalized way.

 

Learn more about Airship.

Factors to Consider When Building Mobile Applications

Contributed by Santhana Muniyandi 

Mobile applications are continuously evolving. Initially, mobile applications were too primitive, lacking UI flexibility and UX vision. As mobile applications started to advance, developers began thinking about reusable products or components, cookie cutter applications, and one-time applications, this led to an increased focus on UI and UX.

 

What is Needed in a Mobile App? This question is very generic and broad, but there are a lot of underlying factors to be considered.

 

An Open Mind to Embrace Change

Be it adopting to new technologies or an integration that might need research and analysis, every company should be ready for change. It could be the way in which clients are presented with the sales pitch, or the handling of a global crisis like COVID-19, or productizing a new idea - we need to continuously think of innovative solutions.

 

UI and UX

I would like to give credit to our Creative Services Director, he explains the importance of UI and UX to our clients’ which makes a huge impact on development. Starting with the basics, usage of consistent brand elements like color, shape, and gradients from a client’s marketing catalogue is key. Collaborating with clients on the design dash and collecting their feedback as a user group generates lots of ideas and clarifications that will strengthen the application.

 

Touchpoint Identification

Creating entry points to features in an application is no simple task. You need to identify where the feature is placed in the app and on which screen. It also matters how many touch points the user must take before ending up on the desired screen. The fewer touch points to open a feature and the quicker you get a user to engage, the better. For example, an ecommerce application should quickly drive the user to checkout as soon as the user is ready to pay, if there are too many touch points, the user may either get confused or backout.

 

Usage Stats (Buildfire, Buildfire, n.d.)

  • 21% of Millennials open an app 50+ times a day
  • 49% of people open an app 11+ times a day
  • Average smartphone users use 10 apps per day and 30 apps each month

 

App Distribution

Most mobile applications are published to the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. The Apple App Store holds the app submission for review as they analyze important API’s and features, and request explanations when needed. In early 2021, the Google Play Store started following Apple’s footsteps and tightened their review process for app submission. The review process and unexpected delays must be considered when generating timelines for project management.

 

App Store Stats (Buildfire, n.d.)

  • The Apple App Store has 1.96 million apps available for download
  • The Google Play Store has 2.87 million apps available for download

The number of app downloads worldwide has continued to increase over the years.

 

Image Source (Statista, n.d.)

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Ability to Capture Behavioral Data

Data insights are the key to success for any client engagement. The amount of data collected, how vast it is, and how quickly you link the user to various engagements and journeys that are performed in the app, will help enable communication for clients. The more quality data and KPI’s you drive out of the app, the more elevated your company portfolio will become.

 

Regulations Related to Data

The architecture of data flow in mobile applications should meet local and federal guidelines and regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA. Ignoring the optimizations of handling data might create hurdles later in development or scaling. Combined with data orchestration tools and visualization giants like Tableau and Google Data Studio, you can architect your data in a well-organized way and prove that it is collected ethically.

 

Segmentation

Once you have collected the data, you can start targeting users with relevant information. You can do in-house segmentation based on the data or use tools for push notifications which enables the product to target users.

 

Quality Testing

I mention the word quality in testing because without quality, an application will have a difficult time reaching stores. If the application has quality and stability, users are going to shower the app with high ratings and raving reviews. Testing must cover a wide spectrum, including simple to complex use cases and happy paths and un-happy paths; automating test scripts and stress testing also gives stability to the app.

 

Anticipating Change and Thinking About Scalability

Most clients want to change their content in-house, without having to submit requests to the app stores. The more the app is linked with a content management system (CMS), the more flexibility you can give clients to change or present users with relevant content. When it comes to scalability, it is part of the way in which the app is architected, including the backend support, infrastructure setup, the amount of flexibility in the CMS, and the ability to integrate and reuse third-party engagements.

