New Report: Texas A&M scores with new digital fan-engagement strategy

In the short history of in-stadium mobile fan engagement, a team or stadium app has been the go-to strategy for many venue owners and operators. But what if that strategy is wrong?

That question gets an interesting answer with the lead profile in our most recent STADIUM TECH REPORT, the Winter 2018-19 issue! These quarterly long-form reports are designed to give stadium and large public venue owners and operators, and digital sports business executives a way to dig deep into the topic of stadium technology, via exclusive research and profiles of successful stadium technology deployments, as well as news and analysis of topics important to this growing market.

Leading off for this issue is an in-depth report on a new browser-based digital game day program effort launched this football season at Texas A&M, where some longtime assumptions about mobile apps and fan engagement were blown apart by the performance of the Aggies’ new project. A must read for all venue operations professionals! We also have in-person visits to Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the renovated State Farm Arena, the venue formerly known as Philips Arena. A Q&A with NFL CIO Michelle McKenna-Doyle and a report on a CBRS network test by the PGA round out this informative issue! DOWNLOAD YOUR REPORT today!

We’d like to take a quick moment to thank our sponsors, which for this issue include Mobilitie, JMA Wireless, Corning, Huber+Suhner, Boingo, Oberon, MatSing, Neutral Connect Networks, Everest Networks, and ExteNet Systems. Their generous sponsorship makes it possible for us to offer this content free of charge to our readers. We’d also like to welcome readers from the Inside Towers community, who may have found their way here via our ongoing partnership with the excellent publication Inside Towers. We’d also like to thank the SEAT community for your continued interest and support.

As always, we are here to hear what you have to say: Send me an email to and let us know what you think of our STADIUM TECH REPORT series.

Tom Petty remembered: 12 ‘other’ songs worth your time

Stepping a bit outside our normal lane here, but in case you didn’t know it Mobile Sports Report (meaning me) has been a huge Tom Petty fan since 1979, so forgive me if we put stadium technology aside for just one post. Reading all the interesting stuff on the web today following Monday’s sad passing of TP from this world, I noticed several “lists” of top Tom Petty songs and thought I would add my slightly different take to the mix.

While the big hits are songs millions of people know and love — I saw the band twice this summer on their 40th anniversary tour and was simply amazed at full stadiums singing every word of almost every song — as someone who has listened to Tom Petty music pretty much every day of my life for the past four decades I may be able to turn you on to some gems that are less well-known but well worth a listen. Without further ado, my list of 12 ‘other’ songs (it’s really 13 but there’s a surprise), not meant to be a top ranking or necessarily my all-time favorites but just more of the intriguing, diverse playbook that Petty gave to us before his way-to-soon departure.

First small bit of advice: If you are looking for some Petty to add to your collection, the must-have is the Live Anthology collection, and get the deluxe edition if you can find it. As ardent TP fans know, the albums were great but the live shows were where it was really at, because you could always count on a new twist, a new ending, a fun interlude, something that made it different and special to see it live. And many times, Petty would take a decent album song — like “Learning to Fly” — and make it transcendent by doing something different, like doing it slower and acoustic (the change was so good they kept playing it slow/acoustic for years). Early on in the Heartbreakers career it was always fun to see what they would do with “Breakdown,” and the version on the Live Anthology is classic (with a “Hit the road, Jack” interlude).

Anyway, to the music: In no order of ranking, here’s our ‘other’ 12 songs:

1. Shadow of a Doubt

One of the second-level tracks from Damn the Torpedoes, Shadow of a Doubt is one of my all-timers simply because (like many songs) it reminds me of a relationship… she’s a complex kid. “And she’s always been so hard to live without… but she always likes to leave it with a shadow of a dow-ow-owwwwt.” The clip from Fridays is perfect, since that was the show where I first saw the band. The raw energy here is undeniable.

2. Century City

Also from Damn the Torpedoes, Century City is no challenger for meaningful lyrics (if you know the band history the song came out of the group spending tons of time in lawyers’ offices near the LA mall of the same name, fighting contract battles) but damn — it’s as good as dance rock ‘n roll gets. Just crank it up and enjoy and picture yourself air-guitaring the finish.

3. Crawling Back to You

This cut from the end of Wildflowers might be better known now since the band included it on this year’s tour; a YouTube search shows many good looks — I’m including the Anthology versions on most of these because the overall sound is better. This haunting cut is the kind of Petty music that really resonates with me… say on a rainy day… or when you’re not feeling ‘Century City’ happy… see if you don’t agree with the line near the end: “I’m so tired of being tired.” And we all know that feeling… “crawling back to you.” I first heard it live in the early 2000s at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley… still get the chills thinking about how great it sounds in the dark.

