Sports are slowly returning to the stadiums, but the teams are struggling with the need to play matches in closed stands. They are therefore looking for different solutions to maintain the quality of the show by cheering fans, but also to provide a field to display brands.
Borussia Mönchengladbach, a football club from the Bundesliga, presented an offer that allowed fans to place a printed image of themselves in the grandstand for EUR 19. Attendance was 13,000 cardboard fans and attracted media attention because of the simplicity but at the same time unconventionality of the response to the world situation.
A more innovative solution was presented by Danish AGF Aarhus. The 22 sectors in the stadium were filled with TV screens, which transmitted live reactions from home fans using the Zoom application. 10,000 people decided to support the team in this way. The initiative required the creation of 556 conferences supported by 56 moderators, and the screens were displayed by 200 people at a time on a rotating system.
A mobile application was presented in American major league baseball . With this application, the fans can pass one of three sound reactions, buzz, clapping or applause. These are then accumulated and transmitted by the operator in the stadium. At the same time the application updates the number of current fans of each team, which encourages longer use.
Fox Sports TV fills the stands of MLB stadiums with augmented reality (AR). Virtual fans are very much reminiscent of the real ones, by fine-tuning the look and even adjusting their clothing to the weather conditions or attendance based on statistics from previous seasons.
Experts convince that AR-based solutions in particular will provide a foundation for experiencing sports emotions, and the pandemic has only accelerated their development. Extensive mobile applications, glasses allowing to enrich the image with real time information will also create space for presenting brands. However, less technologically developed examples prove that they can also be used for this purpose. Especially considering the issues dictating current consumer behaviour – the uncertainty about when real fans will return to the stadiums combined with the effectiveness of innovative activities in the event industry and the resulting reach of the general public.
Wirtualni fani w MLB: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_FQcKH4xL4