 

References

  1. https://www.statista.com/statistics/271644/worldwide-free-and-paid-mobile-app-store-downloads/
  2. https://buildfire.com/app-statistics/

Create Magic (not Mayhem) with Mobile Technology

Contributed by Todd San Jule

What a weekend it was to be a sports fan. If you were lucky enough to attend the Super Bowl in Los Angeles or the Waste Management Phoenix Open, you not only witnessed some historic moments (10 years from now I am not sure what I will remember more - the epic Super Bowl Halftime Show or the “rain delays” on the 16th green at TPC Scottsdale), you also most likely used the latest and greatest mobile technology at the event. This might have been for ticketing, ordering another of your favorite beverages, wayfinding, or replaying over and over Sam Ryder's incredible hole in one.
 

As a technology partner that was involved in supporting these major events this past weekend, Venuetize knows all about what it takes to deliver an amazing fan experience on the biggest stages. Our tech has been deployed across all the US major professional sports leagues, as well as professional golf and major tennis tournaments, concerts, and other special events. Although there is no magic formula for delivering a frictionless event, there are several must haves to ensure your FAN has a FAN-TASTIC experience.  

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Easy Entry 

Tickets have gone digital. Especially since the pandemic, most sports fans are now accustomed to using their mobile phone to enter a stadium or venue. This might be by accessing their ticket through a team or venue app, or logging into a ticketing web site such as Ticketmaster, or loading their ticket into Apple Wallet or Google Pay app. However, as with any technology, things can go wrong. At a recent professional sports event I attended, one frustrated fan after another was turned away at the Gate and sent to Customer Service because they could not access or download their mobile ticket. Key takeaway: By providing ticketing integration into your mobile app (without requiring fans to remember another web site or another password), your fans will experience fewer delays entering the venue.

  

High Speed Wi-Fi 

According to our friends at The Sports Innovation Lab, Americans check their phones an average of 96+ times per day. You might think this number would go down at a sports event, but it's actually the opposite. Whether it's looking at stats, checking other scores, making a bet, or posting to social media, sports fans are glued to their mobile device. That is, only if there is high speed Wi-Fi available. I recently attended an outdoor professional sporting event, and because of spotty Wi-Fi service I was not able to access live scores or player stats, let alone try to live stream the event. Key takeaway: The mobile phone is your friend, not your competition for eyeballs. Invest in high-speed Wi-Fi and enable your fans to use their mobile phone as a second screen viewing device. Your customer satisfaction, attendance, and profitability scores will all be positively impacted as a result. 

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Quit the Queuing 

Everybody hates waiting in lines. Especially when it means potentially missing the big play or the big putt. That's why teams and venues have been investing in new technology to make it quicker for fans to get a bite/drink and get back to their seats. A number of our clients are leveraging Venuetize's Mobile Ordering and Mobile Wallet products to enable fans to order food and beverages for pickup or in-seat delivery. Other clients are installing touchless checkout systems that allow fans to truly grab and go - with no barcodes, no cash, and no wait. At a recent sporting event, I was able to skip a 30-minute line and get my favorite mixed cocktail automatically poured from a company called Tended Bar. I took a photo, showed my ID, scanned my credit card, and 2 minutes later I was sipping a Moscow Mule while my buddy had not moved an inch in the normal line. Key takeaway: From Uber Eats to DoorDash to Instacart to Amazon Go, Americans young and old have become accustomed to using their mobile phone and other technology to order and pick up food. Don’t let operational fears or gadget overload get in the way of investing in new tech. Win your fans over by losing the lines. 

 

Interested in learning more about Venuetize’s platform and in-venue technology? Contact us and set up an appointment today! 

The Rise of Gamification

Contributed by Myles Romm

Copy of Copy of Hometurf Logo

In an effort to attract a new generation of young fans, teams are investing heavily in gamification, free-to-play games, and other second-screen experiences. As strange as it may seem, teams and leagues now need to offer an experience that rivals that of TikTok and Instagram.  

 

The comfort and varying streams of stimulus that a fan is granted at home, such as watching the game on tv, checking their phone for social media updates or messages, and having their laptop open to check the stats of the game, all contribute to a complacent fan that doesn’t really need the traditional stadium experience. This idea intensifies as you move down generations; the younger the fan, the more likely a traditional live experience will not carry the same appeal and romantic nostalgia that it does for some of the more seasoned fans.  

