Sports Franchises Further Embracing the Tech World

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As sporting event attendance lulls more and more teams are looking for additional ways to communicate with their fans and keep them engaged while they aren’t watching a game at the stadium.

By Justin Weinger

One of the most popular ways that teams are doing this is with the use of apps. It’s a famous marketing tagline: “There’s an app for that,” and when it comes to your favorite team, and sports in general, the saying has never been truer. A simple search of your app store will show that your team likely has their own app. Whether it’s a basic website container with limited function or a fully fledged integrated app that takes advantage of every function your device has, you can bet that it’s there.

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Apps have proven to be a great way for teams to stay connected to their fans simply because an app is always in a fan’s pocket. Whether it’s a quick bathroom break, a ride on the subway, or even a break during work, these apps provide an easily accessible way for fans to quickly engage with their favorite team.

While it may not be a long engagement, each impression leads to a fan that is more likely to pay for a ticket and attend a game. Online stores have also seen an embrace, but more than you may be thinking. While there are traditional stores, online coupon sites like the Groupon Coupons page for PetSmart have outgrown common household items. That’s right, high-quality memorabilia and passes can be purchased online using coupon and discount apps.

While it may seem strange to find this merchandise on a coupon store, online coupons have become the go-to web address for shoppers, with consumers no longer starting their online shopping search at the URL of their favorite store, but at the URL of their favored coupon site.

Of course, these are all tried and true methods that have been adapted for the sports team model. When it comes to cutting edge technology and embracing all that it has to offer, Virtual Reality (VR) is what every body is looking at, and is something that broadcasters have already begun trialing.

This year’s X Games, which features some of the best BMX and skateboard riders showing the world their tricks and skills, will be partially broadcasted in VR thanks to its broadcast partner ESPN. Just like you would expect, this experience will get you up close and personal with the athletes while allowing you to move around and view each stunt from different angles as if you were there.

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Sports isn’t what it used to be. While we aren’t saying that it’s dead and buried, the environment in which it operates has drastically changed since its inception, with many more entertainment options available for those looking to take their family out or even just spend time with some friends. For this reason, all teams and broadcast partners need to look to the future to continue their relevance, lest they be left behind with nothing more than a MySpace page.

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