Sports changes along with new technology in the digital age. There is a new era of smart stadiums that tailor personalized fan experiences and live-streaming platforms that promote fan engagement. There are also new sports techs like wearable data trackers to provide clear and accurate player data.
Not only this, it’s become more accessible to enjoy sports anywhere. Whether you’re a casual watcher or a die-hard fan, you can enjoy your favorite sports in multiple ways. Thus, continue reading below and learn about the five ways to make the most out of your sports experience
1. Fantasy Games
Fantasy games are built to give every fan a new experience during the off-season. Here, you can play by creating your team with the budget you’re given. Afterward, you can create strategies to win matches.
In fantasy basketball, you can choose your favorite players across the NBA and create a team of professionals. The game also rewards you with points depending on your players’ performance in the games.
If you’re entertained during the regular season by placing a bet on basketball games, then you will be equally entertained off-seasons with Fantasy. Even without live games, there is always competition, connecting the gap between the two seasons beautifully.
2. Merch Auctions and Sales
Games aren’t the only fun thing found on the internet. You could always maximize your experience with e-commerce platforms. Here, you can participate in a live auction selling or bidding and buy yourself merch from your favorite player.
You could even go as far as buying memorabilia if you’re really passionate. Jerseys, shoes, trading cards, and even random items that star players have used run for high prices. In 2022, a Michael Jordan jersey was sold for more than ten million dollars, the highest price for a game jersey.
Trading cards also go for a hefty sum as well. One example is a mint condition 1952 Baseball Mickey Mantle card. The card was sold for a whooping twelve million dollars – a worthy price as it’s considered a holy grail collectible.
3. Smart Stadiums
Stadiums are transforming itself to become the optimal entertainment hub for sports fans. Smart stadiums use plenty of cameras and sensors to give a complete experience. This could include information on available parking spaces, seating upgrades, special ticket offers, food ordering, and public transport information.
Also, smart stadiums can provide fans with live in-game analysis and HD instant replays regardless of where they’re seated. With a robust internet connection, all technology will bring the stadium to life and connect you with quick and accurate content on the game and the venue services.
4. Immersive Play
Immersive play revolutionizes how fans enjoy sports with virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Here, they can experience adrenaline surges and look through vital game analytics in every game. Moreover, they bring life to matches and give fans a captivating thrill.
VR and AR may look and sound similar because they both have computer-generated scenarios. But they do have key differences. VR completely immerses the player in a digital world, blocking out the real world and granting the player a 360-view of the online world. In contrast, AR uses special glasses or phones to integrate graphics in the real world.
Moreover, some have already had a taste of immersive play. Fans who attended the FIFA World Cup in 2022 tried the AR feature using the FIFA+ app. More specifically, fans could access replays from the video assistant referee (VAR), a tool used in matches to check for errors during the game.
Also, fans could pinpoint their phone towards the pitch, click on a player, and see stats such as movement speed. They could even watch the match with alternating camera angles – a handy feature they can easily access to know why the referee made a specific decision.
On the other hand, VR is mainly enjoyed at home with games like Wii Sports or Oculus Quest. Here, you can enjoy different sports such as basketball, table tennis, bowling, archery, etc. You can also play these with friends as long as you have the proper setup.
5. Ticket Trackers
Buying tickets has also changed in the sports industry. Stadium management has an enhanced system that alerts them of your purchase and attendance. During the actual game, some stadiums use facial recognition for entry and buying snacks. Fans first access the app and log in, and when they’re thirsty, they can order beer with a face scanner that confirms their age.
Ticketing could also include barcode scanners installed at a stadium’s entrance. You only need to show the QR code once you’ve bought the ticket. Moreover, you won’t have to go as far as to print tickets or bring receipts for entry.
From buying merchandise and playing games to watching match highlights with AR, you have plenty of ways to immerse yourself in sports in the digital world. Moreover, these changes fuel a broader fan experience, allowing you to enjoy the game in your home and as you watch the game live. Nonetheless, ever-improving technology is at the core of its change and will only grow from here.