 

Technology is breaking down the barriers between the home and the home stadium. As one report notes, “Technology is now an integral part of the way fans consume sports – Nearly 70% say emerging technologies have enhanced their overall viewing experience, both inside and outside the stadium.”i The article continues, “if [fans] enjoy their tech experience, a majority (56%) of fans would attend more matches while 92% would spend more on online subscriptions.”ii  

Copy of Gamification Screenshot

Recognizing this trend, Venuetize is working with our clients to deliver entertainment value to their fans regardless of whether they are in the arena, on their sofa or somewhere in between. This week we are proud to announce a partnership with HomeTurf – “the ultimate sports sidekick” – to bring the stadium experience to fans at home, coming this fall. HomeTurf’s products include in-game trivia and polls, real-time stats and analytics, replays and animations, and “Team Screams” to allow fans to talk smack throughout the game. HomeTurf synchronizes with television broadcasts and can even integrate with stadium jumbotrons to bring the same game-day stadium experience to fans at home. The product has both advertising and sponsorship opportunities, allowing our clients to monetize the experience at the same time they are increasing engagement with their fan base.  

 

Stay tuned this Fall for more partnership announcements.  

Why a Destination-Themed App is the Future

Contributed by Myles Romm

Are you ready for some football? Believe it or not, the NFL season is kicking off tonight at the annual Hall of Fame Game in Canton, OH between the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The start of the NFL season alone is reason to celebrate, but this year’s game is especially exciting for Venuetize and our partners at the Hall of Fame Village (HOFV). Last month, Venuetize in partnership with HOFV powered by Johnson Controls, deployed a destination-themed application to expand beyond traditional sports venues and provide guests a mobile-first experience to a year-round destination. Mobile technology that provides more convenient and safer options has become a requirement in a guest’s visit rather than a pleasant surprise; our work with the HOFV tracks along a similar path.  

The HOF Village experience is enhanced by the various concerts and other hospitality and entertainment opportunities available on site. As such, the HOF Village needed a mobile solution that could blanket the entirety of the campus and each individual experience that is offered. Venuetize’s mobile technology essentially functions as the concierge of the HOFV, aiding guests in where to go, how to get there, and what is available. This transformation of facility navigation puts compasses and maps to shame. More importantly, our partnership with HOFV reflects the beginning of a technological revolution that relies on an accessible mobile-first experience for any destination.  

Copy of HOFV Screenshots - Aerial Background - Final

The bedrock of the Venuetize-HOFV partnership is the willingness to innovate and invest in technology that is leading edge. Phase one of the app launch offers relevant content and news, the ability to book at campus attractions, as well as make reservations for places to stay. In the second phase of the HOFV app, the addition of augmented reality (AR) allows for the HOFV to provide guests with immersive and creative experiences. Once again, the HOFV has tasked Venuetize to move away from a passive guest experience and into one that is interactive, accessible, and fun. This idea is also apparent in the upcoming “Hall of Fantasy League”, a community backed national fantasy league.  

Can’t make it to tonight’s game or upcoming HOF Induction Ceremonies? Well, there are plenty of other opportunities to visit the Village this summer. Later this month is the GEICO ESPN High School Kickoff game between the world-renowned IMG Academy, based in Bradenton, Florida, and Bishop Sycamore High School, a local high school in the northeast suburbs of Columbus, Ohio. And if you are a country music fan you won’t want to miss the Highway 77 Music Festival on Sept 12 featuring Dan + Shay, Dustin Lynch and others. 

Download the app today and don’t miss out on the excitement! 

App Store 

Google Play 

 

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Venuetize and Gaming: A Sure Bet

Contributed by Myles Romm

We are in the middle of a contemporary gold rush that spans from coast to coast. Sports betting has exploded across America as more states vote to legalize the practice in fear of missing out on a potential billion-dollar revenue stream. As it sits currently, 31 states have legalized single-game sports betting, which makes up for 56% of the U.S. population. Another 9 states have betting bills pending.[i] This dramatic change in state policies has been driven by both sports fans’ rapid appetite for sports betting and politicians’ desires to generate revenue for the state through taxes and licensing fees.

