Monday, October 20, 2014

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Fan Focused Technology a Big Player at Barclays Center

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TWC News: Fan Focused Technology a Big Player at Barclays Center
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It may seem a bit backwards, but staring at your phone from time to time could actually help enhance your experience while at a live sporting event. NY1's Adam Balkin filed the following report.

It seems a bit counter-intuitive, having fully loaded mobile phone apps to use and look at while at a live sporting event, but this is the route many NBA teams and arenas are taking in order to lure people from the comfort of their living rooms.

The mobile apps for the Brooklyn Nets and the Barclays Center, for example, are already among the most robust in the league offering all sorts of social media capabilities. You can see several camera angles of live or replay action while in the arena, order food from your seat and have it delivered, etc. Plus now, that list also includes the use of Apple’s iBeacon technology, or little Bluetooth, proximity sensors that can set off alerts on your phone depending on where you’re standing, from getting coupons when in front of the team store to having the apps, once you get to your seat, offer you a better one.

"When they get to the upper concourse, for example, they’ll be notified that there are seat upgrade options available to them perhaps. Through there they would be able to scan their existing ticket, it would present them with the value of those tickets and then make available to them the other seats that are available to them," says Randy Lewis of the Brooklyn Nets.

And fans at games seem to have come to expect all the mobile functionality, even if they don’t necessarily use it all.

"I like to use it so that I can commentate with the people that’s not here from time to time but if the game is hot I gotta focus on the game I gotta shut it down," says Henry Hall, a Nets fan.

Now you maybe be thinking with more than a dozen features to enhance a fan's experience you might not know where to begin. Well the Barclays Center is doing something new there too, having just hired a handful of Tech Coaches.

"We brought on close to 20 college students there. We’ve trained them on the features of the app, how to interact with fans and share with them the benefits of the app and how to connect to the WiFi and they’re really just, they’re mobilized throughout the concourse," says Lewis.

And yes, even if you’re not a basketball fan, all of these services and apps are designed to work with other, non-sporting events within the arena.

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