RFID Technology: Enhancing The Fan Experience in Sports

May 11th, 2017 | by Rhett Moroses
RFID Technology: Enhancing The Fan Experience in Sports


The times when sports fans waited in long lines for entry and timed their snack or bathroom runs between commercial breaks are coming to a close. A new wearable data-collection technology, already being implemented in venues countrywide, is positioned to revolutionize the in-person fan experience.

Radio-Frequency Identification, or RFID, is a wearable technology that holds your digital fingerprint. It can store personal and credit card information, log location activities and consumer behaviors. Over the past few years, some sports franchises and major companies have implemented RFID wearables to maximize the fan experience.

Before the 2011-2012 NHL season, the Tampa Bay Lightning gave their season-ticket holders RFID chip embedded jerseys, according to a 2014 SportingNews article. Season ticket holders would tap their jerseys when purchasing at the game, allowing team officials to track their behavior. RFID wristbands were also given out to fans during the 2014 Ryder Cup.

Statistics show that 7.5 million RFID wristbands were used at festivals in 2014, according to a 2015 ID&C article. Security was increased by 24% and entry times were reduced by 40%. Average payment transactions when purchasing takes 0.5 seconds. For sports franchises and college athletic departments, cashless payments can reduce cash administration costs.

The Walt Disney Company Magic Band is an RFID wristband that serves as an admission ticket and credit card. This universal technology eliminates the frustration of waiting on long lines and annoyance of carrying purses or wallets.

This same technology can be directly translated to college athletics. Using RFID technology will decrease crowdedness when entering and leaving the stadium as well as purchasing merchandise and concessions. Bag checks will not be necessary anymore as the RFID band will be all you need.

The wearable technology can be used for season-ticket holders and fans who have game packages. Athletic departments can analyze purchasing habits made by fans with the RFID band, tailoring offers, sales, and discounts in future business development.

With the use of RFID technology improving business analytics capabilities, decreasing time spent in line creating congestion, and increasing security by minimizing bag checks, it is only a matter of time when colleges implement this technology into their game day operations.

Season ticket holders and fans who have purchased game packages will not have to wait in line and be hassled by the negative of the event. They can focus on the game and have the wristband take care of the rest. With the benefits it gives to the athletic department as well as the fans, this technology creates a win-win situation for both parties.

Rhett Moroses About Rhett Moroses
Rhett Moroses is a recent graduate from Endicott College with a Bachelor's Degree in Sports Management. He has held multiple internships in the sports industry including athletic administration in interscholastic sports, sponsorship and marketing in college athletics, and game day promotions and marketing in professional sports. Rhett aspires to have a successful career in the field of college athletic administration.

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