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The demand for sports betting has been apparent in Michigan, where sports betting took effect in January of 2021 and has accounted for an astonishing $1.5 billion in total sports bets to date. Out of that number, the state-authorized sportsbooks have racked in a healthy $125 million in revenue. And, out of that number, the state has made $5 million off taxes from sportsbook operators.[ii] Mind you, this practice has only been live for 6 months. Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, a research and consulting firm focused on sports betting, estimated that total sports betting revenue in the U.S. in 2021 will reach $1.24B marking a staggering 360% Y/Y growth.[iii] Even more, the company forecasts “revenue of $19.0B if all 50 states legalize sports betting.”

 

As states continue to legalize sports betting, professional sports leagues and teams have been forced to grasp with how to play in the space. Many teams have signed sponsorship deals with sportsbook operators, generating well-needed income and providing sportsbooks with access to potential new customers. However, there may be an even larger monetary opportunity for teams as an affiliate. By working with sportsbooks as affiliates, teams are permitted by the league to collect fees from their betting partner for converting fans into bettors. As Sportico reports, "all five of the major U.S. sports leagues permit clubs to collect affiliate revenue (some were vague in terms of limitations). Few organizations are believed to be taking advantage of the opportunity.”[iv] Those teams that choose not to engage in affiliate-type partnerships with sport book operators could be leaving a large sum of cash on the table. Some teams, however, are starting to figure out just how lucrative a betting affiliate can be for their organization. Teams like the Jets and the Ravens have hired a sports data company to help assist in brokering sponsorship and affiliate deals with betting partners in New York and Baltimore.[v]

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Venuetize Adds BettorLogic to Sports Betting Module

Venuetize has started to work with our clients to find opportunities to monetize betting within their stadiums. Recently, we completed two deals with industry leaders TriggyBet and Bettorlogic to integrate their content into our mobile technology platform. TriggyBet and Bettorlogic operate as the buffer between the fan and sportsbook operators. They act as educators, offering content that is easily digestible and understood by the novice bettor. Through Bettorlogic’s advanced sports betting products, which were deployed by Venuetize in The District Detroit (TDD) app in 2021, Red Wings fans were able to get historical data and recommended bets with one-click access to BetMGM, one of TDD’s sponsors.

 

By adding an educational component, fans enjoy an interactive and fun betting experience rather than a confusing one. This functionality is crucial in securing a favorable conversion rate of fans to new bettors. Additionally, these integrations service the desire for a more interactive and engaging fan experience instead of just simply watching a live event. People want to be part of the event. Now, as part of the Venuetize platform, teams can reap the financial benefits of affiliated partnerships with sport book operators while offering fans a more engaging experience at their venue.

“Venuetize is an important strategic partner as we look to approach the emerging sports betting market in North America,” said BettorLogic’s CEO, Andrew Dagnall. “Expanding beyond the European betting market as a trusted and proven betting solution, we hope to offer American bettors a similar experience and one that prioritizes convenience and fan engagement. The European betting market is relatively more mature than that of the American market, which requires an aspect of education to ultimately lead individuals to become familiar and interested in betting as a practice. We couldn't be more excited to start collaborating with Venuetize and their clients across the professional sports leagues."

 

[i] https://seekingalpha.com/news/3707001-sports-betting-revenue-forecast-to-skyrocket-as-more-states-approve
[ii] https://www.playmichigan.com/sports-betting/revenue/
[iii] https://seekingalpha.com/news/3707001-sports-betting-revenue-forecast-to-skyrocket-as-more-states-approve
[iv] https://www.sportico.com/leagues/football/2021/nfl-sports-betting-affiliate-1234631511/
[v] https://www.sportico.com/leagues/football/2021/nfl-sports-betting-affiliate-1234631511/

 

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Keeping Fans Connected as Venues Reopen

Contributed by Venuetize in collaboration with Sports Innovation Lab

Now that fans are making their way back into venues, stadium operators need to ensure that fans feel safe and regain their sense of trust. Innovative technology partnerships are helping venues implement solutions that directly solve these most recent industry challenges that have surfaced as a result of the pandemic.

