Mobile Sports Innovations: College vs Pros

Q & A with Bryon Morrison, President of Digital

What do you think about colleges using mobile technology to engage fans and enhance the in-stadium experience?

It’s a requirement.  Just as people use mobile as a companion to television viewing, event attendees want to enhance their in-stadium experience.  For first-time attendees, that might be to document and revisit experiences or share the experience with others.  For regular attendees, that could be a second dialogue to the game or access to unique experiences.  The key will be understanding individuals and treating them accordingly.  That’s when it becomes a business benefit.

Are college sports teams leading the way in using mobile to engage fans, or are they catching up to the pros?

Innovation is still defined by individuals and mavericks.  All teams — college or pro — follow those leaders and learn from the innovators.

What obstacles/challenges do college sports teams face in advancing fan engagement mobile programs compared with pro clubs?

Infrastructure plays a role, but that’s not specific to college or pro.  New stadiums are incorporating the necessary technology base regardless of level.  The companies that control multimedia rights for colleges (e.g., IMG, Learfield, etc.) dictate that they will change together in waves of adoption for the most part.  That means more mass appeal focus and advertising orientation.  Meanwhile, pro teams will often experiment more on their own or with sponsors and focus their efforts on the experience.

What advantages do college sports teams have over the pros in pursuing mobile programs?

The collegiate user base is digitally oriented and can absorb options via mobile without much training.

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