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Surrounded by sports

Mehul Kapadia, Managing Director of F1 Business, Tata Communications | March 11, 2016
Mehul Kapadia of Tata Communications discusses how sports organisations, leaders and associated companies are looking towards the use of innovative technologies in their race to capture audience attention

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

While sports organisations, leaders and associated companies join the race to capture audience attention, the sentiment seems to be that the key lies in the use of innovative technologies, on and off the pitch.

Coming to a stadium near you

And these efforts aren't exclusive to creating a phenomenal fan experience for those at home with the latest technology bringing them closer to the game; it extends to those already in the stadium. For example, Wembley stadium has started to deploy technologies inside the arena which will build on the overall experience for the viewer. During the FA Cup final in May, select groups in the boxes within the stadium were able to call up multi-angle plays on tablets, within a minute of it taking place on the pitch. Added extras such as access to contactless payments and ordering snacks from their mobiles meant that the control was put in their hands, the experience was completely tailored to what they needed, an experience crafted by them and not bound by bad timing, cues or a distorted view of the grounds.

In Germany, the Veltins-Arena is said to be an incredible display of mass-entertainment technology. The multi-purpose stadium sells itself as the 'most modern venue in Europe', and is home to a range of the latest technology. This includes a video cube, which floats in the centre circle, and presents images in high resolution to the audience at every corner of the arena, and electronic access control, that allows visitors to enter through electronic turnstiles, as well as the ability for visitors to pay with a Knapp card, a smart card which takes payments and replaces cash, cutting down the cues throughout the venue.

Harnessing social media to bring fans closer to the action

It's not only about creating new fan experiences through futuristic VR technologies and state-of-the-art arenas. Sports organisations are also bringing their audiences closer to the action through initiatives like the F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize. It aims to not only spur technological advancement in the sport but also to engage with F1 enthusiasts and the technology community in a new way.

F1 teams are also increasingly harnessing social media platforms to create a sense of togetherness with their fans, and taking engagement to new heights. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team - recently confirmed as the 2015 Constructors' Championship winners - is a great example of this.

To celebrate Mercedes' success, we worked with the team to invite fans to share their messages and pictures on Twitter and Facebook, which were shown on a high-definition social media display in the team's garage. The huge displays that stretch the length of both sides of the garage at every Grand Prix, showed messages from fans the world over at the Austin Grand Prix, congratulating the team on their brilliant season.


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