The graph below demonstrates average capacities from seven states across the U.S.

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Given the various capacity numbers, stadiums have been developing protocols for ingress, egress, mobile payments and ordering, and mobile ticketing. To ensure these protocols are appropriately deployed and made available to fans, venue operators need to have a strong connectivity infrastructure in place. With the proper infrastructure in place, venue operators can implement mobile-first experiences that will help fans navigate the venue safely - before, during, and after the game. In preparation for the return of fans, many venue operators have had to rush to fit years of technology innovation and planning into a single year’s time. Thankfully, most states have had a staggered approach as it relates to fan capacity allowed, granting teams a solid testing period for rolling out these new protocols and contactless-focused technology solutions. 

The graphs below show some of the requirements and specifications that stadiums in the U.S. are implementing.

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The pandemic has clearly accelerated the fan journey becoming a predominantly mobile-first experience. The data is showing that people want to go to live events again and that there is pent up demand, but they also want to feel safe. In order to instill consumer safety and confidence, sports franchises and venue operators have had to invest significant resources into technology and infrastructure upgrades. While these upgrades have been directly focused on safely bringing fans back to venues in the near term, there should be plenty of longer-term benefits that are a byproduct of these most recent investments.

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The data tells us that consumer expectations for visiting venues has shifted during the pandemic. By offering services that cater to these new self-service and frictionless expectations, venue operators can benefit significantly. The initial results from fans being back to venues are showing more transactions per fan, higher per caps, and more efficiency related to ingress and egress times. While it can be difficult to find silver linings from this past year, the new technology solutions being deployed in 2021 across sports and entertainment venues should pay dividends for many years to come.

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Venuetize Insights: Cashless Venues, Sports Betting, Name Image Likeness

Contributed by Todd San Jule, VP of Strategy and Sports Innovation Lab

It’s a New Year, and as we look to the next 12 months we see three primary themes that will define the sports industry in the US in 2021:

Theme #1: The Surge of Cashless Venues
Theme #2: US Sports Betting Boom
Theme #3: The Emergence of Name Image Likeness (NIL)

2021 VZ_SIL Research (Web Format) DAY 1

The Surge of Cashless Venues

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak and the suspension of most spectator sports in March 2020, there were just six professional venues that were 100% cashless. Just nine months later that number has grown to approximately 50 venues across five professional leagues (NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS), based on data that was compiled by Sports Innovation Lab (SIL). The number of cashless venues seems to be growing every week, as teams address safety concerns and fan anxiety by adding new touchless payment options. This new Touchless Fan Journey is made possible through emerging technology from companies such as Venuetize, a leading mobile technology and advanced e-commerce platform for the sports, hospitality, and entertainment industries.

From its proprietary database, SIL broke up 130 venues into five groups:

  • Fully Cashless Pre-Pandemic (5%) - These are the very few venues that made the switch to totally cashless pre-pandemic. They explicitly say on their website that they do not accept cash, and publicly announced this before March of 2020
  • Requiring Cashless Post-Pandemic (34%) - Venues who are not allowing fans that return to stadiums to use cash. This decision comes in conjunction with numerous other health protocols, such as mobile ticketing, social distancing, mask requirements, etc.
  • Leaning Into Cashless, No Commitment (28%) - Venues that have dabbled with cashless kiosks, cashless merchandise, or some form of part cashless, but are still not ready to make the full switch
  • Credit/Debit, Cash, Mobile Pay (25%) - Venues that still rely on cash, and may have recently adopted POS systems with contactless payment tech at some of their kiosks
  • No Info (8%) - These venues did not have enough information publicly available to make a classification
DAY 2 Research Web Format

US Sports Betting Boom

You might not have been able to attend your favorite team's home game in 2020, but chances are you could bet on it. As of the end of the year, 25 states plus the District of Columbia had legalized sports betting, leading to astronomical wagering numbers. In November alone, approximately $3.5 billion was legally wagered on sports events in the US, with more than 80% of those bets being placed on a mobile device.

