mondo | stadia - Issue 09

Page 6

FLORENT COULON, LEGENDS INTERNATIONAL How can venues in Europe attract and engage fans like the US?

Images: Legends International an engagement has become an

There is a different culture to the way that


important topic for sports teams,

sport is consumed in the US compared to

Some clubs that play in stadia were built over

leagues, and federations in recent

Europe, with entertainment being ingrained

a century ago, and deploying such technology


in American sport and the overall experience

is simply not feasible, so they must look to

Clubs in particular are beginning to appreciate

being as important as the end result.

other monetisable features in the ground.

the monetisation opportunities that exist when

The scale of sporting events in the US also

It is about knowing your building and

fans are placed at the core of the sporting

tends to be larger than Europe, with everything

maximising every possible revenue opportunity

action rather than merely witnessing the event

about the matchday being monetised wherever

– whether that is a gaming or eSports area,

as spectators.


merchandise booth, or mobile bar unit –

The modern sports fan has changed over the

Technological advancements tend to be rolled

anything that contributes to the fan experience

years and clubs understand the importance

out in their infancy in the US, a general trend

and doesn’t require huge expenditure.

of providing an experience as part of the

that applies to sport as it would to any other

Another trend that we are seeing in European

matchday away from just offering high-quality


stadia that stems from the US, is the improved


One such trend on the rise is 5G, with

offering of seating options, with improved

The challenge for teams and stadium owners is

approximately half of the NFL teams currently

facilities and more diverse experiences in

to diversify and build value in the experience

deploying the technology in some capacity,

general admission areas.

they provide through food and beverage,

though it remains in the early stages of

Premium experiences no longer relate purely

technology and merchandising.


to VIP and hospitality tickets, with reserved

To do that, they need to know their fans and

Some European clubs have become early

seating, food and beverage opportunities,

their audiences, and identify what they are

adopters of 5G, with German Bundesliga

fast track queues and parking introduced for

expecting. It’s something that football clubs in

outfit VfL Wolfsburg already in the process of

regular fans.

particular are starting to embrace so they can

trialling their own 5G app, that will provide

That is not to say there have not been

provide services that drive loyalty and make

fans with in-game features such as enhanced

advancements in the corporate hospitality

sure people come back to the venues.

match statistics and player performance data.

offering for fans, with the introduction of

At the heart of any matchday experience is the

This new technological wave, alongside the

features like The Tunnel Club and Loge Boxes

stadium or arena, and European venue owners

likes of virtual reality (VR) and augmented

proving popular.

are looking to the examples set by their US

reality (AR) will undoubtedly help clubs to

Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur have

counterparts to ensure fans arrive earlier and

better engage with their fans, but not all clubs

replicated The Tunnel Club, which gives fans

stay later.

have the existing facilities to deal with such

backstage access to see the players as they




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