Technology Gets Fans Talking

Social media is paving the way for sports venues everywhere

(from Venues Today, September 10,2013) Social media is quickly becoming the number one way of communicating throughout the world; sports venues are no exception.  This technology is being used to bring fans together, promote brands, and actively involve everyone watching the big game.  Arizona State University has launched a social media platform that uploads content to its football stadium’s jumbotron during games.  According to ASU Sun Devil Athletics’ Social Media Coordinator Grace Hoy, fans were able to hold conversations and feel more involved in the game than just being spectators.  “It was evident that displaying these social posts on the board greatly influenced fan engagement and conversation.  The Sun Devils, #FearTheFork, #SACvASU and a few other related topics became trending topics in Phoenix during the game,” stated Hoy.  Fans could also take pictures during the game and then have them chosen to be shown as feature pieces on the board by using a specific “hash tag.”  University of Virginia has also decided to create Wahoo Central on VirginiaSports.com which is a means for fans to share experiences.  This is run by university students who review the social media content and post items that comply.  “This combination of social content can open doors to new sponsorship opportunities,” Brian Cheek, Director of Strategic Accounts at Postano, a social media visualization company, remarks.  “It’s another asset in a venue’s inventory that can be packaged, and it’s something we will see more of moving forward.”  University of Virginia created a wall of 50 LCD monitors to display social media content that will be used this fall.  These monitors will be seen as an important branding technique, personal experience for fans, and even as art.  Social media usage in sports venues can further promote specific brands and get fans excited about being able to directly interact with games that consistently provide for so much entertainment.