The Top 5 Sports Betting states in November (pending official numbers from Illinois which was 4th largest in October) according to Legal Sports Report were:

  1. New Jersey - $931 million
  2. Nevada - $609 million
  3. Pennsylvania - $492 million
  4. Indiana - $251 million
  5. Colorado - $231 million

Surprisingly, coming in the 6th spot was Tennessee, which only launched on Nov 1 and set a new record for the first month of legal wagering in a state. Bigger things are in store in 2021. Early this year, mobile sports betting should go live in Michigan and Virginia, with Maryland, Louisiana and South Dakota to launch in the months ahead. The big wildcard is New York, where sports betting is legal at a handful of upstate casinos but mobile sports betting is currently prohibited. That could change in 2021 if government passes legislation, and if it does, New York could see several billion dollars in annual handle and several hundred million in tax revenues. Connecticut and Ohio are two other states that could cross the finish line in 2021.

The Emergence of Name Image Likeness (NIL)

Later this year the NCAA is expected to allow college athletes to start earning money using their name, image and likeness (NIL). What this exactly looks like and how much money the NCAA's nearly half a million student-athletes can make is still up in the air. In addition to updated NCAA bylaws expected later this month, there are multiple federal and state bills in pending legislation, each with its different set of rules.

Regardless of which bills cross the finish line, however, there is already a declared winner, and that is the college athlete. For the first time ever, whether you play sports at Colorado or Columbia, Washington or Wheaton, you will be able to profit from your name, your image and your likeness.

Although a lot of attention has been placed on how much money the big-name football players will make, the highest upside may be for women college athletes. Although they are not as well-known as the Trevor Lawrences and Justin Fields of the NCAA landscape, many of these female athletes have large social media followings that they should be able to monetize. Would it surprise you that the Cavinder twins (Hanna and Haley) that play basketball at Fresno State have more than 2.5 million followers on TikTok and more than 50,000 subscribers on YouTube? Ka-ching!

The folks at Sports Innovation Lab (SIL) looked at the potential earnings of several college athletes across multiple sports, and then compared that to the highest salary they could make as a professional. The results are astounding. Haley Cruse, for example, a softball player at Oregon, could make an estimated $117,000 annually posting on her social media channels where she has nearly 335,000 followers across Instagram and Twitter. This is nearly 6 times what she could make in the National Pro Fastpitch League where the top salary is $20,000/year.

The chart above shows the earnings potential of other female collegiate athletes, which was compiled by SIL using earnings data provided by OpenDorse and INFLCR (as published in Axios, FiveThirtyEight and CBSSports.com). OpenDorse and INFLCR are a couple of the new companies emerging in the NIL space, along with other headliners such as the Perpetual Sports Network, a Venuetize client that will be launching a premium Content Hub in 2021.

This new and unique partnership between Venuetize and Perpetual Sports Network will leverage Venuetize's extensive experience in mobile and e-commerce with the launch of the Content Hub that will host unique athlete content within a subscriber channel. On the first day that an athlete signs with Perpetual Sports Network, the Perpetual Sports Network’s Content Studio will kick off a content plan that includes robust video storytelling produced by its team of action sports and documentary experts, long-form journalism stories that are unique to each athlete, and social-media content that will share the collegiate experience of each athlete with an audience.

The goal is to have new NIL legislation adopted before the 2021-22 academic year. And before the start of the 2021 football and women’s soccer seasons, when last year’s headliner Sarah Fuller - who made history by kicking extra points for Vanderbilt last fall - will be back on the soccer field, this time as a graduate transfer at North Texas. Sarah has approximately 245,000 social media followers, which could be worth more than $150,000 annually.

Stay tuned for more Venuetize Insights in 2021!

 

 

 

Sponsorship Opportunities in a Mobile-First Strategy

Contributed by Sam Yarin, Sr. Solutions Engineer

As organizations look to build upon their mobile-first strategies, they must think differently about sponsorship and mobile assets. There is a huge opportunity to drive more revenue and underwrite the technology investment through sponsorship whether guests are physically or virtually participating.

