Editor’s note: Please join me in welcoming special projects editor Keith Newman to the pages of MSR. Keith has been a long time supporter of MSR and is now adding his voice to our blog.
When I come to the game and my phone doesn’t connect, I am more confused than the Oakland Raiders’ offense. Don’t stadium managers, sports team executives and concessions marketers realize we are here watching the game and our wallet and smartphones are with us the whole time? Don’t they also realize that their job is to make sure they optimize the combined viewing experience while maximizing our spending activity?
So why does it continue to be so hard to text friends, tweet an update from our game to our followers, find out who else is at the game, call up other scores (or God forbid a video highlight from another game going on)? Some stadiums like AT&T Park get it, but they are in the minority. They do so at their own revenue peril.
With almost every new smartphone or tablet sold, another Wi-Fi connection comes into the marketplace. We understand that so many phones in a compact space like a stadium can overload the cellular network. So Wi-Fi is needed to answer the call. And while some stadiums are getting ahead of the curve, others, like Candlestick Park, remain Wi-Fi dark. It’s still unusual to find a good signal at a stadium. And because of that, there are dollars in my wallet that the stadium owner and operator will never see.
So, has the time has come for fans to cry out? To demonstrate? No. But sports fans may go on strike when it comes to attending games live. The sports fan is OK with staying home and watching the game in HD with awesome replay, store/forward, and Sling/TIVO ability. The weight is on the shoulders of these other bodies who are losing money, fans and potentially an increasing amount of revenue by not taking advantage of the enormous opportunities to improve the experience and increase revenue. It’s game time. How’s your network?