A study released late 2014 announcing that 89% of college students owned a smartphone and actually preferred their smart phone over a tablet. Rest assured that by the end of 2015 we will see an increase in this number as smartphones become even more ubiquitous than they already are.
For colleges across the nation, the cultural change in the way students interact with mobile technology as the digital age matures and becomes an indispensable part of their daily lives, is being felt anywhere from the classroom, to the tens of thousands of seats in football stadiums.
Addressing this change, universities are embarking on next generation digital systems in order to appeal holistically to their existing and potential student body. The first step, of many, is incorporating an industrial strength Wi-Fi system to the existing infrastructure of the facility.
So what does a digital arena look like?
You enter the stadium by scanning a QR code which then alerts the network you, student X, are attending the game. Immediately, you are welcomed by a personalized push notification on your smart phone screen. It then offers a special discount on a snack and drink that can be bought with a simple tap of your finger. The countdown to kickoff begins and you rush to your seat. The play begins and the school favorite makes the first down! Thanks to the stadium’s application, you can immediately watch the replay on your phone. From here on out, the game continues, your team wins and the stadium erupts in a cheer. The game sponsor sends you a message giving away the game cup for only a couple of bucks. Once again, you make a quick decision–buy the game cup and leave the stadium having had a digitized experience whilst enjoying the magic of real life sporting events.
Benefits of Stadium WiFi?
The benefits are numerous and long lasting. College stadiums, much like their professional partners in the NFL, are attended by fans who want to experience the game first hand but also through their digital world. Whether it’s tweeting about a play, watching a slow motion replay of a bad call, or snapping a selfie at the 50 yard line, incorporating industrial strength Wi-Fi not only allows for this type of dual experience but it also generates new streams of revenues that never existed previously.
The NFL has requested that the stadiums deliver free Wi-Fi by 2016. Now, the NCAA will have to follow in the footsteps of their professional teammates and up their fan game next season.
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