We want to share some examples on how Venuetize clients are using their mobile real estate and technology platform to drive relevant sponsorship opportunities.

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Naming Rights Title Sponsor on App
For large sponsorships, naming rights or the launch screen can be used to promote a brand. The PGA TOUR highlights TaylorMade as the main sponsor for their launch screen. They also have other sponsors integrated into the experience.

eCommerce Sponsor
The Texas Rangers use Mobile Ordering to activate for their sponsor 7-Eleven (7NOW) to get guests thinking about them in the mobile and delivery space.

Sponsored Wallet
There’s the opportunity to provide value based on type of credit card, bank, or other sponsored value ($25 value for loading Chase credit card, 10% off by using Mastercard, etc.) This not only drives people to upload their credit card and use it, but also allows the organization to collect rich transactional data, and increase their odds of the obtaining the highly coveted “top of (digital) wallet” spot.

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Individual Feature Sponsors
The District Detroit uses a relevant transportation angle by the "Getting here sponsored by Chevy”. Also, organizations can promote their preferred rideshare partners such as Uber and Lyft. Parking is another area of the mobile experience that we are seeing as a highly sponsor-friendly asset.

Gamification/Trivia/AR
We’ve seen many clients in the past few months add gamification or trivia to their application to drive traffic, even though venues have been closed. New corporate partners may be interested in opportunities like this, but also long-standing partners who may already have a contract in place and looking to pivot for a more digital activation rather than physical.

Geo-Fenced Push Notification Offers Pre or Post Event
We see clients using geo-fenced push notifications in order to deliver information or sponsored content at the right time someone would want to receive it. For example, a guest arrives at a venue and a push notification is sent with an offer to make their first food and beverage order and have it delivered to their seat. Taking it to another level this push notification could link out to an instructional video that shows first time users how to setup and use the Mobile Ordering solution and the different options available.

Stories, Articles, or Advertising Prior to Video
For sponsored driven content, an organization may want to have all of their stories, articles, or videos sponsored by a partner. Another option is to just offer sponsorships to the premium content.

In-App Advertisements
Banner ads and ad-serving engine are also two ways to drive quick and relevant advertisements in app.

Digital and Geo-Fenced Autographs
Another example of innovation rising up during a time of crises in our industry, we are working with a company Syn’d (https://getsynd.com) that allows professional athletes, entertainment stars, etc., take a selfie, sign-it, and then deliver it to certain pre-defined segments. This is a highly sponsor-friendly asset and another example of a creative way to reach fans during this period of little to no live events. We think this use case will be valuable even when venues are back at full capacity.

 

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Introducing the Touchless Fan Journey

Touchless Fan Journey

 

For many years, Venuetize has provided solutions that maintain ease and convenience for fans attending live events at a venue. In a post-COVID world, fans are going to demand a completely reinvented venue experience that reduces, if not eliminates, physical contact. That’s where the Touchless Fan Journey comes into play...

Dan is a huge fan and season ticket member (“STM”) of the Tampa Bay Lightning. He loads his Chase-issued VISA card to the mobile wallet in the AMALIE Arena app and automatically receives a digital $25 Arena Cash card to spend anywhere in his team’s home venue. Before a game, he can buy game tickets and pay for parking with the app’s mobile wallet. Once he arrives at the arena, he can buy concessions with a single scan of his mobile wallet at a point of sale terminal, which will also apply his 35% STM food and beverage discount. He can order a team jersey through the app, which will automatically apply his 25% STM merchandise discount and pick it up at his convenience from a locker in the concourse without having to wait in a long line at the team store. Even if he forgets his mobile phone at home, he can still buy things at the arena with “Pay with Face”, which leverages facial recognition censors at the concession stands.

In a series of seamless, convenient, and contactless transactions — without ever exchanging cash, presenting a card, or making physical contact with another person — Dan has interacted with a ticketing system, parking system, two point of sale systems, a membership system, the team, a concessionaire, a retail merchant, and a parking vendor, both in and out of the arena.

Our integrated eCommerce platform breaks down the silos between devices, interfaces, back-end operating systems, and merchants to create an easy, personalized, and seamless payments experience for both consumers and operators.

