NFL improving the fan experience through mobile technology: a Patriots fan's take

As the New England Patriots gear up for the AFC Divisional Championship against the Denver Broncos later today, I wanted to focus on how the NFL is improving the fan experience in the stadium.

With large screen HD video in many living rooms and rising ticket prices, it has become even more challenging to attract fans to the stadium.  Technology is a key focus of NFL CIO Michelle McKenna-Doy and several stadiums are deploying in stadium wi-fi and deploying mobile applications with exclusive, in stadium content.
As a lifetime New England Patriots fan, I attended a game in Gillette Stadium earlier this year and experienced the enhancements first hand.  The free wi-fi coverage with excellent as was the Patriots Game Day app for iOS and Android which featured a number of unique features including:
  • Game-related news and updates
  • Notification on traffic, weather, parking, news and valuable promotions.
  • Exclusive video including replays and RedZone.  I'm a huge fan of RedZone and watch it on my TV at home so it was nice to have it on my smartphone as well.  
  • Real-time stats and scores.
  • Express concession ordering. Order from your seat and pick up at a no-wait express lane.  While this option wasn't available in my section, it's a great feature and I understand it will be expanded next season
  • Custom Patriots alarm clock tones
  • Check on the wait time at the nearest bathroom.
The mobile application was well-designed and added to the fan experience.   I would definitely make the three hour trip from my home in Connecticut to the stadium in Massachusetts again next year.

I'm also looking forward to MLB deploying Apple iBeacon in stadiums later this year.  If you have an iPhone and you've been to an Apple store recently and installed the Apple Store app, you've used iBeacon.

Enjoy the games today (Pats vs. Broncos, 49ers vs Seahawks).  The winners advances Super Bowl 48 in Met Life Stadium in NY, NY.   Go Pats!