Posts on Mar 2016

Winning Ways to Engage Sports Fans

Winning Ways to Engage Sports Fans

With sports teams, leagues and franchises looking for new ways to grow revenue, the topic of fan engagement has been scoring major attention lately. One example: Major League Baseball announced a new, multi-year partnership with Snapchat. Beyond the first “Snapchat Day,” there will be other opportunities throughout the year to give fans an inside look at games and exclusive MLB content.

I recently attended the Leaders’ Sport Business Summit, where fan engagement dominated the conversation. I got schooled in the nuances of English football (soccer to us here in the U.S.), along with three takeaways on winning ways to engage fans on and off the field.

Make Mobile Moments

With the new Major League Soccer (MLS) season just kicking off, Commissioner Don Garber spoke about how the MLS has focused on building their largely millennial fan base. Mobile is critical for keeping those connected and tech-savvy fans engaged.

Fans have traditionally used mobile devices to conduct real-time searches and connect socially with fellow fans. Now teams are using mobile devices to reach fans in relevant moments and deliver personalized experiences that go beyond what’s happening on the field or court. Authentic and contextual content is often part of that experience.

Keep It Contextual

Contextual content is the ability to create and deliver specific information that meets a fan right where he wants to be met. One example? A fan finding his way through the stadium to his seat thanks to a wayfinding feature in the team’s official mobile app.

But this can go beyond practical pieces of information. Thanks to new communication protocols like the one LISNR provides, teams have the ability to distribute exclusive and real-time contextual content on a large scale.

For example, as fans enter the stadium, they might receive a notification on their phone to watch video highlights of the coach’s locker room pep talk. Or on a crucial 3rd down play, everyone’s phone might vibrate with a special “Make Noise” notification to distract the opposing team. Both are examples of “right-time” content sure to elevate the fan experience.

Connect Outside the Event

Another popular discussion topic was creating fan engagement outside the bricks and mortar venue. Mark Wilf, president and co-owner of the Minnesota Vikings, explained how many modern stadiums are surrounded by mixed use spaces that feature additional entertainment and dining. Beyond game-watching, spaces like these give both die-hard and regular fans additional entertainment options.

And of course, beyond those who attend sporting events in-person, you can’t forget about engaging the hundreds of thousands of fans watching remotely. Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports, touched on the role of content creation and distribution through broadcast channels too.

The intersection of mobile and technology makes it possible to capture the hearts of fans at home, too. Imagine fans watching the broadcast at home and having their devices light up with a “TOUCHDOWN” notification every time their favorite team scores. Powered by LISNR. Talk about a winning combination.

Fans have always been a part of sports. But to win big, venues and teams have to make mobile, contextual content and the concept of creating an encompassing entertainment experience part of their playbook.

Stay in touch with the LISNR team by following us @LISNR.

LISNR is a high frequency, inaudible technology; a new communication protocol that sends data over audio. As the leaders of the Internet of Sound, we use inaudible sound waves called SmartTones™, to transmit information.  LISNR essentially transmits customizable packets of data every second that enable proximity data transmission, second-screen functionality, authentication and low-fi device to deviceconnectivity on any LISNR enabled device.  We enable this functionality better and more efficiently than bluetooth (proximity), ACR (2nd Screen), and NFC/RFID (authentication). As an integrated software partner, LISNR can power devices to connect with world around better than ever before.

Insights from Mobile World Congress 2016

Insights from Mobile World Congress 2016

With Mobile World Congress behind us another year, I’m reflecting on my time at the show. If you’re not familiar with MWC, it’s the flagship wireless industry event. Drawing a record 100,000 attendees this year and often compared to CES for it’s buzz-worthy news, the show focuses on everything mobility.

I was at the show with the LISNR team, where for the first time at a trade show we showcased SmartTones and our platform in the Intel booth.

Here are my main takeaways from the conference for those of us who work in connected devices.

Better Speeds and Feeds with 5G

Intel announced its new products and partnerships to lay the groundwork for 5G.

What is 5G? It’s the next generation of faster wireless technology, which has the potential to be 10 to 100 times faster than today’s networks.

Why is this such big news? 5G brings the promise of fast connectivity and less than a millisecond latency between devices. Smarter, faster and more efficient wireless networks mean the way we communicate and interact with the world around us will be transformed.

Enabling 360 Connectivity

Cisco predicts that 50 billion devices and objects will be connected to the Internet by 2020. Beyond the estimated 10 billion connected devices in use today, there will be millions more new connected devices – autonomous vehicles, wearable fitness devices, drones and more – needing to connect wirelessly to the internet.

To support the growing demand in Internet of Things (IoT), this means 5G is critical. As everything in our lives becomes more connected, we’ll expect communications all around us, no matter where we go, to be interactive and responsive – total 360 connectivity. But without faster, stronger wireless networks, the full promise of 360 connectivity won’t come to fruition.

To better understand, let’s look at the example of a road trip in a connected car. The car needs to access real-time traffic and weather information from the cloud to provide the driver with a complete picture of road conditions. The car also needs to beam location data back to the cloud to determine arrival time. Keeping real-time information flowing to the driver means data transmission needs to be fast. The time it takes for the car and the cloud to “talk” to each other also has to be quick.

While 5G will provide the backbone for this and other kinds of connected experiences, there are still data drop issues in concrete-dense areas or enclosed venues that won’t be remedied.

Using Sound to Send and Receive Data

To realize the full potential of 360 connectivity that 5G and IoT will foster, data needs to be transmitted even where WiFi or Bluetooth can’t go – inside buildings, stadiums, stores and other notoriously low connectivity venues. That’s where inaudible sound waves step in. They can go where WiFi and Bluetooth can’t, completing the connectivity circle.

In the Intel booth, LISNR met with hundreds of companies and developers to showcase our technology. Each attendee had a chance to create, upload and play SmartTones on the fly. Even with all the Internet traffic congestion at the show, guests were able to see their just-created content played on various mobile devices upon “hearing” the tones. People were blown away by the connected experiences and applications that our technology could enable within 5G and the IoT.

The show’s theme was “Mobile is Everything.” I’m so stoked about my time in Barcelona because I saw the tiniest glimpse of just what that mobile connected future might look like — and it’s going to be amazing.

Stay in touch with the LISNR team by following us @LISNR.

LISNR is a high frequency, inaudible technology; a new communication protocol that sends data over audio. As the leaders of the Internet of Sound, we use inaudible sound waves called SmartTones™, to transmit information.  LISNR essentially transmits customizable packets of data every second that enable proximity data transmission, second-screen functionality, authentication and low-fi device to deviceconnectivity on any LISNR enabled device.  We enable this functionality better and more efficiently than bluetooth (proximity), ACR (2nd Screen), and NFC/RFID (authentication). As an integrated software partner, LISNR can power devices to connect with world around better than ever before.