Let’s walk through the Touchless Fan Journey and look at each stage of a visitor’s experience and how venues must adapt and evolve their operations in order for fans to return.

  1. PLAN
    Current Fan Experience: Fans browse websites, social sites, or use team and venue mobile apps to see upcoming events and search for tickets.
    Opportunity:
    Digital communication channels offer a direct path to fans that allow fans to stay current on team-produced content, plan for their visit, and decide on transportation to the venue. Meanwhile, teams and venues can keep fans informed of COVID-related changes being made to venue operations, shifting event schedules, and updates on steps being taken to address health and safety concerns.
  2. COMMIT
    Current Fan Experience: Fans either purchase tickets through ticket sites, in the secondary market, or pay with cash at the box office.
    Opportunity:
    Push fans to purchase tickets and pre-pay for parking using the mobile wallet in the team or venue app. Eliminate cash payments and physical credit/debit card transactions for tickets and parking by requiring mobile or web payments in advance of an event.
  3. ENTER
    Current Fan Experience: Most venues employ gate attendants who use handheld scanners to scan physical tickets or mobile barcodes for access control. For fans who have not purchased their tickets or parking passes in advance, they interact with a gate attendant to pay with cash or physical credit/debit cards.
    Opportunity:
    Reduce fan-facing gate attendants and expedite entry by eliminating handheld scanners and installing freestanding turnstiles and biometrics sensors for facial recognition-based access control.
  4. ORDER (F&B)
    Current Fan Experience: Most fans walk up to a concessions stand and interact with concessions staff to place an order, often paying with cash or a physical credit/debit card. Lines are long, transaction times are inefficient, and there are multiple physical touch points throughout the process.
    Opportunity:
    Reduce fan-facing concessions staff by enabling self-service, touchless options for fans to order and pay. Push pre-paid mobile ordering of food and beverage items for express pickup, and increase counter space for pick-up only stations. Enable fans to favorite items and past orders. Prompt repeat orders, and enable one-swipe pay in-app to expedite transaction speeds and increase order frequency.
  5. BUY (MERCH)
    Current Fan Experience: Long lines in crowded team stores, involving physical exchange of merchandise items, and payments involving cash or a physical credit/debit card.
    Opportunity: Reduce fan-facing merchandise staff by enabling self-service, touchless options for fans to order and pay. Go 100% cashless by deploying cash-to-card kiosks. Install scanners at POS terminals and kiosks for mobile wallet payments. Enable NFC terminals for tap to pay. Introduce biometrics scanners for facial recognition-based payments at POS and kiosks. Push pre-paid mobile ordering of merchandise for express pickup or locker retrieval.
  6. PLAY
    Current Fan Experience: Limited options for interactive games.
    Opportunity: Offer interactive games through the mobile app to increase fan engagement. Incentive play through action-based rewards, offers, and promotions that can be redeemed through the mobile app while also grooming future behavior for sports betting.
  7. RE-ORDER
    We’re using re-order to show another way to pay for concessions.
    Current Fan Experience: No matter how many times fans order concessions, subsequent visits are not any faster or more personalized.
    Opportunity: Go 100% cashless by deploying cash-to-card kiosks. Install scanners at POS terminals and kiosks for mobile wallet payments. Enable NFC terminals for tap to pay. Introduce biometrics scanners for facial recognition-based payments at POS and kiosks. Fans’ STM discounts get applied and their default method of payment is charged automatically through the mobile wallet, without them ever having to use their phone.
  8. EARN
    Current Fan Experience: Some fans may participate in loyalty programs with restrictive point-based economies or confusing earn and redemption policies, resulting in limited results for teams and questionable value for fans.
    Opportunity: User action-based rewards promote desired fan behavior while personalizing relevant offers and benefits. Behavioral data can then be used for targeted marketing and upselling.

Teams and venues must take action now to adapt to the post-COVID world that will be demanded by fans, or risk empty venues. If you’d like to discuss your venue-specific options, contact the Venuetize team here to set up a time to learn more about how you can prepare to welcome back your fans with a touchless experience.

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