4. No Second Thoughts

From way back on the second album You’re Gonna Get It, this song has always been in my mind, heart and head and was one of the first songs I learned on guitar. I didn’t know a live version existed until hearing it on Sirius XM’s Tom Petty Radio in the last month, and have since found out it’s on the “bonus” CD that is part of the Live Anthology Deluxe Edition, which I don’t have and can’t find for purchase anywhere (anyone with an extra, let me know!). As you will find from this list I am gravitating lately to some of TP’s incredibly exquisite ballads and this one I think is way underrated. Pure poetry in the lyrics, which I will let you discover for yourself.

5. Here Comes My Girl

Maybe everyone already knows Here Comes My Girl from Damn the Torpedoes, but damn, it’s my list so listen to it again. It’s about love. How many times have you felt this way about someone? And especially dig the cheesy video of a bunch of geeks trying to look cool (the man-love looks between Petty and drummer Stan Lynch are hilarious). Another one I learned early on the guitar (safe to say Damn the Torpedoes made me put down the French Horn and pick up a guitar so I could sing along… hard to do on a French Horn).

6. Cabin Down Below

I never saw this one live, but this deep country rocker from Wildflowers always makes me want to dance. After buying the Live Anthology I would also suggest getting Wildflowers if you don’t have it. Solid tracks all the way through. This one is easily one of the top TP songs for the other adult in this house, so it never gets turned down.

7. Fault Lines

Even though it apparently went to No. 1 as an album, I thought 2014’s Hypnotic Eye never got the recognition it deserved. On the tour that year I was excited to see Fault Lines on an early play list but it never surfaced again — think I read something about the guitar sounds being too hard to replicate on stage. TP lyrics and Mike Campbell guitar both at their best here; the incredible wonder is of someone creating vibrant, original rock in their 60s… with elderly lyrics, if you will. Great spin class tune as well.

8. Listen to Her Heart

Also from back in the day off You’re Gonna Get It, Listen to Her Heart is clearly a story that was still powerful with Petty throughout his career — just look how honest he knows the lines in this recording from the seminal live show in Gainesville in 2006. The backstory is that Ike Turner was making moves on Petty’s wife while the band was living in LA in the early days of the group history… what a slam to nuke a dude through a hit tune! And the fact that Petty resisted the studio’s request to change “cocaine” to “champagne” was an early indication of how he knew he didn’t want to cave in creatively. For old fans this is a treasure, but newer fans may not know how great some of the early stuff was so here you go.

9. (Tie) I Need to Know / When The Time Comes

Only fair to follow up with these two other classics from You’re Gonna Get It, which sounds like maybe Petty isn’t sure here if his woman is sticking around or not. Angry or hopeful… I actually did “Need to Know” with the band I was in back in the ’90s and it was way fun. When the Time Comes is on the new “singing” CD in the car, songs I want to do some day. Back to back they take you back… to when relationships consumed you, pissed you off, but made you want to make them work.

10. Honey Bee

When the Wildflowers disc reached this song on my initial play, my jaw hit the floor… what a departure from everything I’d ever heard them play and what a solid force of sound. The SNL version here probably surprised many who heard it… that’s Tom Petty? Bonus here is Howie Epstein on bass and Dave Grohl (!) on drums. Another one that makes you turn the dial to the right.

11. Angel Dream (No. 2)

From the movie soundtrack She’s The One this song only entered my ballpark when I got the Live Anthology disc set… and I’ve been trying to learn it ever since. (Got the singing, I think, but the guitar is gonna take awhile) The gospel bit in the chorus is so compelling. Plus the Mike Campbell licks on mandolin. I do know many people who think Tom Petty can’t sing, but — you be the judge. (There is also a version out there somewhere where Petty yells at the crowd to shut up at the start so he can play… if anyone has a pointer let me know, saw that once and loved it)

12. A Woman In Love (It’s Not Me)

If there’s an unsung member of the Hearbreakers it’s piano man Benmont Tench, who gets his due with the live-version haunting intro to this gem from Hard Promises. I often wonder why more bands don’t feature piano more, and maybe it’s because they don’t have a Benmont. The ultimate it’s-her-not-me breakup song, this is the perfect balance of hard rocking and soft, haunting singing… if that’s not pure Petty I don’t know what is.

Thanks for listening… back to our regular scheduled programming tomorrow.

Mobile Sports Report, Inside Towers partner to expand coverage

INSIDE TOWERS LOGOMobile Sports Report is thrilled to announce a partnership with Inside Towers. Inside Towers delivers breaking, actionable and relevant tower and telecom industry news, straight to your inbox in an easy-to-digest e-newsletter format. It is written for tower people, by tower people and covers a wide variety of topics ranging from regional zoning issues and tower safety to financial impacts, FCC updates and DAS and small cell news.

Reaching over 8,250 wireless infrastructure professionals on a daily basis, Inside Towers is an invaluable industry resource. Sign up for your free trial here and see what all the hype is about.

Let your voice be heard: The MSR ‘Voices of the Industry’ feature open for submissions

Ever have something you wanted to share or an opinion you wanted to voice about the stadium technology marketplace but never thought there’d be a place for it to be seen or heard? That changes now with our introduction of the Mobile Sports Report “Voices of the Industry” feature, which is now open for submissions.

Here’s how it works: If you have an opinion, whether it be of a technical, deployment, business or fan experience nature, simply send it to me via email to kaps at If it is interesting and of worth to our community, we’ll print it on the site, ensuring your elevation to smart-person status and making you the envy of your peers.

Seriously, in conversations over the last year I have heard many of you voice interesting opinions and takes on many different topics, and over time I have thought it would be great to surface those conversations here on MSR, instead of having such missives lost in the general noise of social media platforms. So even if you just have an idea, maybe something not fully formed, shoot me an email or give me a call to see if I can help get your idea wider dissemination.

To be very clear: This is NOT intended to be an outlet for paid or corporate “contributions,” which several folks have asked about submitting. As we’ve stated many times in the past, MSR does NOT accept paid posts or commercial content contributions, and you do NOT need to be affiliated with an MSR sponsor to contribute.

Our content is 100 percent editorial in nature. And it will remain that way.

That being said, if a representative or smart person who works for an equipment manufacturer or software provider wants to talk about interesting new technology or deployment schemes, go ahead and send us your thoughts. Since the feature will be free and open to all comers, MSR retains the right to edit, approve or disapprove any submissions. We’ll operate mainly under the “Jim Rome” rule, which basically says, “Have a take and don’t suck.” One more rule is that all submissions must have a name and title for attribution — no anonymous contributions allowed.

So — have some thoughts on the best way to test AP deployments? On why DAS is enough for stadium coverage? About whether under-seat or overhead is the best way to get things done? Let us know and let the discussions begin.

Come join our new LinkedIn Group: Mobile Sports Report Stadium Tech News!

Screen Shot 2016-10-03 at 11.33.54 AMDon’t know why it took us so long to create this group but the long wait is over — come join the Mobile Sports Report Stadium Tech News group! Unfortunately LinkedIn only let us send out a small number of initial invites but no worries, the group is open to anyone interested in our daily news and analysis of the stadium technology marketplace.

In addition to our own news and analysis, and excerpts from our quarterly reports, we’ll link to other interesting stories we see across the web, and members are also encouraged to join in and share what they see or what they’re thinking. If you’re on LinkedIn just search for the group and ask to join. If you haven’t LinkedIn with us yet, send me an invite and we’ll get that taken care of… welcome aboard!

Survey says 75 percent of major sports arenas have Wi-Fi

Sos_thumb_2016MOBILE SPORTS REPORT is pleased to announce the STATE OF THE STADIUM TECHNOLOGY SURVEY 2016, our fourth annual look at technology deployments in major stadiums and arenas. Inside the report we have replies from more than 90 leading sports venues to get a snapshot of technology deployments in several categories, including Wi-Fi, DAS, Analytics, Fan Engagement and Digital Signage. Our survey and analysis shows that:

— Wi-Fi deployments have continued to increase, jumping to 75 percent of all respondents

— DAS deployments have reached 95 percent of all respondent venues

— Ticketing programs still dominate sports CRM usage
Wi-Fi analytics and other digital-information tracking programs are still in their infancy, but more teams are deploying digital-communications strategies.

These results are the only statistical breakdown of what’s being deployed in the stadium technology deployment marketplace so… DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY TODAY!

Mobile Sports Report would like to thank all the representatives from the major professional sports leagues, including the NBA, the NFL, Major League Baseball, the NHL and the MLS, as well as representatives from major colleges and universities and other sporting and entertainment arenas who took time to participate in our fourth-annual survey. It’s their sharing of time and information that makes our survey possible, so thanks!

Mobile Sports Report would also like to thank JMA Wireless for their sponsorship of this year’s survey, which allows us to offer this information free of charge to our readers.